We'll call these foundational dishes. Get them under your belt, and it's just the beginning—you'll be able to branch out in myriad ways. Pancakes! Hummus! Better guac! Learn to make it all without even glancing at a recipe. Then go from there.
More: Now that you have pesto, here's how you can get creative with it.
More: Whip up some homemade salsa for those nachos.
More: Switch it up with lentil soup.
More: Make vegetarian or vegan chili when you need a little something extra.
This article originally appeared on May 18th, 2015.