Kitchen Glossary

Sadly, stories about cooking injuries are never that cool.


Green vegetable with buttery texture and mild, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor. Eaten raw, but skin can’t be consumed.

Uses: Year-round. Peak season varies by type, with Haas available April through October.

Storage: Keep avocados at room temperature if using soon. Keep ripe avocados that you don’t want to use immediately in a produce bag in the refrigerator, where it will last 3-5 days.

Fun Fact: Avocados are an Aztec symbol of love and fertility. Avocado trees do not self-pollinate, so they need another avocado tree close to have fruit.

Bell Pepper

Vegetable with a mild, sweet flavor that is sold in a variety of colors - red, green, orange, and yellow. Despite its name, it's not spicy.

Uses: Saute or roast bell peppers, add to chilis and sauces, or stuff them with rice or grains.

Storage: Refrigerate bell peppers for 1-2 weeks.

Fun Fact: The different colors of bell peppers are a result of when the pepper is picked - green peppers are picked the earliest, then yellow and orange, and finally red.


Green vegetable related to cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Its flower-head is eaten more often than its stalk. Broccoli can have a bitter taste that becomes sweeter when cooked.

Uses: Eat raw in salads. Sauté, steam, or roast and eat alone or with rice, pasta, or meat. Season cooked broccoli with garlic, salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice.

Storage: Keep broccoli in produce bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Lasts about 10 days.

Fun Fact: Broccoli has been a popular part of our diets since the Roman times. Broccoli got its name from the Italian word for "cabbage sprout."

Brussels Sprouts

Leafy green vegetable belonging to the cabbage family that requires a fairly long cooking time relative to their size to achieve desired taste and texture.

Uses: Roast Brussels sprouts along with other root vegetables, like potatoes and carrots, or saute them in bacon fat.

Storage: Keep Brussels sprouts at room temperature if using soon. Keep ripe Brussels sprouts that you don’t want to use immediately in a produce bag in the refrigerator, where it will last 3-5 days.

Fun Fact: The largest Brussels sprout ever grown weighed a whopping 18 pounds.


Root vegetable from the parsley family that has a long slender orange root and lacy green leaves. The roots, which are most commonly eaten in many cuisines, have a crunchy texture and sweet, minty taste.

Uses: Add carrots to salads, soups, and stir-fry dishes. The sweetness of carrots also lends well to desserts, like carrot cake.

Storage: Refrigerate carrots for 2-3 weeks.

Fun Fact: Carrots were formerly every color except orange. Carrots were first cultivated in Afghanistan and had yellow flesh and a purple exterior. It wasn't until the Middle Ages that the Dutch developed the bright orange carrot that we know today.


White vegetable that resembles broccoli and is also related to cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Cauliflower has a mild flavor when raw and a mild, slightly nutty flavor when cooked.

Uses: Eat cauliflower raw in salads. Sauté, steam, or roast and eat alone, with other vegetables, or rice. Season cooked cauliflower with garlic, salt, pepper, and/or Parmesan cheese.

Storage: Keep cauliflower in a produce bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Lasts about 1 week.

Fun Fact: Cauliflower is becoming a popular substitute for rice, mashed potatoes, and even pizza crust. Pulse cauliflower until it resembles rice, sauté with olive oil, and eat as rice, or blend into mashed cauliflower, or combine with cheese, eggs, and seasoning to make a pizza crust.


Green vegetable related to carrots, parsley, dill, and cilantro that’s watery and has a mild, salty taste. Celery stalks are eaten raw or cooked.

Uses: Add celeery to stir-fries, soups, and salads, or use as a base for soup or stock.

Storage: Keep celery in a produce bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Lasts up to 3 weeks.

Fun Fact: Since Ancient Rome, celery has been considered an aphrodisiac. Celery contains androsterone, which is a pheromone released by men’s sweat glands that attracts women.


