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October 24, 2013

Recipe for vegan Asian red cabbage slaw with peanuts, scallions and mint {vegan}

Vegan Asian red cabbage slaw with peanuts, scallions and mint.

Whenever I buy a head of red cabbage, I end up using just about half of it, for whatever quantity of whatever recipe I'm making. I'm not sure how or why that happens, but it's uncanny. So I found myself with half a head left after making chicken and cabbage salad, and with a few scallions and plenty of mint in my herb garden, this Asian slaw with peanuts, scallions and mint was the happy result. Miso (soybean paste) adds a layer of salty depth, and thickens the dressing. When you shop for it (in the refrigerated aisle of many markets now), look for a mild miso that's a light golden color. Rice vinegar acts as a tenderizer, so if you like your cabbage crunchy, don't dress the salad much more than 30 minutes before you're ready to serve. I love this slaw with grilled salmon (think of the colors). I think it would be a great side dish for Asian barbecued pork, too.

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October 10, 2013

Dijon mustard (Recipe: French potato salad) {vegan, gluten-free}

First published in October 2006, this updated ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. Consider this classic (and dairy-free) potato salad for your holiday table; it tastes best when made a few hours in advance, to allow the warm potatoes to absorb all of the tangy mustard dressing. And don't skimp on the parsley. It's not just a garnish here, but an integral ingredient.

French potato salad (dairy-free).

Who can forget the commercial — it ran on television forever — two limosines pull up next to each other, the windows silently roll down, and from one, an outstretched arm and a mellifluous voice, asking,

"Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?"

"But of course," comes the disembodied reply from the other car.

The jar of dijon mustard changes hands, and we're left to believe that no self-respecting chauffeur-driven limosine would be without this most famous of condiments.

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August 27, 2013

Canned black beans (Recipe: vegan black bean cakes with guacamole)

First published in July 2008, this updated ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe, which I learned from the chef at a restaurant in my Boston neighborhood many years ago. My taste buds have matured a bit since I first tried this recipe in the mid 1990s, so it's possible I now add a wee bit more cayenne pepper than the recipe specifies.

Vegan black bean cakes with guacamole.

A condensed history of canned black beans and me...

Ages 0-14. No black beans. No beans at all. Seriously. My mother never cooked them.

Ages 15-16. Campbell's Vegetarian Baked Beans (not black). During my brief affair with vegetarianism in my high school days, I'd come home from tennis practice, open a can, grab a spoon, and eat those beans cold, right from the can. Loved, loved, loved them. I don't think Campbell's makes them anymore.

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August 11, 2013

Recipe for maple miso glazed radishes {vegan, gluten-free}

Maple miso glazed radishes.

Every year on December 23, the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, celebrates the Night of the Radishes, when the zocalo (central square) comes alive with music and dancing, and sculptures and decorations made entirely of radishes. By the time my husband Ted, Cousin Martin and I arrived in Oaxaca a few days after the festival for New Year's Eve, the radishes were gone, not only from the zocalo, but also, it seemed, from every menu in town. So, instead of sharing a Mexican recipe for radishes, I offer this simple side dish with a maple miso glaze. If you can't find miso at your supermarket (it will be in the refrigerated or produce section), you can buy it in any Asian market. Sweet, salty, easy, and oh-so-red. Serve these radishes hot or cold.

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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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