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April 3, 2014

Kale avocado breakfast smoothie recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Kale avocado smoothie, a perfect start to the day. #vegetarian #glutenfree

Do you ever just crave kale? No, I don't, either. I know it's good for me, and I feel saintly when I tuck a portion of dark leafy greens into my breakfast, but I'm not a kale fanatic. I like it, but I don't crave it. So, for someone like me, a smoothie is the perfect vehicle for adding a serving of kale to my diet. Hide it behind something I love, like avocado, and toss in a few raisins to make it just sweet enough (you can add agave to taste, if you like your breakfast even sweeter). A smoothie meets all the requirements for breakfast on a busy day: you can make one in minutes, and eat it on the run. Don't forget to polish your halo before you run out the door.

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February 23, 2014

Recipe for breakfast casserole with kale, bacon, mushrooms and onions {gluten-free}

Breakfast casserole with kale, bacon, mushrooms and onions #gluten-free (The Perfect Pantry).

Almost every morning, I bake, scramble, fry or flip eggs for breakfast. So, when I also remember to mix in some antioxidant-rich dark leafy greens like kale or spinach, I want to pat myself on the back. How virtuous! How clever! How easy, with a bag of washed greens stashed in the crisper drawer. It takes only a couple of minutes more to prep an egg casserole and pop it into the oven than it takes to poach or fry a couple of eggs, and the casserole will feed a crowd, or provide a week's worth of breakfasts (or lunches, or light suppers). I can't explain how a little bit of bacon, usually so salty, makes this egg and cheese casserole so sweet, except that it draws sweetness out of the slightly bitter kale. If bacon isn't your thing, or for a similar vegetarian option, try a kale, mushroom and caramelized onion breakfast casserole instead.

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February 16, 2014

Recipe for Costa Rican gallo pinto (black beans and rice) {vegan, gluten-free}

Gallo pinto (Costa Rican black beans and rice), with scrambled eggs for breakfast.

On every vacation my husband Ted and I have ever taken, one element of the local cuisine defined the entire trip. In Malaysia, I greeted every morning with mee goreng (fried noodles) for breakfast, in restaurants or from street carts; in Brazil, pao de queijo, cheese balls made of manioc, appeared everywhere with breakfast or afternoon coffee. Recently, on vacation in Costa Rica, gallo pinto was the constant. Throughout the country, there are beans (red or black), and there is rice (always white). And then there is gallo pinto, black beans and rice combined with some of the bean cooking water, garlic and bell peppers. You'll never see it with red bell peppers, but I like the color; green peppers are the norm. Cook the rice and beans separately, ahead of time (even a few days ahead), and reserve some of the bean cooking water in a small jar in the refrigerator. Then, toss the dish together in minutes, just before you're ready to serve. It's common to eat gallo pinto for breakfast, with eggs and plantains, or later in the day, with grilled fish or chicken.

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February 4, 2014

Recipe for potato, onion and blue cheese frittata {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Potato, onion and blue cheese frittata (The Perfect Pantry).

A blizzard can be a cook's best friend. Trapped in the house, with only my pantry and whatever I can scrounge in the refrigerator, I do some of my best, and most relaxed, cooking. On the day I made this frittata -- a kind of omelet finished under the broiler, to give it a bit of a crusty top -- I found a small piece of Stilton cheese left over from our New Year's Eve celebration with friends (thanks, Mary), and a couple of red-skinned new potatoes that were no longer brand new. Of course I always have eggs and onions, and soon enough, this frittata came to life. Use your favorite blue cheese, strong or mild. If blue cheese isn't your thing, try feta or goat cheese, or whatever you have on the day the snow strands you indoors. Be sure to use a frying pan that's oven-safe (no handles that will melt).

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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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