Vegetable related to grass that produces kernels that are edible when cooked. It has a tender sweet taste and is available in a number of varieties, including sweet corn available fresh on the cob, canned, and frozen as well as popcorn

Uses: Boil, steam, grill, or roast a fresh ear of corn and eat alone with butter, salt, and pepper. Add canned or frozen to Mexican dishes or dishes with other vegetables or beans.

Storage: Keep ears of con in a produce bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Lasts 1-3 days.

Fun Fact: Each ear of corn has about 800 kernels across 16 rows and it will always have an even number of rows.


Member of the onion family that is pungent and spicy raw and has a delicate nutty flavor when cooked. Each garlic bulb contains a series of individually wrapped cloves.

Uses: Add garlic to almost any food as you cook, such as pasta, vegetables, soups, or sauces.

Storage: Keep in the pantry. Whole garlic bulbs will last for 1-2 months, while unpeeled individual cloves will last about 1 week.

Fun Fact: Garlic is still usable if it has sprouted, though it’s lost some of its flavor and health benefits. Those benefits include lowered blood cholesterol levels and reduced buildup of plaque in the arteries.


Vibrant green, torpedo-shaped variety of chili pepper with hot and pungent flavor. It gets its heat from a compound called capsaicin. Occasionally, it will turn red, orange or yellow when fully ripened.

Uses: Slice or dice jalapenos and add to salsas, nachos, corn, and beans. Cooking and removing the seeds and white “ribs” help reduce the heat.

Storage: Keep jalapenos in paper bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Lasts about 1 week.

Fun Fact: Capsaicin, which gives jalapenos their spicy taste, is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter treatments for arthritis and muscle pain. It's also a powerful decongestant.


Fleshy fungus that comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, textures, and flavors and is featured in many cuisines. The common white mushroom has a mild, earthy flavor.

Uses: Add raw mushrooms to salads, or sauté with butter or olive oil and add to sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, or eggs.

Storage: Refrigerate mushrooms in brown paper bag for up to 1 week. Note, the crisper draw is too moist for mushrooms.

Fun Fact: A number of mushroom species are poisonous and there is no single trait by which all toxic or all edible mushrooms can be identified. Hunting for mushrooms in the wild, also known as mushrooming, is not advised.


Root vegetable with a strong aroma and distinct taste that is used in cuisines across the globe.

Uses: Add onions to sautes or roasts, caramelize over low heat, or make French onion soup.

Storage: Keep onions in a cool, dry place for 2-3 weeks. Once cut, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.

Fun Fact: Hate tearing up while cutting onions? Try refrigerating the onion for a few minutes, cutting under your kitchen vent, and/or chewing gum while cutting.


Starchy root vegetable that is a fixture in American and European cuisines.

Uses: Roast, bake, fry, mash, saute, steam, or boil potatoes. There's no wrong way to cook a potato!

Storage: Keep in a cool, dry place. After a few weeks, potatoes might sprout white bulbs. Some believe these sprouts should not be eaten, while others simply scrub them off before consuming.

Fun Fact: A member of the Washington State Potato Commission (who knew that was a thing?) once ate only potatoes for two months to raise awareness of their nutritional value.


Leafy green vegetable that is rich in iron and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Uses: Make salads, add to pastas, or saute and serve as a side dish.

Storage: Refrigerate spinach in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Fun Fact: U.S. spinach consumption increased 30% in the 1930s, a spike largely credited to Popeye.


Yellow variety of the summer vegetable that resembles zucchini and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

Uses: Sauté, roast, or bake alone or with other vegetables. Also add squash to soups and salads. Squash's delicate flavor does well with minimal seasoning.

Storage: Keep squash in produce bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Lasts about 5 days.

Fun Fact: Summer squash are distinguished from winter squash by their relatively short shelf life.


Fruit (though commonly thought of as a vegetable) that can be eaten fresh or cooked into sauces and stews.

Uses: Make pasta sauce or salsa, add to sandwiches or salads, or cut slices and add mozzarella and basil for a Caprese salad.

Storage: Store tomatoes at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.

Fun Fact: China is the largest producer of tomatoes. The U.S. and India are the next biggest producers.


