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Perk Up Mundane Meals With Gourmet Ingredients

Need a little adventure in your dining experience? Gourmet cooking is a great way to spice up your life, and including exotic foods like Quinoa or Kudzu in your recipes may be just the thing your diet needs. All it takes is a little imagination and a willingness to try some new flavors in your favorite meals.

5 Unusual Gourmet Ingredients To Perk Up Mundane Meals

Are mundane meals dragging down your interest in mealtime? Gourmet cooking creates many opportunities to spice up your meals and your life at the same time. It doesnít have to be expensive, either. Introducing new tastes with a few new wild ingredients are just the thing to spice up the relationship between you and your food, if youíre willing to challenge your taste buds with gourmet ingredients like these.


Tahini is usually reserved for Indian dishes, but it goes great in dishes where a spicy peanut flavor is required. For example, combine tahini together with a little apple cider vinegar and oil for a sensational Asian salad dressing. A glass jar of tahini will last for months, and costs around ten dollars. Only a little is required in each meal, and you can store it in the fridge to extend that freshness and longevity.

You would only require about a tablespoon for a large bowl of hummus, for instance. This is a pungent spice that equates to an expense of just a dollar or two a month at those quantities.


You see it in droves along Southern highways, but this green vine is a native Chinese legume that has several uses as a gourmet ingredient. Kudzu root can be powdered and used in soups and stews as a thickening agent, or as a non-stick coating for fried foods. The vineís greens can be boiled like turnip greens or collards and used in salads as a garnish for an exciting new taste. Kudzu flowers can even be deep fried, or used to make jelly.


Quinoa is a small, round, nutritious seed that is often mistaken for a grain. This complete protein food contains all the essential amino acids, and itís also a terrific source of fiber. This gourmet ingredient has a history in gourmet foods as a rare treat, sometimes a gluten-free substitute for pasta or rice. You can even germinate quinoa and use it like sprouts on salads or sandwiches. Quinoa comes in several varieties and has a mild nutty flavor thatís popular with gourmet chefs, who use it in casseroles, soups, cold salads, and side dishes.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit is similar to kiwi in texture and taste, as is also known as pitaya or pitahaya in certain parts of the world. This tasty fruit is often used as a gourmet garnish for presentations in food competitions, and itís loaded with vitamin C and healthy enzymes, making a great addition to fruit salads and cocktails. It can even be mashed for use as a meat tenderizer. You canít eat the skin, but this is the part of dragon fruit that makes gourmet dishes look as pretty as they are appetizing.


Anchovies have a bad rap with many people, since this exotic fish is most often thought of as a salty topping for pizza. In reality, this little aquatic miracle has much more to offer than that. True, anchovies have a salty component to their unique flavor, much like soy sauce. However, combine its lively, smoky aftertaste with the right foods, and anchovies can turn good meals into gourmet meals. Anchovies have a wonderful piquant burst of flavor that bring out the best in many restaurant dishes for discriminating diners who are willing to try it.

First, define the level of gourmet ingredients that suit the individual taste buds of you and your guests. Then, pick some creative ingredients youíve yet to try and experiment with recipes that call for them. Lose your preconceptions about the origins of these exotic additions to mundane meals and use their flavor profiles to your advantage. Youíll be surprised at how easy it is to create your own gourmet dining experiences for friends and family.

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