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February 3, 2013

Recipe for baked three-cheese bow-tie pasta {vegetarian}

Three-cheese bow tie pasta, a real kid-pleaser, and perfect for Meatless Monday.

Sometimes -- very lucky times, indeed -- you find yourself with a house full of kids and grandkids having so much fun playing in the snow that afternoon turns into evening and, while wet jackets and mittens and shoes bang around in the clothes dryer, everyone decides to stay for dinner. If that happens, and you have nothing prepared, you'll be glad you stored this recipe for baked three-cheese bow-tie pasta in your recipe box. It's a mac and cheese made easy, combining low-fat ricotta and cottage cheese with just enough nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano and a buttery bread crumb topping. Toss together a side salad for the adults; then, with dinner under control, get out of the kitchen and have fun with the kids.

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January 24, 2013

Recipe for egg, spinach and two cheese crustless quiche {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Egg, spinach and two cheeses: a nutritious way to start the day, or a quick and easy dinner.

What's in a name? In the case of this egg, spinach and two cheese crustless quiche, you could call it an egg casserole, breakfast casserole, even a frittata. In our house, we use the generic term "eggy cheesy thing". Crustless quiche -- the dish we make when we're watching what we eat, and don't want the added calories and carbs in a crust -- accommodates mix-ins of leftover cooked pasta, vegetables, beans, or even shredded rotisserie chicken, in any combination. At least once a week, we eat eggy cheesy things for dinner, because I always keep eggs and cheese in the pantry and the dish comes together with a minimum of work. When I have dark leafy greens like spinach in my refrigerator, I like to make this quiche and portion it for a week's worth of breakfasts, so I know I'm eating my vegetables right at the beginning of the day.

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December 11, 2012

Recipe for marinated mozzarella with garlic and slow-roasted tomatoes {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Marinated mozzarella with slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomatoes, and plenty of garlic.

When my husband Ted saw the jar of marinated mozzarella with slow-roasted tomato in the refrigerator, he laughed and said it looked like brains. In fact, it's just the opposite: a no-brainer appetizer that takes two minutes to prepare, and a few days to marinate in the refrigerator. No cooking, no fussing. During the busy holiday entertaining season, it helps to have a few easy appetizers in your repertoire. You can keep these in the refrigerator for a week, while they soak up more and more of the garlicky tomato and herb flavor. Serve the mozzarella as an appetizer, with crackers or toasted bread; or, toss the cheese with pasta for a quick weeknight dinner, or press into panini sandwiches with some peppery arugula.

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November 25, 2012

Recipe for turkey, kale and cheese quesadillas

Turkey, kale and cheese quesadillas, a great way to use leftovers.

To tell you my husband Ted and I loved these quesadillas would be an understatement. So, I'll just tell you that we devoured them three days in a row, which, if you have lots and lots of turkey leftovers, is a good thing to know. Pull out any shredded cheese you have in your freezer, any salsa (or chutney, or even leftover cranberry sauce) from the fridge, and any type of tortillas you have on hand; I love these habanero-lime tortillas from Trader Joe's, which are both orange and spicy. Cook the kale with salsa or sofrito to give it a bit of a kick, and you have a quesadilla so good you'll forget you're eating Thanksgiving leftovers.

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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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