Green variety of summer squash that has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Zucchini’s used in a variety of cuisines, including Mexican, Asian, Southern European, and Middle Eastern. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

Uses: Sauté, roast, or bake alone or with other vegetables. Also add to soups, salads, or baked goods, such as breads and muffins. Its delicate flavor does well with minimal seasoning.

Storage: Keep zucchini in produce bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Lasts about 5 days.

Fun Fact: Zucchini has more potassium than a banana!

Sauces & Condiments
Congrats, you actually got yourself to a grocery store and bought some food. Now what?

BBQ Sauce

Condiment that varies across regions, but traditionally consists of tomato paste and/or vinegar, sugar, and spices, such as mustard and garlic.

Uses: Add BBQ sauce to meats before, during, and after cooking.

Fun Fact: President Lyndon Johnson, a proud Texan, is credited with having the first barbecue at the White House.

Buffalo Sauce

Condiment consisting of red hot sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and cayenne pepper that's traditionally used on chicken wings.

Uses: Flavor chicken wings, mix into shredded chicken, or pour over roasted vegetables, like cauliflower.

Fun Fact: The record for most buffalo wings eaten within 30 minutes is 444.

Caesar Dressing

Salad dressing consisting of oil, egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and salt.

Uses: Add Casear dressing to romaine lettuce to make a traditional Caesar salad or a chicken Caesar wrap. Add to meats or veggies before roasting.

Fun Fact: Don't think prohibition accomplished anything? Chef Caesar Cardini allegedly invented the famous salad dressing during the 1920s in his Tiajuana restaurant frequently visited by particularly thirsty Americans.

Canola Oil

Oil produced from canola seeds that has a light, neutral flavor.

Uses: Saute, roast, or deep-fry meats and vegetables.

Fun Fact: Canola seeds were developed in the 1960s as a genetic variation of rapeseeds.


A Mexican chili pepper-based hot sauce available widely in North America.

Uses: Add Cholula to eggs, rice, potatoes, or other foods to add a kick.

Fun Fact: It's named after the city of Cholula, the oldest still-inhabited city in Mexico.

Fish Sauce

Asian condiment consisting of fish (often anchovies), salt, and water.

Uses: Add fish sauce sparingly to give a distinct Asian flavor to any dish.

Fun Fact: It is especially prominent in Thai and Vietnamese cuisines.

Grapeseed Oil

Oil produced from the seeds of grapes that has a light and clean taste.

Uses: Use grapeseed oil in any type of cooking in which the oil should not impart much flavor. Due to its high smoke point, it can be used for deep-frying.

Fun Fact: It has a range of cosmetic uses from skin moisturizer to shaving lubricant.


Creamy sauce made from the juice of cooked meat, vegetables, or other food and thickened with flour or cornstarch. It can also be made with stock, wine, and/or butter and oil.

Uses: Top poultry or mashed potatoes with gravy. Add in mushrooms or onions for an extra layer of flavor and texture, or mix in sausage or ground beef and serve over biscuits.

Fun Fact: The Egyptians were the first people to use gravy, discovering the magical sauce more than 5,000 years ago.

Hoisin Sauce

Thick condiment consisting of soy beans, chilies, and garlic that's used in Chinese cuisine.

Uses: Use hoisin sauce as a dipping sauce, glaze for meats, or to flavor stir-fries.

Fun Fact: Hoisin is the Chinese word for seafood, but the sauce doesn’t contain any seafood ingredients.


French sauce consisting of egg yolk, butter, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pronounced "hall-lun-daze."

Uses: Pour Hollandaise sauce over poached eggs to make Eggs Benedict, drizzle over asparagus, or add to fish as a finishing sauce.

Fun Fact: It allegedly received its name due to its similarity to a Dutch sauce and a well-timed visit to France from the Dutch king.

Italian Dressing

Salad dressing consisting of water, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, diced bell peppers, and herbs and spices.

Uses: Marinate chicken, dress salad, or add to pasta as a sauce.

Fun Fact: It gets its name from the herbs used in it - basil, oregano, and garlic.


Condiment consisting of tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, salt, and spices.

