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October 4, 2015

White bean and sun-dried tomato dip or sandwich spread {vegan, gluten-free}

White bean and sun-dried tomato dip makes a great sandwich filling, too! #vegan #glutenfree

Over the summer, I spent a few days here and there in the hospital, getting some parts replaced. In my hospital bag I'd packed a small notebook where I write down ideas for recipes to try (I always have a notebook with me; I'm old-fashioned that way), and a couple of weeks ago I was reading through those notes with my grandson Aiden, who has a bit of interest in cooking and likes to cook with me. When I read my note about this recipe -- written under the influence of a serious dose of anesthesia -- Aiden laughed out loud, because what I'd written was, white bean and sun-dried tomato thing with interesting spices. What, he asked, were interesting spices, and what was a thing? Fair enough questions, and this recipe turned out to be the answer. The spices could be any combination of what you like: cumin and coriander, thyme and oregano, harissa with cinnamon, but I chose to go a smoky, slighty spicy route. The dip is great with cucumber slices, and works just as well tucked into a pita with those cucumbers, plus crispy lettuce and some black olives. If you have your own slow-roasted tomatoes in the freezer, by all means swap those for the sun-dried tomatoes, and the dip will be even better.

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September 30, 2015

Turkey green chile chili {gluten-free}

Turkey green chile chili, quick and easy (and no beans!)

When my friend Candy brought me a container of real New Mexico green chiles (the hot ones!) a few months ago, I didn't know what to do. Well, that's not true. I knew what to do. I just couldn't settle on the perfect recipe to take advantage of all of this spicy goodness in the house, and because I couldn't choose a recipe, I put the container in the freezer last May. There it sat, until today, when I needed a dinner that was fast, filling, and hot (both temperature and spiciness), and I reached back into the archives for this turkey green chile chili that I first shared here in November, 2006, but never photographed. With the gift of nearly a pound of hot Hatch chile peppers, and everything else on hand in the pantry, this bean-free chili was quick and easy, just as I'd remembered. Depending on the type of potato you use, the chunks will remain firm, as mine did here, or they'll disintegrate into the chili and thicken it, with a nudge or two from the back of a wooden spoon. If you don't love chile peppers (and it's okay to use mild instead of hot), either cut the quantity way back, to a quarter pound, or try another recipe. This one's for chile lovers.

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September 27, 2015

Italian sausage, pepper and mushroom frittata {gluten-free}

Italian sausage, pepper and mushroom frittata, perfect for breakfast, brunch, or supper.

SAWSIDGE 'N PEPPAH: it's a real New England Italian-American thing, a favorite street food or diner meal, and you have to pronounce it properly or we'll know you're not from here. Sausage, bell peppers and onions, pan-fried and stuffed into a long sandwich roll, a combination so good it's groan-worthy. There's not much better than that, unless you want to skip the bread, in which case this frittata is for you. Think of the egg as the sandwich roll, with some cheese to bind it together. And mushrooms, because everything tastes better with mushrooms. I've lightened the frittata a bit by using chicken sausage (there are so many great varieties available in the grocery store these days, so use your favorite, and be sure it's gluten-free if that's what you need), and low-fat cheese. If you have a very large frying pan (12 inches or larger), you can double the recipe for a brunch party, or refrigerate leftovers and reheat throughout the week for easy breakfast or a light supper.

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September 23, 2015

Shrimp, bacon and broccoli slaw with ranch dressing {gluten-free}

Shrimp, bacon and store-bought broccoli slaw, with homemade ranch dressing.

As you know, I'm not a big fan of convenience foods. It's just as easy to make most things from scratch, and you know exactly what you're getting. However, when it comes to broccoli slaw, I make an exception. If you look in the bag, you know exactly what you're getting: shredded broccoli stems and carrots and a little bit of red cabbage. Sometimes you can find the mix with cauliflower added, but cauliflower and I still are not friends, so I don't seek it out. You can use the cauliflower-added mix (sometimes called Rainbow Salad) in this recipe, unless you're inviting me for lunch. Broccoli slaw benefits from a few minutes of tenderizing --here, buttermilk does the trick, and in other recipes, mustard would do the same -- so make the dressing, toss it with the slaw, and let that sit while you finish the rest of the recipe.

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September 13, 2015

Black bean, vegetable and cashew salad with sesame-ginger dressing {vegan, gluten-free}

Black bean, vegetable and cashew salad with an Asian twist! Great for potluck, and #glutenfree.

Nine times out of ten, when you have black beans in a dish, you find the seasonings of the warm Southwest and Central America: cumin, cilantro, chile peppers, chili powder. It makes sense, of course, because black beans come from that part of the world. This black bean, vegetable and cashew salad takes a different route, one that travels right through my Asian pantry, and the result will surprise and delight you. I use my pressure cooker to make large batches of black beans, and refrigerate or freeze them for quick and easy salads, soups and stews. Canned black beans make a fine substitute. For crunch, cucumbers, bell peppers, or almost any other vegetable will do (carrots? radishes?). Whip up a sesame-inspired dressing from ingredients you probably always have on hand. I use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce to keep the dish gluten-free; substitute any reduced-sodium soy or light soy sauce (dark soy contains molasses, so if you use it, eliminate the sugar in the recipe). As with most bean salads, this one benefits from a bit of a rest before serving, to allow the beans to absorb some of the dressing. You can make the salad a few hours ahead; add the cashews right before you serve, and they'll stay nice and crunchy. Great for potlucks or picnics.

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  • 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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