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April 24, 2014

The Perfect Pantry's best vegetarian asparagus recipes

Best vegetarian asparagus recipes!

When daffodils bloom in the Spring (tra la), I know asparagus season isn't far behind. For the six weeks each year that our local farm sells it cut fresh from the field, I will eat asparagus every day, every way: cooked, raw, shaved, chopped, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried. It's been a few years since I posted a top-ten asparagus recipe round-up here. And it's been two years since I shared 101 favorite asparagus recipes from food bloggers. So, this year I offer you my best vegetarian (meatless) asparagus recipes. Many are gluten-free, too. Let the season begin.

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April 15, 2014

Slow cooker "armadillo" beef brisket recipe

Get your slow cooker on for this "armadillo" beef brisket (The Perfect Pantry). #slowcooker #crockpot #beef

Last year when I visited Austin, my husband Ted and I stumbled into Tears of Joy, the hottest little hot sauce shop in Texas. If there's a fiery sauce or spice made anywhere in Texas, or beyond, this store in the heart of the East Sixth Street music district is sure to have it. I shipped home a carton of dry spices and hot sauces, and my eyes have been crying tears of joy ever since. Named for the Texas state mascot, the Armadillo Rub, a deeply flavorful and not-too-too-spicy blend based on smoky ancho chile powder, inspired this slow cooker brisket recipe. Slow cooking tenderizes the meat, and the ancho gives it a bit of the flavor of a traditional smoked brisket. I like to serve it with corn and black bean salad with sweet lime dressing, for a real taste of the Southwest.

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April 3, 2014

Kale avocado breakfast smoothie recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Kale avocado smoothie, a perfect start to the day. #vegetarian #glutenfree

Do you ever just crave kale? No, I don't, either. I know it's good for me, and I feel saintly when I tuck a portion of dark leafy greens into my breakfast, but I'm not a kale fanatic. I like it, but I don't crave it. So, for someone like me, a smoothie is the perfect vehicle for adding a serving of kale to my diet. Hide it behind something I love, like avocado, and toss in a few raisins to make it just sweet enough (you can add agave to taste, if you like your breakfast even sweeter). A smoothie meets all the requirements for breakfast on a busy day: you can make one in minutes, and eat it on the run. Don't forget to polish your halo before you run out the door.

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April 1, 2014

Recipe for spaghetti squash with cashew basil pesto and white beans {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Spaghetti squash with cashew basil pesto and white beans, from The Perfect Pantry.

If I had mad Photoshop skills, I could turn this dish bright green. Scary green, even. Fortunately, I don't have that ability, and anyway, I want you to see how this luscious spaghetti squash really looks once it's been tossed in pesto and sits for a few minutes. Not gorgeous, I admit, but the garlicky aroma and melty cheese and crunchy cashews and creamy beans, all together, more than make up for the color. I'm rediscovering spaghetti squash, a low-calorie alternative to pasta, and a vegetable plentiful in the market at least three seasons of the year. Although I've been cooking spaghetti squash in my new pressure cooker, you can bake it in the oven, and either method works perfectly in this dish. It's not yet fresh basil season here in New England, so you have my permission to substitute good quality store-bought pesto if necessary. If you're not vegetarian and want to tuck a bit of shredded cooked chicken or shrimp in here, you have my permission to do that, too.

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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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