Garlic, onions, canned chicken stock, lemons, salt: These are all very useful ingredients that show up frequently in cooking because they're relatively cheap, easy and effective ways to build flavor quickly. But try swearing off one, just temporarily, and see what new foods you discover. Maybe you'll give up garlic and fall in love with shallots or Chinese chives. Or perhaps you'll find out that orange juice works better in your go-to salad dressing than lemon does. The Food Substitutions Bible
has more than 6,500 suggestions to get you started.