Skinny Pork Chops

Thick-cut pork chops are readily available, but typically end up tough and dry if they haven't been extensively brined or cured. Thin ones, however, can be cooked quickly on the stovetop and produce a juicy, flavorful dish, particularly if you add a fruit glaze. Bonus for Triangle women: Pork is lower in fat and calories than many other cuts of meat.





Kick It Up a Notch

Roasted garlic is a simple way to bring extra flavor to soups and stews. For example, blending a head of roasted garlic into potato soup can bring an otherwise bland bowl to life. In addition, the cloves can add a bang to toast, vinaigrettes, hummus, marinades and more.




Delish From Slaw to Soup

Cabbage is a low-calorie, high-nutrition veggie with super versatility, and it's often available at Triangle farmers' markets. Here's how to best use four types of the good-for-you multitasker. Green cabbage is sturdy, which makes it perfect for sauerkraut, slaw, salad and stir fry. Red cabbage provides the same range along with added color. Napa cabbage is tender and takes well to caramelizing. Savoy cabbage has an elastic texture that's ideal for cabbage rolls and soup.



Polenta, Please!

Polenta makes a filling, flexible and gluten-free base for
a wide range of proteins and other toppings. In addition to using the cornmeal dish as a base, home chefs are also frying cooled and cut polenta to form crispy fries and croutons. Look out for polenta croutons on Caesar salads from Raleigh to Durham.




Soy Sauce Goes Beyond the Wok

Soy sauce has lots of uses in addition to Asian cuisine. Salty and savory, soy sauce can amp up the flavor of many meat and fish dishes and give depth to vegetarian fare. The liquid condiment, made from fermented soybeans, wheat, water and salt (less if you opt for the lower-sodium kind), is packed with umami, which also makes it a natural ingredient in lots of marinades, gravies and sauces.