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Balsamic Vinegar Although made from white Italian grapes, this complex vinegar gets its deep, dark color from the wood barrels in which it ages. The most famous and flavorful of all balsamic vinegars hails from the Modena region of Italy.

Bonita Flakes Dried fish shavings used to make the broth base for miso soup. I feed this to my cats, too. They love it. Buy in bulk at an asian grocer, not at a pet store where the mark-up is crazy.

Chili Sauce A fiery Thai-style condiment made from red chilis, sugar and garlic. One of the more famous ones goes by the brand name of Sriracha. Now made in the U.S., this sauce can be found in the International Aisle of most supermarkets.

Fennel Bulb The broad bulbous base to the celery-like vegetable. Fennel has a crisp texture and a licorice-type flavor. Try it with the Tuscan Tuna or the Salmon Baked with Fennel.

Mixed Field Greens Also labeled as Organic Salad Mix, these greens can included any and all of the following: arugula, radicchio, red romaine lettuce, baby spinach, green romaine lettuce, red oak leaf lettuce, mizuna, lollo rossa lettuce, red leaf lettuce, red mustard, green mustard, red chard, belgian endive, frisee, tat-soi, perella, russian kale, tango, green chard and/or dandelion. Most are pre-washed. If you trust your grocery, the greens should be okay to eat right out of the package. I use these greens for many things, especially in my Vietnamese favorite, Bibim Bap.

Orzo rice-shaped pasta. Cooks in minutes. Works wonderfully as a substitute for rice. For first-timers, try a quick and easy Orzo Pasta Salad.

Shiitake Mushrooms (pronounce sha-tah-kay) Very versatile, the shiitake mushroom has a meaty texture and often a steak-like bite. Look for fresh, plump ones with dark-brown heads and tan dots, and edges that are curled under.

Tilapia A great mild-tasting, low-fat white fish suitable for baking, frying, steaming and grilling. For an excellent low-fat dinner, check out the recipe for Lime Baked Tilapia using Rice Krispies.