1Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until ingredients are completely incorporated. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer until flavors have melded and sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 to 40 minutes.
2Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Most granola is a fancy twist on toasted oats—consider that when contemplating the exorbitant prices retailers charge for it. The thing is, granola is incredibly easy to make at home, and for a fraction of the cost. This recipe is a granola base to which you can add whatever dried fruit, nuts, or other tasty bits make you happy. Feel free to tweak this with other spices, a little less honey, more salt—it’s quite forgiving, and customizing your own blend is the fun of making your own. If you want to experiment even further, try using other rolled grains such as spelt or barley and wheat instead of oats.
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.
Basic Napa Cabbage Kimchi
A traditional banchan (Korean side dishes presented as part of a meal), Kimchi is a rich combination of fermented vegetables that can be used as a complement to a variety of recipes.
How to Cook Basic Beans with Steve Sando
Steve Sando, bean impresario behind Rancho Gordo, outlines the steps from beans in a bag to glorious pot o’ beans. Dried beans may not be fresh, per se, but the ones you're using shouldn’t be more than two years old. Soak them first, and then use the soaking water to cook them. A quick, hard boil followed by a long, slow simmer will get them cooked up right. (Click here for Steve's bean-cooking recipe.)