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January 8, 2013

Recipe for teriyaki turkey meatballs with cabbage and ramen noodles

Teriyaki turkey meatballs with cabbage and ramen noodles: not the ramen of your college days!

Ramen gets a bad rap. Too many college dorms, too many hot plates, too many quick and cheap dinners on the run between classes. This dish of teriyaki turkey meatballs with cabbage and ramen noodles is not the packet-o'-soup food we boiled up in our frugal college days, though the noodles are the same. In this recipe, low-fat turkey meatballs take center stage, and cabbage cooked in with the noodles bathe in a sweet and salty sauce. With the exception of the meat and cabbage, all of the ingredients in this dish come straight from your pantry; you can substitute spaghetti or angel hair pasta for the ramen. At the beginning of the year, I try to eat foods that are a bit lighter, and this ramen dish fits into a healthy eating plan. Also, it's just plain good food.

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December 4, 2012

Recipe for chicken pesto pasta

This chicken pesto pasta came entirely from the pantry and freezer!

With apologies to Rachael Ray, anyone with a well-stocked pantry can turn out a fantastic thirty-minute meal. Pesto (made weeks ago and frozen in meal-sized portions, or even store-bought), dried pasta, slow-roasted tomatoes (also from the freezer, though sun-dried tomatoes would be fine), frozen chicken breasts, pine nuts, and good cheese:  the only thing in this chicken pesto pasta that isn't directly from my pantry is... me! This dish is a garlic lover's dream, and a make-ahead cook's dream, too. Multiply the recipe to feed a crowd; prepare it the day before, and let it come to room temperature before you serve with a green salad, crusty bread, and a nice glass of wine.

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October 2, 2012

Sake (Recipe: spicy pesto soba with chicken and snow peas)

First published in August 2007, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and a few tweaks to the recipe. The spicy pesto in this dish calls for equal amounts of basil and mint, and it's a pesto you can use in many different ways, from scrambled eggs to tomato salad.

Spicy pesto soba, from The Perfect Pantry.

Accidents happen.

Blue cheese, vinegar, wine, yogurt, fish sauce, yeast breads, sake.

If modern government-regulated food storage requirements of today had been in place hundreds of years ago, we'd have none of these products, because all are the result of storage mishaps.

Thank goodness for accidents, for food left out of refrigeration too long, left in a barrel for too many months, left out in the sun or in a dark cellar, or carried through the desert in hot saddle bags on a camel's back.

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September 18, 2012

Recipe for ginger-lime tuna with buckwheat (soba) noodles

Ginger lime tuna with buckwheat (soba) noodles, from The Perfect Pantry.

Do you ever have days when you want to run away from your everyday meals? Days when you don't want oatmeal or eggs or cereal for breakfast, a healthy-but-uninspired salad for lunch, or chicken and vegetables for dinner? Me, too. And on those days, the "run away" days, I head straight for my pantry, where I stash a large variety of Asian noodles for this exact type of culinary emergency. A bowl of ginger-lime tuna with buckwheat noodles pulls me right out of my mealtime rut. It hits all of the taste notes, tangy and slightly salty and umami-rich, without any spicy heat. (You could certainly add a squirt or two of Sriracha sauce. I'll never tell.) Make the dish vegan by substituting chunks of extra-firm tofu for the tuna, and make it easy by starting with pre-cooked and shelled edamame, which you can find in the produce section of many supermarkets. If you don't have soba noodles on hand, use any firm Asian noodles (ramen noodles work well, without the seasoning packet), or spaghetti.

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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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