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March 13, 2011

Frying pan pizza recipe {vegetarian}

Mary's frying pan pizza

My friend Mary, the queen of kitchen improvisation, can take any random things she finds in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry, and fearlessly mix-and-match them into amazing soups, stews and chili. When she and her husband Matt lived in the town next to ours, they built a bread oven in their back yard and began to keep a batch of basic bread dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day in the refrigerator. Put at-the-ready bread dough and a few leftovers together, and voila! Frying pan pizza! Mary generously shared her recipe, below, as well as step-by-step photos that show how easy it is to make stovetop pizza using your favorite pizza dough (homemade or store-bought) and what you find in your fridge.

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January 27, 2011

Recipe for egg and cheese breakfast muffins with mushrooms and thyme {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Egg and cheese breakfast muffins

The older I get, the more I understand the importance of breakfast. Eating first thing in the morning never has come naturally to me; when I was younger, I seldom ate before noon, and even now, I usually need to work for a few hours before I can face anything more substantial than coffee. Egg and cheese breakfast muffins, made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, give me the protein boost that sees me through the day. And, like quiche or frittata, these muffins taste delicious with any mix-ins: green chiles, slow-roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, fresh herbs, smoked salmon or bacon or turkey sausage. Raid the fridge and have fun. Some day, I might learn to love breakfast. After all, I already love breakfast muffins.

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January 13, 2011

West Bay jonnycake recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}


Thin and lacy, or thick and crusty? If you're not from Rhode Island, you might never understand the fierce allegiance people have to jonnycakes, our indigenous white cornmeal pancakes. Those who live east of Narragansett Bay prefer thin cakes made with milk. On my side of the Bay, we like them thick, made with water, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Both types taste best with a pat of real butter and a splash of pure maple syrup, though you can go in a completely different direction with the addition of some roasted green chiles or sun-dried tomatoes. Jonnycakes are a popular fixture at church breakfasts throughout Rhode Island, and a delicious gluten-free alternative to pancakes. Use yellow cornmeal if you can't find the "real" thing, Kenyon's white cornmeal ground right here in the Ocean State.

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January 11, 2011

Recipe for tofu and green bean stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce {vegetarian}

Tofu and green bean stir fry

Here in Rhode Island, when snow is on the way, everyone runs to the store for milk and bread. My pantry always holds a full complement of Asian condiments, plus several types of rice to steam up in my little rice cooker, so I run to the store for fresh ingredients to mix and match in enough stir-fry dishes to see us through any storm. This recipe takes one of my basic stir-fry sauces and gives it a twist with the addition of peanut butter. The amount of Sriracha makes this moderately spicy, so adjust for your own heat tolerance. These days, you can find Sriracha in most grocery stores, but if you don't have it on hand, a few red pepper flakes will stand in nicely.

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October 17, 2010

Canned black beans (Recipe: vegan black bean and sweet potato stew) {gluten-free}

Vegan black bean and sweet potato stew

One convenient thing to know about canned black beans:

There's not much difference in the nutritional value of canned black beans and dried beans you cook yourself. The canning process requires long cooking time at a high temperature, which lowers the nutritional value of many canned vegetables, but beans require long cooking time anyway, so they hold most of their goodness through the canning process. The ultimate convenience food, canned black beans keep for years in the pantry, ready and waiting to turn themselves into soup or stew or a quick quesadilla filling.

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Welcome to The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

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