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June 6, 2013

Recipe for vegan brown rice salad with asparagus, avocado, pecans, and pesto dressing {vegan, gluten-free}

Vegan brown rice salad with asparagus, avocado, pecans, and pesto dressing.

Have you had your fill of asparagus yet? Neither have I. However, I am a little bit over asparagus soup, asparagus frittata, and asparagus stir-fry, which is why this vegan brown rice salad with asparagus, avocado, pecans and basil pesto is such a welcome addition to the Spring repertoire. If you have pesto in your freezer from last summer -- any kind of pesto will do -- please use it here. I've tried kale pesto I froze last September, and red pepper pesto (which, I admit, improved the color of the finished dish), made from a jar of roasted peppers. And if you don't have your own pesto and don't want to make it from scratch, take some help from the grocery store and buy a good-quality pesto to make the dressing for this salad. There's no mayonnaise to spoil in the heat, which makes this salad perfect for picnics and summer potlucks.

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May 23, 2013

Roasted asparagus hummus recipe {vegan, gluten-free}

Roasted asparagus hummus.

At this time of year, the magical time when New England farms begin to harvest some fresh green vegetables after a cold winter of barren fields, the temptation to serve asparagus at least once a day is powerful. Honestly, though, my husband Ted has a limit on how much asparagus soup, grilled asparagus, and asparagus stir-fry he's willing to consume. I don't really understand it, as I'm sure I could eat asparagus three times a day for the all-too-brief six-week season. Recently I had a nice bunch of spears in the fridge, and I turned to the pantry for inspiration. Chickpeas provided the first glimmer, and tahini the next, and this roasted asparagus hummus came together in minutes after that. Adjust the proportion of vegetable to chickpeas to suit your taste, and process it to a smooth texture or leave it fairly chunky, if that's what you like. The subtle flavor and light green color of the asparagus will delight you, without scaring off any kids who aren't firmly in the asparagus camp. Make this a day ahead for easy entertaining.

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April 23, 2013

Caribbean orange-spiced carrots recipe {vegan}

Caribbean orange-spiced carrots, great with grilled chicken.

Although this recipe originated in Jamaica, it's popular throughout the Caribbean, and you can see why, can't you? These orange-spiced carrots look happy. That's because they are happy, after bathing in sugar, ginger, and orange or mango juice. The recipe couldn't be easier: Shred some carrots, using a food processor fitted with a shredding disk; cook the liquid and aromatics; dunk the carrots in the liquid; let everything get happy together for a quick few minutes. This dish tastes just as good cold as hot, so you can make it a day in advance. Serve as a side dish to not-too-spicy jerk chicken.

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April 9, 2013

Recipe for slow cooker aloo gobi (spiced cauliflower and potatoes) {vegan, gluten-free}

Aloo gobi (Indian cauliflower and potatoes), easy in the slow cooker. #vegan #glutenfree

WARNING: This is not a mirage. It's cauliflower. More specifically, it's aloo gobi, the classic Indian cauliflower and potato dish, redolent with warm spices and gold-tinged by turmeric. Yes, I am trying to get over my lifelong distaste for cauliflower in 2013, by combining it with flavors and in recipes I already know I love. Almost anything cooked in a spicy hot base tingles my taste buds; add to that the convenience of using the slow cooker, and I had to give this dish a go. I can't say I fell head-over-heels for the cauliflower, but I ate a few pieces, which is more than I might have done a year ago. My husband Ted happily devoured the rest with some steamed basmati rice. (Note: recipe updated based on reader comments below.)

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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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