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October 17, 2013

Chili powder (Recipe: turkey tacos)

First published in August 2006, this updated ingredient post features new photos and links. We love this spicy turkey filling in tacos, on salads, or as the topping for a rice bowl with a dollop of guacamole and a big plop of sour cream. 

Super easy turkey tacos.

Some like it hot.

I like it really hot.

I like it hot enough to make my scalp tingle, my sinuses drip, and my eyes water. (Do I need to mention that I'm talking about food now, not the weather?) I wasn't always like this, but a trip to New Orleans years ago started me down the pepper path, and there is no turning back.

Sometimes, though, unadulterated heat isn't the goal. When I want a more complex depth of flavor in Mexican and Southwestern dishes, I often reach for chili powder.

Are you confused by the whole chili/chile thing? Many people are, and product packaging doesn't really help, with the willy-nilly and often interchangeable use of chile, chili, chillie and chilli.

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October 13, 2013

Recipe for Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon

Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon.

Later this morning, our family from up North will crowd around the small dining table here at the log house for coffee and juice and fried eggs, and Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon. My husband Ted requested a Canadian recipe for my latest e-book, A Flock of Meatballs: Easy turkey recipes with around-the-world flavors, and when I asked him what, exactly, a Canadian meatball might contain, he didn't hesitate: "maple syrup, bacon and beer!" These turkey meatballs coated with a maple-bacon-(non-alcoholic)-beer glaze have it all, and happily take the place of bacon and sausage on any breakfast menu. They're actually quite good atop a green salad, too, so don't limit your meatball intake to first thing in the morning. You can make the basic meatballs ahead and keep them in the freezer. Then, when you're ready to serve, defrost the meatballs and boil the glaze, which takes only a few minutes on the stove top.

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October 6, 2013

Recipe for turkey soup with dark leafy greens

Turkey soup with dark leafy greens.

How can a woman be expected to name a favorite from among her children? Impossible, isn't it? And yet... and yet... I have to say that this turkey soup, packed with dark leafy greens, chewy fregula sarda and peppery Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, is my new favorite soup. It's a near-perfect balance of protein, pasta, vegetables and cheese -- the four food groups of soup! Substitute freely: ground beef, pork or chicken for turkey; kale or chard for escarole; Israeli couscous for fregula sarda; vegetable broth for chicken broth. Make a big batch and portion some out for the freezer, where you'll be glad to find it on a cold winter day.

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October 3, 2013

Recipe for chicken and cabbage salad with buttermilk blue cheese dressing {gluten-free}

Chicken and red cabbage salad with buttermilk blue cheese dressing.

What's the difference between green cabbage and red cabbage? It's not only color that sets them apart; though both are super low-calorie, red cabbage packs more than ten times the amount of Vitamin A, beneficial for vision and immune system health. Red and green cabbage taste exactly the same, and that's what matters when it comes to swapping one for the other in dishes like this chicken and cabbage salad with buttermilk blue cheese dressing. If chicken isn't your thing, use leftover cooked roast beef or stir-fried tofu. If blue cheese isn't your thing, I urge you to give it another chance, or you can substitute feta cheese. The tangy dressing really makes this dish something special. Make the salad a little bit ahead, and the cabbage will soften and mellow.

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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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