OUT: Premade pie crusts. O.K., these are a real convenience, but almost all use inferior fats. I’d rather make a “pie” or quiche with no crust than use these.
IN: Crumble graham crackers with melted butter and press into a pan. But really — if you put a pinch of salt, a cup of flour, a stick of very cold, cut-up butter in a food processor, then blend with a touch of water until it almost comes together — you have a dough you can refrigerate or freeze and roll out whenever you want, in five minutes.
CANNED COCONUT MILK Try this: cook some onions in oil with curry powder; stir in coconut milk; poach chicken, fish, tofu, or even meat in that. Serve over rice.
MISO PASTE Never goes bad, as far as I can tell, and its flavor is incomparable. Whisk into boiling water for real soup in three minutes; thin a bit (with sake if you have it), and smear on meat or fish that’s almost done broiling; add a spoonful to vinaigrette. Etc.