Uses: Add ketchup to burgers, fries, eggs, fried chicken, and potatoes, or use to make meatloaf.

Fun Fact: Ketchup and catsup are the same thing, the latter being the preferred name in Europe.

Maple Syrup

Sweet syrup traditionally made from the sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees.

Uses: Pour maple syrups over breakfast food, sweet potatoes, or pork chops, before cooking.

Fun Fact: It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.


Condiment consisting of oil, egg yolk, and vinegar or lemon juice.

Uses: Add mayonnaise to sandwiches and burgers, mix with cayenne pepper and spread on corn on the cob, or combine with shredded chicken or tuna.

Fun Fact: Mayonnaise is America's second favorite condiment after ketchup.


Italian sauce consisting of tomatoes, garlic, onions, oregano, and basil.

Uses: Use marinara sauce as a pasta sauce, make Chicken Parmesan, or pour over roasted vegetables.

Fun Fact: Meaning "sailor" in Italian, marinara sauce was supposedly invented by sailors. The acidity in tomatoes helps to prevent spoilage.

Peanut Oil

Oil produced from the fats in peanuts that is commonly used in Asian and Indian cuisines. Due to its high smoke point, it is often used for deep-frying foods.

Uses: Add peanut oil to sautes and stir-fries, deep-fry chicken in it, or pour over noodles and rice

Fun Fact: Two former U.S. presidents - Tommmy Jefferson and Jimmy Carter - were peanut farmers.

Olive Oil

Oil produced from the fat in olives that is a staple in the Mediterranean diet and frequently used as a cooking oil in many cuisines. Due to its low smoke point, it is traditionally used fresh as a dipping sauce or dressing, or cooked over low heat, such as in sautéing, baking, or roasting.

Uses: Saute, roast, or deep-fry meats and vegetables in olive oil.

Fun Fact: Extra-Virgin is the highest quality olive oil you can buy and has a darker color and richer taste compared to other types of olive oil.

Sesame Oil

Oil produced from sesame seeds that is widely used in Asian cuisines and has a distinct nutty smell and flavor. Traditionally used as a condiment more than a cooking oil due to its low smoke point.

Uses: Pour seasme oil over salads, pastas, stir-fries, or any dish you want to give an Asian-flare. Use sparingly since a little goes a long way!

Fun Fact: Sesame seeds are believed to be one of the first spices that humans discovered and the first crop to be grown to produce edible oil.


Tangy and salty condiment consisting of buttermilk, onion, garlic, herbs (such as chives, parsley, and dill), and spices (like black pepper, paprika, and ground mustard seed).

Uses: Beyond a salad dressing, ranch dressing is a common dipping sauce and condiment for raw vegetables, fried foods, pizza, baked potatoes, sandwiches, wraps, and tacos. Dry Ranch seasoning is also used to flavor a variety of foods from chips to chicken and rice.

Fun Fact: Ranch has been the best-selling salad dressing in the U.S. since 1992, when it surpassed Italian dressing, but it's virtually unknown in the rest of the world.

Simple Syrup

A sweet sauce made by dissolving sugar in an equal amount of water.

Uses: Add simple syrup to cocktails, pour over fruit salad, or use in marinades.

Fun Fact: Simple syrup can be distinguished from rich syrup, which is also used in cocktails, by the ratio of sugar to water. It has a 1:1 ratio, while rich syrup has a 2:1 ratio.

Soy Sauce

Asian condiment made from fermented soybeans, wheat, salt, and water that has a rich, salty, and earthy flavor.

Uses: Flavor rice, marinate meat, or add to a stir-fry.

Fun Fact: Asian monks used soy sauce to help keep their libido in check.

Teriyaki Sauce

Asian sauce consisting of soy sauce, sugar, sweet rice wine, garlic, and ginger.

Uses: Add teriyaki sauce to chicken, beef, and fish marinades, or stir-fries.

Fun Fact: Teriyaki actually refers to a style of cooking - grilling slices of meat or fish that have been marinated in a teriyaki sauce.


