Sauces and seasonings:
These are the grace notes; the final flourishes that take your lunch from boring to brilliant. The more you use them, the more you’ll work out which you love and which you’re not so keen on, and also how much you prefer to use. Recipes are only ever a guide to help you discover your own path. But, if you want to be properly equipped on said path (and to enjoy the yummy recipes on this site), you need these!
Coconut milk – a dairy-free way of creating creamy sauces, and an Asian flavour.
Tinned tomatoes – if you take the time to break these down into a sauce you’d never know they weren’t fresh.
Pesto – this little green jar is the easiest possible way to go from “plain pasta for lunch sucks” to “wow, I appear to have become Italian”.
Soy sauce – we use this in marinades, and to add to noodles.
Olive oil – Dressings, marinades, drizzled over salads or pasta, or just for pan frying, this is an essential essential for your kitchen!
Cider vinegar – this is a really useful, and long lasting cheat for when you’ve forgotten to put fresh lemons or limes on the shopping list. It does exactly the same thing won’t go mouldy in the fruit bowl if you forget about it.
Miso paste – giving you an umami flavour, miso is so tasty in sauces and mixed with sticky rice. It’s also fermented, and fermented foods are brilliant probiotics for your immune system. Try our tasty pan-fried prawns and miso rice recipe here.
Chilli flakes – how much of this you use is definitely personal preference, but just a sprinkle can liven up veg, or soup easily.
Harissa paste – this is great in marinades, to give a fuller flavour.
Sea salt and black pepper – a simple and well-known way to bring out the natural flavour of the food you’re cooking.