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May 8, 2014

Greek spinach, artichoke and feta egg and cheese breakfast casserole {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Greek spinach, artichoke and feta egg and cheese breakfast casserole (great for dinner, too!). #recipe #glutenfree

On a visit to Chicago several years ago, my friend Kalyn and I made a pilgrimage to The Spice House. We met the owner, Patricia Penzey Erd (yes, of that Penzeys family), and discovered many wonderful new-to-us herbs and spices. I bought some Greektown "Billygoat" Seasoning, probably because of the wacky name, and I've become unabashedly addicted to it. (Go to The Spice House web site to learn about the Billy Goat.) Greek seasoning combines the Mediterranean flavors of oregano, lemon peel, salt and pepper, onion and garlic. You might not think of it as a natural with your morning eggs, but in this breakfast casserole recipe, with sharp feta cheese, mild artichoke hearts, and earthy spinach, the Greek seasoning brings just the right amount of emphasis to the dish. As good as this egg casserole is to start your day, it's even better for a light supper, paired with some crusty bread.

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April 20, 2014

Recipe for Brussels sprouts and bacon quiche with leeks, mushrooms and goat cheese

Brussels sprouts and bacon quiche. #quiche #bacon

After spending a lifetime turning up my nose at Brussels sprouts (and all of the cruciferous vegetables), I'm kinda-sorta falling in like with them. It's not yet love, but it's definitely like. I've figured out that roasting, or shredding, or marinating Brussels sprouts brings out the natural sweetness I never knew they had. In this quiche, the sprouts hang out with bacon and cheese, creating a trifecta of textures and flavors that's irresistible. Served at room temperature, quiche makes a lovely light supper main dish, with a green salad on the side, and a glass of something bubbly to wash it all down. For a vegetarian version, simply leave out the bacon. For a gluten-free version, bake it without the crust.

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February 23, 2014

Recipe for breakfast casserole with kale, bacon, mushrooms and onions {gluten-free}

Breakfast casserole with kale, bacon, mushrooms and onions #gluten-free (The Perfect Pantry).

Almost every morning, I bake, scramble, fry or flip eggs for breakfast. So, when I also remember to mix in some antioxidant-rich dark leafy greens like kale or spinach, I want to pat myself on the back. How virtuous! How clever! How easy, with a bag of washed greens stashed in the crisper drawer. It takes only a couple of minutes more to prep an egg casserole and pop it into the oven than it takes to poach or fry a couple of eggs, and the casserole will feed a crowd, or provide a week's worth of breakfasts (or lunches, or light suppers). I can't explain how a little bit of bacon, usually so salty, makes this egg and cheese casserole so sweet, except that it draws sweetness out of the slightly bitter kale. If bacon isn't your thing, or for a similar vegetarian option, try a kale, mushroom and caramelized onion breakfast casserole instead.

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December 29, 2013

The Perfect Pantry's favorite egg dishes for New Year's Day brunch

The Perfect Pantry's favorite egg dishes for brunch.

Quick -- run to the store, right now, today, and grab some eggs. You've got plenty of time to plan a great brunch to start the new year, but for that, you really must have eggs. While you're at the market, add some bread, any green vegetable, and a bit of your favorite cheese to your grocery cart. I love to make a fuss over breakfast or brunch, on holidays or on the weekends, yet most of my favorite egg dishes are a snap to make, and not at all fussy. Combine eggs with whatever you find in your pantry, and you can start the year with a brunch to remember. Eggs are key!

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December 1, 2013

Recipe for egg casserole with leeks, red bell pepper and goat cheese {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Egg casserole with leeks, red bell pepper and goat cheese.

It's the morning after a weekend of heavy eating, and still you have family and friends visiting, sleeping in, slouching over their first cups of coffee, needing to be fed. By this time, everyone has had their fill of turkey-potato-stuffing leftovers. You want to send them home with a great breakfast, one that's easy on the cook and a bit kinder to the waistline, and you can't go wrong with an egg and cheese casserole packed with vegetables. After just a few minutes' work, and 35 minutes in the oven, something pouffy and tantalizing emerges, and your guests will feel loved and pampered and never know how simple it was for you to create. In this version, combine low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese with a little bit of goat cheese for a creamy texture. Leeks contribute a sweeter flavor than onions, though either would be fine here. Just add toast, orange juice, the Sunday newspapers, and, well... more coffee.

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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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