Vietnamese hot sauce consisting of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt.

Uses: Add sriracha sauce to Asian soups, pastas, and meats. It works great as a hot sauce on almost anything.

Fun Fact: Sriracha sauce is supposedly named after the coastal town of Si Racha, in Eastern Thailand.

Pesto Sauce

Italian sauce consisting of basil, garlic, oil, pine nuts, and cheese (usually Parmesan and/or Pecorino).

Uses: Add pesto sauce to pasta, sandwiches, or cooked chicken breasts.

Fun Fact: The Italian word for pesto sauce is "pestare," which means to pound or to crush. Historically, pesto sauce was made with a mortar and pestle.

Tomato Paste

Thick tomato concentrate made by cooking tomatoes, removing seeds and liquid, and then cooking longer.

Uses: Add tomato sauce to homemade pasta sauces, chilis, or rice, for Spanish-style dishes.

Fun Fact: Since a little goes a long way, look for tomato sauce in a resealable tube instead of a can.

Herbs & Spices
Congrats, you actually got yourself to a grocery store and bought some food. Now what?

Bay Leaf

Herb from the evergreen bay laurel tree that has an earthy flavor and is a staple in soups, stews, and sauces. Its brittle leaves are added to food while it cooks, but removed before serving. Available fresh and dried, which has a more distinctive and developed flavor.

Uses: Cook in soups, stews, and sauces, or use to flavor chicken, beef, pork, and seafood.

Fun Fact: The Romans considered bay leaves to be a symbol of glory.


Herb with sweet and peppery taste that’s primarily used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine and a member of the mint family. Available fresh or dried.

Uses: Sprinkle basil on chicken, fish, eggs, pasta, and tomatoes, or use to make tomato sauces, pesto, and vinaigrettes.

Fun Fact: Ancient Romans and Greeks believed that basil could only grow if you shouted and yelled wild curses while sowing the seeds.

Cayenne Pepper

Spice that's a key ingredient in hot sauces and used in a variety of cuisines to add a spicy flavor. Available ground.

Uses: Add cayenne pepper to cooked vegetables, meats, sandwiches, salads, soups, and sauces to kick them up a notch.

Fun Fact: Capsaicin, which gives cayenne its spicy taste, is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter treatments for arthritis and muscle pain. It's also a powerful decongestant.

Chili Powder

Spice blend of chili peppers, cumin, garlic, oregano, and other herbs and spices that can range from mild to hot. Available ground.

Uses: Season chili, soups, stews, Mexican dishes, or eggs with chili powder.

Fun Fact: It was first sold in the late 1800s in Texas and is now one of the most common seasonings found in American homes.


Herb in the onion and leek family that has an onion- and garlic-like flavor. Available fresh or dried.

Uses: Sprinkle chives as a garnish on soups, sauces, fish, or potato and egg dishes.

Fun Fact: Chives were used in China almost 5,000 years ago.


Herb from the coriander plant that has a pungent, soapy smell and tastes like parsley and citrus. It’s popular in Mexican and Italian recipes. Available fresh or dried.

Uses: Add cilantro to rice, salads, salsas, and fish, or season Mexican and Latin American recipes.

Fun Fact:Studies show that our genes predispose us to liking cilantro or not.


Spice with a strong, sweet, and slightly woody aroma. Available as whole sticks or ground. (Sticks are added during cooking but not meant to be eaten.)

Uses: Add cinnamon to baked goods, hot drinks, or vegetables, like carrots, winter squash, and sweet potatoes.

Fun Fact: In Ancient Egypt, cinnamon was used as an ingredient in perfumes and in the mummification process.


Spice made from seeds of a plant with a lemon and sage flavor. Available whole dried or ground.

Uses: Add corainder to curries or meats, or season Mexican and Spanish dishes.

Fun Fact: Coriander was one of the first spices cultivated by North American settlers.

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Spice with a sharp and mild spicy flavor. Available as dehydrated, crushed flakes.

Uses: Add red pepper flakes to chili, tomato sauces, soups, stir-fries, and vegetables. Pairs well with other spices and herbs.

