A makeover for your pantry

Scripps-Howard NewspapersJuly 23, 2013 

FOOD AISLES TB

Sambal oelek, bottled by Huy Fong Foods, is an Indonesian condiment that becomes a secret ingredient to a wide variety of recipes when you feel the need to kick things up a notch in the kitchen.

BONNIE TRAFELET — MCT

Could your pantry use makeover?

Use these six ingredients to infuse recipes with flavor – healthfully.

1 Sambal Oelek: This blend of freshly ground chilies, salt and vinegar adds a flavorful heat to sauces, stir-fries and marinades. Mix with mayo, nonfat Greek yogurt and lemon juice for a sauce that tastes good on just about anything.

2 Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Invest in a good bottle of extra-virgin olive oil and reserve it for raw uses: salad dressings, drizzling over cooked fish and pasta, or dipping bread. Give your dishes a boost of flavor, antioxidants and healthy fats.

3 Whole-Wheat Panko: This style of breadcrumbs creates a super-crunchy crust that tastes as good as fried foods without all the grease. The whole-wheat version has a nuttier flavor and four times more fiber. Use for vegetables, turkey burgers or any recipe that calls for panko.

4 Rolled Oats: You can’t go wrong with a bowl of this breakfast staple. But you can also turn to this fiber-filled whole grain to make homemade bars and granola.

5 Raw Nuts: A pantry stocked with nuts like almonds, cashews and pistachios is teeming with fiber, minerals and heart-healthy goodness. Choose raw nuts to avoid added oils, sodium and sugar. Lightly toast in the oven or a dry pan on the stove to bring out the natural oils.

6 Apple-Cider Vinegar: Summer foods like barbecue sauce and coleslaw just wouldn’t be the same without this ingredient. Its subtle sweetness and mild acidity impart big flavor.

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