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September 6, 2011

Recipe for slow cooker Indian-spiced lentils {vegan, gluten-free}


This week, Chelsea, my summer intern, moved into her dorm, where she and three friends will share a suite with a kitchen and a brand new four-quart slow cooker. A few weeks ago, we tested this super-easy, budget-friendly recipe for slow cooker Indian-spiced lentils, paired with a cucumber raita that I'll post here later this week. Lentils, hardy and healthy, take particularly well to the spices that also warm up curries: cumin, coriander, ginger, and garam masala (which contains a bit of each). We used small brown lentils, the kind you can buy in bulk in an Indian grocery, but any brown or red lentils would be perfect. You can make this on the stovetop in a heavy pot or Dutch oven, but the lentils will tend to stick as they absorb liquid, so be sure to stir from time to time. Serve over basmati or brown rice, or add to stew or soup.

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August 25, 2011

Cool-as-a-cucumber smoothie recipe with Greek yogurt


In the house where I grew up, I don't think we ever ate yogurt. If we did, I can't remember. No yogurt, no smoothies, so everything I know about smoothies I learned as an adult, in my own kitchen. Even when it's too hot to cook, it's never to hot to blend. And right now my local farmstand and market offer up a great variety of cucumbers, from Kirbys for pickling to Persians for snacking. In these smoothies, use any type of cucumber you have on hand. If you've got giant cucumbers from the garden, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, and remove some of the tough outer skin. I prefer the long, seedless English cucumbers, which need nothing more than a quick trim of top and tail.

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June 5, 2011

Santorini Sunrise strawberry smoothie recipe


Many years ago, before there was a restaurant on every corner of Boston's South End, a lovely couple opened a cafe on Columbus Avenue, a bit off the main street, with two tables outside, and half a dozen inside. Before moving to Boston, they lived on Santorini, where they ran a dry cleaning business. I don't remember why they came to Boston, but I'm glad they did. The cafe sold very strong hot coffee, ice cold smoothies, and a few pastries. The Santorini Sunrise, my favorite smoothie from their menu, uses vanilla frozen yogurt for the base, and fresh or frozen strawberries. You can slice and freeze the bananas, too. And if you close your eyes, you can picture the white-washed houses of Santorini, overlooking the deep blue sea, and you, sitting at a cafe and sipping a Santorini Sunrise.

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November 23, 2010

Cardamom pods (Recipe: mulling spices for wine or cider)

Mulling spices

One lovely thing to know about cardamom pods:

In Arab cultures, cardamom pods placed in the spout of a coffee pot flavor the coffee, and guests are often shown the pods first as a sign of respect. The larger and greener and more plump the pods, the more highly revered the guest. The cuisines of many countries incorporate cardamom, which has been used in Indian cooking for more than 2,000 years. Thanks to the Vikings, cardamom found its way to Scandinavia, where it's very popular in baked goods like pulla bread.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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