Monday, April 9, 2012


Why do we substitute?
Cooks in the kitchen substitute ingredients all the time and for a myriad of reasons.  Sometimes, an ingredient’s flavor is not liked by the cook or people eating the dish and so the cook has to find a similar item with a different flavor index.  Like carrots for sweet potatoes, for instance.  Sometimes, there are allergies, and sometimes, the item needed is not on hand and the cook is then left to figure out what they have have in their pantry or fridge that can stand in for the missing ingredient.  Other times, the cook is short on time and needs a quicker version of the ingredient called for and reaches for the canned or powdered versions of the ingredient in need.  Please don’t be scared to substitute.  
How the subs work?
In most all of the recipes, we have tried to make things as easy as possible.  To keep you from skipping over a recipe because you don’t have a specific ingredient on hand, provided for you right there on the recipe is a suggestion for a substitution.  These substitutions are not the end-all-be-all either -- if you are comfortable, please feel free to substitute as you see fit.  Part of the beauty of cooking is tailoring meals to your own personal tastes.

This list below lays out some easy substitutions if you are just trying to eat healthier. Sometimes, simple substitutions can help start you on the right track!

Basic list of healthy subs:

Ricotta  -------------------------------------
Alfredo sauce  ----------------------------
Oil in baking  ------------------------------
White bread/pasta/tortillas  ---------
White rice  ---------------------------------
Ketchup/BBQ sauce  --------------------
Mayo  ---------------------------------------
Chips and cream dip  -------------------
“Cream of” canned soup  -------------
Ice cream  ---------------------------------
Pop corn  -----------------------------------
Pizza  ----------------------------------------
Sour cream  -------------------------------
Super-processed cereal  ---------------
Scrambled Eggs  --------------------------
Red meat (beef)  -------------------------
Cream based soups  --------------------
Sauté in oil  --------------------------------
Soy sauce ----------------------------------
Soda pop  ----------------------------------
Sugar-added juices  ---------------------
Syrup ---------------------------------------
Cottage Cheese or Tofu
Red sauce
Unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas, or avocados
Whole grain versions
Brown rice or quinoa
High fructose corn syrup free versions
Olive Oil version or Greek yogurt
Pretzels & mustard and/or Veggies sticks & hummus
Make your own
Frozen yogurt or Sorbet
Make your own in a paper bag
Make your own with less cheese and lots of veggies
Low-fat yogurt
Oatmeal, homemade granola, whole-grain cereals
Half (at least) egg whites
White meat (turkey, chicken, fish)
Broth based or pureed soups
Sauté with broth or wine
Low sodium soy sauce
Water,  iced teas, or seltzer with fruit slices
Fruit only juice as a treat
Pureed fruit

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