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Cabbage is on sale in this week before St. Patrick's Day, and if, like me, you're trying to get more cabbage into your life, now's the time to stock up and try a few new recipes. The inspiration for this dish came from one of those throwaway supermarket publications that are so easy to ignore, but occasionally have some great ideas. A fairly routine stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce, this recipe replaces noodles with shredded cabbage. So clever! I promise you'll never miss the extra carbs. If nuts are not your thing, substitute your favorite teriyaki or stir-fry sauce for the peanut sauce. Ground turkey offers an option in place of ground beef, and if you don't eat meat, try tofu instead. Stir-fried beef and... Read more →


This winter I've been having lots of fun playing around with salads. Seems incongruous, doesn't it, as we associate salads with summer foods. However, there are plenty of ingredients -- not tomatoes or asparagus, but so many other things -- to mix and match for mid-winter dishes that taste just like August. Nothing about this fennel and avocado salad is seasonal, at least not here in New England, and that's what makes it a great mid-winter treat. I'm partial to dried fruits mixed with crunchy greens, and white balsamic vinegar keeps the colors and flavors bright. Fennel and avocado salad with dried wild blueberries, almonds, and white balsamic vinaigrette {vegan, gluten-free} From the pantry, you'll need: almonds, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, agave nectar... Read more →


From Donna, Rhode Island and Florida: Since Florida is a part-time home, the pantry is skinny and has only essentials. RoTel has become an essential in my pantry here and in Rhode Island. Ten years ago I couldn't find it in my local RI grocery stores. I would hear it referenced on tv cooking segments, but had no idea what all the fuss was about. Like you, more spice has entered my cooking and RoTel helps with flavor. Do you have RoTel in your pantry? I do, and here are some of my RoTel recipes: Tex-Mex turkey lasagne Mexicali meatloaf Slow cooker Cuban-style ropa vieja Ready to join in the fun on Saturdays? Here's how to play WHAT'S NEW IN YOUR PANTRY? Find something in... Read more →


For an entire semester during college, my BFF Joyce and I subsisted on tuna salad sandwiches (canned tuna mashed with Miracle Whip), washed down with diet soda (Fresca for me, Tab for her). You would think after months of this, that I'd never want to see another tuna sandwich. You would be wrong. These days, I love to kick up my tuna in lots of ways. This variation calls for fresh, not canned, tuna; lemon zest and dill, for summery flavor; a few hot red pepper flakes, for zing; and celery for crunch. I don't love capers, but if you do, toss a few into the mix. You can broil a piece of tuna days ahead of time, and let it sit in the fridge... Read more →


In Belo Horizonte, Brazil, there's a street closed off to traffic, lined with shops and filled with people enjoying drinks with friends at small tables set up here and there. Along that street, the name of which I can't remember, we found a wonderful bookstore café that had a large selection of cookbooks, including one with English translation. And in that cookbook was a recipe for lambe-lambe, the kind of un-fancy shellfish and rice dish you'd eat while sitting on the beach at sunset, with your toes in the sand. Part travelogue, part love letter to Brazilian cuisine, Caiçara Cooking: Flavor Between Mountain and Sea (published in 2007) features mouth-watering photos plus recipes in Portuguese, though the translations leave a bit to the imagination. This... Read more →


If I took a snapshot of my pantry a year ago, or 5 or 10 years ago, I'd realize how much my cooking changes over time. These days, I use different salts, more hot sauces, more limes than lemons. I have spices on my spice rack now that I'd never heard of a few years ago. There's always something new. Now, with The Perfect Pantry® just a few months away from its 10-year anniversary, it seems like the absolute right time to think about what's in our pantries now that wasn't there when this blog began talking about cooking from the pantry, back in 2006. (Or, if you haven't had your own pantry for that long, what's in your pantry now that wasn't there a... Read more →


I have to be honest with you. In real life, this white bean and leek soup looks like dishwater. Looks like it, but does not taste like it. (And because it's hard to photograph dishwater and make it look appetizing, I've added some bacon garnish, though it's absolutely not necessary to this otherwise vegan soup.) What makes this simple bean soup great is the technique of reserving a third of the main ingredients to add after the initial cooking and blending of the rest of the soup. Puréed beans and leeks form the "creamy" base, and every now and then, your spoon will find a whole bean or two to awaken your mouth. If you are vegan, omit the optional garnishes (bacon or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano... Read more →