Busy mom and Healthy Habits Coach Allison Fishman shares the ingredients that can turn dinner from dud to dazzling.
Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor

  • Fresh Garlic Few things are better than aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil). Most people keep dried pasta on hand, so this dish is easy to pull together. Grate fresh garlic into oil, toss it with warm, cooked pasta, and you have a delicious meal.
  • Diced, Unsalted Tomatoes These can make any dish more interesting. Add some to beans or lentils, and you have a meal. Throw them into a stew, a braise, pasta.
  • Eggs It doesn't matter the time of day, eggs make a meal. Have a hard-boiled one as a snack, or chop a few up into an egg salad. Add a fried egg over rice, pasta, beans, or grains. They're a good stir-in that adds richness and protein to soups.
  • Fresh Herbs Start your own herb garden on the windowsill—basil, parsley, and chives are three good basics. Or keep hardier herbs, like rosemary, in the fridge. You can really brighten up canned soup or leftovers with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.