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Odd Enough ​'I'm a food editor, and I always have these 5 ingredients in my kitchen'

Here's how to get your pantry packed like the pro's.

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As a food editor, it's my job to test the latest food trends and tools. I’ve tried a lot of crazy stuff (pulverized cricket protein powder? Ate that).

I've learned how to make swaps to accommodate vegan, gluten-free, and paleo eaters. I've tasted practically every cuisine's go-to spices. But when it comes down to it, these five ingredients are my desert-island shopping list. If I have them on hand, I know I can make anything taste great (even bugs).

GARLIC

I’m Italian by marriage, not blood, but I’m still always gobsmacked when someone doesn’t have access to a clove or two. Garlic is essential to virtually every kind of cuisine, from Asian to Mediterranean, and it’s the easiest way to build a flavor base for a dish. Plus, the stinking rose has natural antibacterial properties.

GREEK YOGURT

I’m a dairy junkie, and require it to be whole milk or at least 2%. GYo makes the best fast, protein-filled breakfast or filling snack (the topping options are endless, but I gravitate toward fresh berries and honey). And it’s also genius for creamy sauces and marinades, as a sour cream sub for taco night, and in desserts.

OATS

For me, food’s flavor generally comes first, but oatmeal’s unique ability to clear out arterial plaque makes me want to stuff as much as possible in my face. I like steel-cut oats when I have time to let them simmer, but the quick-cooking kind is great for overnight oats, thickening smoothies, baking, and coating proteins.

RED PEPPER FLAKES

If you only have one jar in your spice rack, this should be it. Most dishes need a hint of heat to balance their other flavors, and a shake or two from this bottle does the trick in anything from pasta sauce to curries and chilis. And research shows that the capsaicin in hot peppers is super good for you, too.

WINE

What can I say? A glass makes cooking the ultimate way to unwind. Plus, the stuff is excellent at deglazing a pan and making a rich sauce. If you don’t drink, lemon juice can do just about everything wine can do, except maybe age well.

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