4 Foods that Do Double—and Triple—Duty in the Kitchen

Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani

Just as you can wear cross-trainers for running, tennis or working out on the elliptical, these four ingredients are functional and versatile, going from breakfast to dinner and everything in between.

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Michelle M. Warner, class coordinator at The Brooklyn Kitchen, a recreational cooking school in New York, stirs a teaspoon of honey into tons of savory dishes, from chili to enchiladas--she says its warm sweetness is the perfect finishing touch. Honey has plenty of other uses, too, from balancing out the saltiness in terikyaki sauce to jazzing up your breakfast cereal.

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Parmesan Cheese
Keep a hunk around to grate over pasta, enhance a basic pasta sauce (mix the cheese with the pasta cooking water), shave over salads, shred over eggs and melt for grilled cheese sandwiches.

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You may not be so into the idea of chopping up a yellow onion and putting it, raw, into a vinaigrette for salad, but shallots have a much milder flavor and--particularly if you marinate them in vinegar first--add a zingy flavor to dressing. They're excellent cooked, too, adding a rounded, refined edge to mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs, and oomph to sauteed greens.

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Plain, Greek-Style Yogurt
Eat it straight for breakfast or a snack; or stir it into soups and stews, cooling dips that will accompany spicy meat or fish dishes and salad dressings that go on winter greens like endive. You can substitute it almost anywhere you'd use sour cream.

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