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July 27, 2014

Grilled chicken, zucchini and nectarine spinach salad with honey-lime dressing {gluten-free}

Grilled chicken, zucchini and nectarine spinach salad, tossed with honey-lime dressing. #glutenfree

Our grill died. It was not a death with drama (no flames, no explosion); the poor thing just faded away, perhaps from working too hard, and because we're planning to move later this year, my husband Ted and I decided to face this summer without a grill. Instead, I've been using my panini press, and that's how I grilled the chicken, zucchini halves, and nectarine chunks for this salad. A cast iron stovetop grill pan would work just as well. First, cook the chicken breasts, and while they are resting, throw the zucchini and nectarine cut side down on the hot grill and sear them until you have nice grill marks, just about two or three minutes. Chop everything into same-size chunks, and tie it all together with honey-lime dressing you can make far in advance. The warm chicken and vegetables will help to wilt the spinach leaves a bit, without rendering them a soggy mess. Peaches make a fine substitute for nectarines, and yellow or patty pan squash can stand in for zucchini. You can use shrimp in place of chicken, too. This is a great salad for picnics or potlucks.

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August 29, 2013

Blueberry spinach smoothie recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Blueberry spinach smoothie, perfect back-to-school breakfast.

My husband Ted, a.k.a. the Smoothie King, suggested we name this blueberry spinach smoothie Dark and Anti, thanks to its rich color and mega-dose of antioxidants. I love this smoothie, but think the name doesn't do it justice, so I've dubbed it Purple and Powerful. The spinach plays a supporting role, so what you have is a vibrant fruit smoothie with a bonus of dark leafy greens tucked inside, perfect for sending kids back to school with a serving of vegetables for breakfast. I tried on two different days to get a good photo of this amazing smoothie, and believe it or not, these photos are the best of the bunch. Purple and Powerful looks much better in real life than it does here. Alas, I don't seem to have the smoothie photography gene. You'll have to trust me, and taste for yourself.

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July 4, 2013

Green goodness smoothie recipe with banana and raisins {vegetarian}

Green goodness smoothie, with spinach, banana and raisins.

To be honest, I thought I'd be the last person ever to utter these words: "I like green smoothies!" Yet, when my husband Ted whipped up this green goodness smoothie, with baby spinach leaves providing the green, and bananas and raisins serving up the goodness, I fell in love with the whole green smoothie thing right then and there. Cold and refreshing for breakfast on a hot summer morning, this smoothie might be equally good with tender baby kale, and apple juice instead of the white grape juice, and dates in place of raisins, but it was pretty perfect just the way Ted made it.  After I finished this little glass, I had another, and another after that. What a great way to start the day, with a serving of dark leafy greens dressed up in something icy cold and sweet.

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June 27, 2013

Berry blast smoothie recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Berry blast smoothie.

My husband Ted's enthusiastic adventures in smoothie making continue, and this berry blast smoothie, made with two kinds of berries plus cherries, is one of my favorites. I love the undertone of grape juice, though you could swap in unsweetened apple juice, or plain water. For breakfast, add some granola or sliced almonds on top. Substitute vanilla frozen yogurt for the plain nonfat yogurt, and you have a first-class afternoon snack. If you have fresh strawberries, use those, and add a couple of ice cubes. What I'm trying to say is that smoothies are forgiving; alter the proportion of ingredients this way or that way, secure in the knowledge that you can't go wrong.

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  • 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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