Fun Fact: Most mixtures of crushed red pepper flakes contain a variety of peppers, including bell, cayenne, and jalapeno.


Spice with warm, bitter flavor used in Asian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern dishes. Available ground.

Uses: Add cumin to chili and curry powder blends, beef, fish, and lamb.

Fun Fact: India is both the largest manufacturer and consumer of cumin.

Curry Powder

Spice blend, typically including turmeric, garlic, coriander, cumin, and ginger.

Uses: Flavor curry sauces, rice, poultry, meat, or seafood.

Fun Fact: Curry powder became widely available in the mid-20th century, when Indian food because globally popular.


Herb with tangy flavor from the dill plant. Available fresh or dried.

Uses: Add dill to potatoes, soups, sauces, eggs, or fish.

Fun Fact: Dill was often an ingredient in magic potions, and during the medieval period, people would hang it in their home to keep witches away.


Spice from the fennel plant with a slight licorice flavor. Available whole and dried.

Uses: Add fennel to soups, beans, fish, or Italian dishes.

Fun Fact: Fennel has antispasmodic properties, meaning it can relieve muscle spasms.


Bulb of the onion family that is pungent and spicy raw and has a delicate nutty flavor when cooked. Available fresh, minced, powdered, and as a salt.

Uses: Add garlic to almost any food as you cook, such as pasta, vegetables, soups, or sauces.

Fun Fact: Garlic is still usable if it has sprouted, though it’s lost some of its flavor and health benefits. Those benefits include lowered blood cholesterol levels and reduced buildup of plaque in the arteries.


Spice from the root of a plant with a slightly sweet and spicy aroma used in many Asian dishes. Available fresh and powered.

Uses: Add ginger to marinades, or couple with garlic to flavor beef.

Fun Fact: Throughout time, ginger has been considered an aphrodisiac.


Herb with a strong, sweet and cool aftertaste. Available fresh or dried.

Uses: Add mint to beverages, desserts, sauces, soups, or lamb.

Fun Fact: During the bubonic plague, doctors wore masks filled with aromatic leaves like mint to protect themselves from what they believed was bad air.


Herb with a slightly bitter and pungent flavor. It’s related to mint and oregano, but more mild. Available fresh, dried, or ground.

Uses: Sprinkle marjoramon potatoes, poultry, fish, and lamb, or add to soups and sauces.

Fun Fact: Ancient Romans thought marjoram was a symbol of happiness, and Ancient Greeks believed it brought joy to the dead.


Herb often used in Italian, Greek, and Mexican cuisines. It's almost always used in cooked dishes and is what gives pizza its characteristic flavor. Available fresh or dried.

Uses: Add oregano to pizzas, tomato sauces, pastas, marinades, vegetables, beans, eggs, meats, or seafood. Use sparingly at first because its potent flavor can easily overpower other flavors.

Fun Fact: Often called the pizza herb, oregano became popular in the U.S. after soldiers returned from WWII in the Mediterranean and were craving pizza.


Spice with nutty, warm, sweet, and slightly spicy taste.

Uses: Add nutmeg to beverages, baked goods, sweet potatoes, or white sauces.

Fun Fact: Nutmeg is one of the oldest known spices and is psychotropic, meaning it can cause hallucinations with a high enough dose.


Herb with a slightly peppery taste. Available fresh or dried.

Uses: Sprinkle parsley as garnish on soups, sauces, salads, or potato or egg dishes.

Fun Fact: Ancient Greeks wouldn’t eat parsley because they believed it was associated with death, and Romans kept it away from nursing babies because they believed it would cause epilepsy.


Herb with a sweet, lemon and pine-like fragrance and flavor. Available fresh or dried.

Uses: Add rosemary to soups, tomato sauces, casseroles, chicken, beef, fish, or lamb. Pairs great with garlic.

Fun Fact: Back in the day, rosemary was burned in sickrooms as a disinfectant.


Herb that is slightly bitter, minty, and musty. Available fresh, dried, or ground.

