Cooking in this restricted time has made us all change our ways. From not being able to just pop out to the supermarket on a whim, to not being able to find the ingredients we need or a favourite brand that we always use, this time brings some challenges. Along of course with not being able to opt for eating out when feeling lazy.
People have done more cooking at home – but at a time when it is often difficult to get the exact thing that you want. So here are some tips and ideas on how to manage when you can’t get just what you want.
Herbs And Spices
Herbs and spices are really important to cooking. They are often what gives your food the delicious flavours you love. And most recipes have some addition of a particular herb or spice. Time was if you wanted to do a recipe and you didn’t have the exact herb or spice – you would pop out and get it.
Due to lockdown you can’t just go any time right now. But instead of ignoring the recipe – substitute instead – and get creative
- Any herb can be substituted with Mixed Herbs – or any of the main herbs – thyme, oregano, rosemary etc. They all taste a bit different but using a herb that is not the specified one won’t spoil the meal. You are not competing in Masterchef!
- Use chiilies, chilli powder, chilli flakes, chilli sauce, cayenne pepper all interchangeably. Just go steady and taste as you go – you can always add more at the end
- Use a curry powder if you do not have individual spices such as cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric etc. Or a curry paste.
Pulses, beans, Lentils
Most beans and pulses are interchangeable in recipes. They are all different but have a similar consistency.
If a recipe asks for chickpeas, use any other pulse such as cannellini, haricot, butter beans if you want a similar colour
Mince Beef Substitutes
Can’t get mince beef?
- Any mince recipe can be extended or substituted with a tin of green lentils – or other pulse
- Try quorn or soya mince from the freezer cabinet
- Try adding oats to make mince go further
Rice And Pasta
Both rice and pasta have been in short supply. It might be a good time to try our some of the more unusual grains. Or this a good time to try Cauliflower rice – just blitz in a mixer and then steam or a cauliflower pizza base
- Bulgar wheat
If a savoury recipe asks for some lemon juice, you can miss it out – or use a splash of white wine vinegar or even balsamic vinegar. Not having some doesn’t negate the whole recipe
What substitutes have you used?