News Treehugger Voices The 5 Ingredients I've Been Loving Lately By Katherine Martinko Senior Writer University of Toronto Katherine Martinko is a writer and expert in sustainable living. She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Katherine Martinko Published February 15, 2018 Updated October 11, 2018 08:56AM EDT Public Domain. MaxPixel Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices My taste preferences change by the month, but right now these are the foods I can't get enough of. As I suspect every home cook does, I go through phases of using particular ingredients over and over again. Right now, there are a few that keep showing up on my weekly grocery list. These are the flavors and textures I can't seem to get enough of these days. Some are ordinary ingredients I've had on hand for years, but have recently rediscovered; others are new, the result of culinary experimentation or recommendations from friends. Which of these do you know and love? 1. Tahini Marco Verch/CC BY 2.0After hearing CBC radio host Gill Deacon call tahini her 'desert island food' -- meaning it's one of those ingredients she can't live without -- I realized it was time to dust off the jar in the back of my pantry. I keep it on hand for making hummus and baba ghanouj, but beyond that, it doesn't see much use. Well, now that's changed. I made tahini-swirl brownies from the recent Bon Appétit issue, and divine garlic tahini sauce for drizzling over grilled veggies, cumin-scented rice, and Greek salad.I think this is just the beginning of a new obsession. After googling ways to use tahini, I've come up with a bunch of ideas to try next: tahini-roasted vegetables, tahini and honey on toast, tahini protein shake. How do you use tahini? 2. Farro onetallchef -- I wish my farro salads looked like this, but they don't./CC BY 2.0 Believe it or not, I'd never bought farro because I thought it was pretty much the same as wheat berries (of which I seem to have an endless supply and do not love). My sister, who visited after Christmas, insisted I buy it, and am I ever happy I did! It's a delicious grain, with the perfect ratio of softness to chewiness. Now I've started cooking a pot on Sundays and eating it throughout the week -- for breakfast with a fried egg, sautéed greens, and kimchi on top, and for lunch with salad veggies, seeds, nuts, and dressing added to it. 3. Chipotles in adobo sauce Sous Chef/via One very frustrating thing about living in a small Ontario town is that it's nearly impossible to buy hot fresh peppers, unless they're jalapeños or, if I'm lucky, a rare batch of Thai bird's eye chilis -- in an enormous quantity, of course. All those fancy peppers that I read about in food magazines, like habaneros and serranos and guajillos, are impossible to find. So, I make do with a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which I find in the Mexican food aisle. The best tip for using these peppers I learned from a Bonnie Stern cookbook years ago. Dump the entire contents of the can into a blender, puree, and put in a jar in the fridge. The puree is much easier to use than the whole peppers in sauce, which means I reach for the jar nearly every day. Lately, I've been wanting that smoky heat in everything I make -- bean chilis, stews, lentil soups, burrito filling, scrambled eggs. It's addictive stuff. It cheers me up, adding a bit of spice to these gray mid-winter days. 4. Wonton wrappers Naotake Murayama/CC BY 2.0 I don't leave the grocery store without a package of wonton wrappers because you never know when they'll come in handy. Most commonly I use them for pot stickers, which are Chinese dumplings cooked in a sauté pan. You fill the wrapper with a seasoned filling (I often use soy ground round or crumbled tofu, grated carrots, chopped cooked spinach, minced green onions, and Sriracha), cook the bottoms till they're golden brown, then pour a curried tomato sauce over top to braise them. I also like using wontons for samosas, filled with potato curry. A friend told me he uses them for homemade ravioli, filled with a seasoned ricotta mixture. 5. Asian pears kizzzbeth/CC BY 2.0 My grocery store may not stock fancy hot peppers, but it has a never-ending supply of Asian pears. After years of walking past the Asian pears to the Bosc pears, my frugal antennae suddenly noticed that the Asian ones are quite a bit cheaper. Of course I wanted to save money, so I stocked up and discovered a wonderful new fruit. Asian pears are like something between an apple and a pear, with a faint watermelon taste. They're firmer than a regular pear, almost crispy, yet very juicy. They've been in our fruit bowl for the past month and my kids are loving them. What are your go-to ingredients this month?