Uses: Add sage to stuffing, poultry, or pork. A key ingredient in sausage.

Fun Fact: Sage can kill odor-causing bacteria that grow on your feet. Try putting a leaf or two inside your shoes.


Spice that comes from seawater or mines and sharpens other flavors. Available dried or ground in a number of varieties, including table salt and sea salt.

Uses: Apply salt alone or with other spices and herbs as you cook food to enhance their flavor.

Fun Fact: Salt is essential to our health and we will crave it until our physical need for it is satisfied.


Herb with slightly bitter, licorice flavor that’s a member of the mint family. Available fresh or dried.

Uses: Add tarragon to sauces, eggs, poultry, or seafood.

Fun Fact: Tarrago is a key ingredient in Dijon mustard and was used to treat scurvy.


Herb with rich, tea-like flavor. Available fresh, dried, or ground.

Uses: Add thyme to soups, sauces, potatoes, mushrooms, summer squash, poultry, meats, and fish.

Fun Fact: Ancient Egyptians used thyme in embalming, while Roman soldiers bathed in it to renew energy.


Spice from the root of a plant related to ginger that has a pungent, earthy, and slightly bitter flavor. It’s largely used in curries and to color food. Available ground.

Uses: Add turmeric to curries, egg dishes, or meats.

Fun Fact: Turmeric is the primary ingredient in American-style yellow mustard and has been found to be effective against Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Cooking Techniques
Congrats, you actually got yourself to a grocery store and bought some food. Now what?


To cook in the oven. The words bake and roast are often used interchangeably, but baking often involves cooking at a lower temperature and is a term used for foods that don't have solid structure until they're cooked, like bread.

Uses: Bake breads, cakes and other desserts, casseroles, vegetables, and meat. This is a relatively hands-off method that will ensure even cooking.



To cook food, typically meat, by first browning the outside and then slowly cooking it over low-heat in a liquid.

Uses: Braise pot roasts, beef brisket, or short ribs. Braising is a simple way to extract delicious flavor out of cheap cuts of meat.

How-To: Brown the meat first in a hot pan with some oil or butter. Add enough liquid (broth, wine, or water) to cover the meat. Cook over low heat for several hours.


To cook in a oven directly under the top heating element, thereby exposing food to intense infrared heat. Unlike baking in which the goal is to cook food by surrounding it with uniformly hot air, broiling is basically an upside-down BBQ.

Uses: Traditionally used for thinner cuts of meats, such as steaks and filets of fish, and certain veggies, such as asparagus and chopped onions and peppers.

How-To: Move oven rack as high as it can go, set oven to broil, and let it warm up for 5 minutes. Place food on a baking sheet and place it on top oven rack. Crack oven door slightly (use a wooden spoon to wedge the door open if necessary) and cook until food is ready.


The process of cooking sugar until it browns. A method to extract rich flavor from simple ingredients.

Uses: Any vegetables with high sugar content, such as onions, carrots, and brussels sprouts.

How-To: Heat butter or oil in a pan over low heat. Add cut vegetables, cook low and slow, and add in liquid (water, beer, wine, or broth) when necessary to keep vegetables from drying out.


To cook in the oven. The words roast and bake are often used interchangeably, but roasting involves cooking at a high temperature (at least initially) to brown the surface of the food.

Uses: Roast meats, poultry, and vegetables. Food will be tender with a crisp surface.

How-To: Preheat oven to at least 300°F. Line pan with parchment paper and coat food with olive oil. Cooking time and exact temperature will vary, but a higher temperature will create a more browned, flavorful "crust" on the outside of the food.


Process of cooking the surface of food over high heat to develop a caramelized crust. Used often with meats and fish to add flavor, improve appearance, and create texture layers.

Uses: Sear outsides of meat before baking or braising. Sear outsides of filets of fish to add texture and flavor without drying out the fish.

How-To: Heat a little oil in a pan on high heat. Pat meat or fish dry (so it will sear and not steam) and add to the pan, careful not overcrowd the pan. Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes, until meat or fish can easily be flipped without sticking to pan.