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September 6, 2012

Recipe for spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew with garlic and mint {gluten-free}

Spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew with garlic and mint, from The Perfect Pantry.

When the last of Bob and Charlotte's canoe-size zucchini appeared in my car (how careless of me to leave the car unlocked in their driveway), I planned to turn that zucchini, along with a few trimmings of some very ripe tomatoes, into a curry. Along the way, however, cinnamon and cumin called out to me, and just like that, this mildly spicy vegan zucchini and tomato stew veered off toward the Middle East. A few sprigs of mint from my garden gave the dish just the right amount of brightness, without overwhelming the delicate zucchini flavor, and turmeric turned it a glowing golden color. As with all stews, this was even better on the second day, served over fluffy brown rice.

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September 4, 2012

Bottled salad dressing (Recipe: hot roasted vegetables with couscous)

First published in April 2007, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and a few tweaks to the recipe. If you don't keep bottled salad dressing in your pantry, skip right to the recipe, which you can make with your own favorite creamy vinaigrette and any seasonal vegetables you find at the farm stand.

Hot roasted vegetables with couscous, from The Perfect Pantry.

Psssst. I've got a secret.

Paul Newman is playing peek-a-boo in my refrigerator. And he's not alone.

You'll always find three or four bottled salad dressings hiding in there with him.

These salad dressings aren't for salad; they're the best, quickest marinades in the world.

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August 21, 2012

Recipe for slow cooker Middle Eastern garlic chicken

Slow cooker Middle Eastern garlic chicken, from The Perfect Pantry.

Shish taouk -- Middle Eastern garlic chicken on skewers -- launched my food writing career more than twenty years ago, and it's still one of my all-time favorite dishes to cook on the grill. Except this summer, when it's been so hot and humid, I haven't wanted to stand outside next to a blazing hot grill, not even for the sake of chicken. Once again, the slow cooker has come to the rescue, producing this very good adaptation of garlic chicken in a shredded form suitable for stuffing into pitas, tortillas or lavash wraps. The kitchen stays cool, and my husband Ted and I can get our garlic chicken fix even in the warmest weather. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts; chicken thighs will work equally well. Serve with chopped lettuce and tomato, add some cucumber if you like, and top it all, as we do, with your favorite buttermilk ranch dressing.

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July 19, 2012

Slow-roasted or sun-dried tomato and basil hummus recipe {vegan, gluten-free}

Sun-dried-tomato-and-basil-hummus-spread

When I turned 13 years old, my grandparents gave me the gift of a summer in Israel in honor of my bat mitzvah. I lived on a kibbutz, worked in the orchards and the chicken coops, and learned to love foods I'd never tasted before, like pomegranates, which we plucked from our own trees, and falafel, and hummus. It's so easy to make your own hummus. All you need are canned chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), garlic (essential), olive oil, and a food processor or blender. Add whatever flavorings you have in the pantry. I love this sun-dried tomato and basil hummus; if you have your own slow-roasted tomatoes, substitute those for a more intense tomato flavor.

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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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