Since we’re all trying to stay home and avoid random trips to the store, it can be tough to cook when you don’t have all of the ingredients your favorite recipes call for. The good news is, there are often many ways to swap things out, and you may find alternatives that you like better than the original!
Start off with this list of ideas to keep you cookin’. Keep in mind, all of these swaps can go the other direction too!
|If your recipe calls for…||You can use…||Things to note|
|sour cream||plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt)|
|cream||1 c. milk + 2-3 Tbsp melted butter|
|egg (in baking)||1 Tbsp chia or flax seeds soaked in 3 Tbsp water (1 egg equivalent)
1/2 mashed banana
|These alternatives will replace the binding properties of an egg in baking, but not necessarily the flavor of an egg.|
|baking powder||1 part baking soda + 2 parts cream of tartar||This is actually the recipe for baking powder – you can make it at home anytime!|
|cream of tartar||1 part white vinegar + 1 part lemon juice|
|cream cheese||cottage cheese, pureed until smooth|
|bacon||bacon bits, Canadian bacon, ham||to replicate the flavor of bacon only, use liquid smoke|
|bread crumbs||crackers, oats, or stale bread (blend to crumb in food processor), crushed bran cereal||for seasoned bread crumbs, add salt and herbs like parsley, oregano, and rosemary|
|rice||pasta, couscous, bulgur, quinoa, barley, potato flakes|
|syrup for sweetness/flavor||applesauce|
|wine||broth||add some vinegar for tartness/flavor if desired|
|raisins||dried cranberries, blueberries, or cherries, chopped dried apples, chocolate chips|
|vinegar||white wine, lemon or lime juice, sauerkraut juice (yes, really!)|
|mayonnaise||plain yogurt, sour cream|
|butter||shortening, margarine, oil||Most oils will not work well to substitute for butter in pastry baking, because it requires the fat to be solid. Coconut oil will sometimes work.|
|brown sugar||1 c white sugar + 1 Tbsp molasses||This is the recipe for brown sugar – you can make it at home anytime!|
|buttermilk||plain yogurt or 1 c. milk + 1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar|
|dark corn syrup||molasses, maple syrup, light corn syrup + brown sugar|
|light corn syrup||honey|
|tomato sauce||1 part tomato sauce + 1 part water|
|beer||apple cider vinegar, beef broth|
|fresh herbs||1/3 recommended amount of dried herbs|
|hot sauce||3 parts cayenne pepper + 1 part vinegar, diced jalapeños|
|salt||crushed boullion cube, soy sauce, parmesan|
|flour (for thickening soups or sauces)||1/4 c. cornstarch + 2 Tbsp cold water, potato flakes|
|pesto||sauteed spinach or kale + garlic + olive oil + salt||Add pine nuts and some parmesan cheese if you have them!|
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This delicious dish is a copycat of a breakfast from a favorite restaurant of ours – the Ironwork Grill at McMenamin’s Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, Oregon. The original is made with a dill sauce but I always swap it for this dijon aioli, and I’ve never been disappointed!
The salmon, veggies, and potatoes make this a complete, protein- and potassium-laden anti-inflammatory power meal. Plus, it is so, so tasty and very easy to make!
Need some help with an anti-inflammatory diet? Here are my top tips and my two favorite recipe websites from my experiences:
1. Look for Asian, Indian, and Mexican recipes made with lean meats. They will usually contain plenty of anti-inflammatory spices and avoiding fatty meats means avoiding inflammatory saturated fat.
2. Can you put veggies in that? Sure you can! It helped me to have a container of cut-up veggies in the fridge or freezer all the time to put in pretty much whatever I was making to make my fruit + veggie quota for the day.
3. Snack on fruit. Fruit makes a great stand-alone snack and adds a nice dose of anti-inflammatory antioxidants throughout the day.
4. Evaluate each meal for the possibility of an anti-inflammatory “add-in.” By that I mean something you can put in it or on it to boost its anti-inflammatory properties (like cinnamon, turmeric, chia seeds, flax seeds, or walnuts). Most dishes will do nicely with at least one of these guys, and often more than one. Sneaking little bits into each meal and snack will increase the overall anti-inflammatory power of your diet. Read this post for more tips on add-ins.
5. Find at least one fish you like, and eat it a few times a week. Fish is an excellent anti-inflammatory protein that is also low in saturated fat. Experiment – maybe you prefer whitefish like cod or tilapia, or maybe you prefer pink fish like salmon. Tuna? Mackerel?
6. Cook with an oil that has a high omega-3 content and tolerates high heat well. Canola oil is my favorite! FYI – olive oil contains a much high ratio of pro-inflammatory omega-6s to anti-inflammatory omega-3s (1:11) than canola oil (1:2), plus it is not stable at high heats. Save olive oil for low-temp sauteing and salad dressings.
7. Recognize when you tend to crave sweets and have a plan to avoid excessive sugar intake. Find anti-inflammatory alternatives, like an enjoyable exercise, social activity, or tasty fruit-based snack.
8. Seriously and honestly assess your stress relief practices. Stress relief is more than just functioning in spite of stress, it’s making an intentional effort to work through and eliminate mental and emotional stressors. Stress can wreak havoc on your body through many ways besides inflammation!
Looking for Anti-Inflammatory Recipes? Check out these websites for great information and inspiration.
Did you find these helpful? What tips do you have for living on an anti-inflammatory diet?
Crock Pot Honey Mustard Spare Ribs
This was by far the best paleo meal I ate in all of my three weeks on Paleo. Get the recipe here. I added cubed yams to the crock pot too, which was an excellent decision. I would (and will!) eat these any day of the week!
Fudgy Paleo Ice Cream
I adapted this one from a Vanilla Bean Paleo Ice Cream recipe I found here. And then I ate it. Lots of it. For days. This ice cream was so good!
2 cans full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup raw honey
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Freeze bowl of ice cream maker for up to 12 hours.
- Whisk together all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Turn on burner to medium-low heat.
- Whisk occasionally until mixture lightly simmers. Do not allow to boil.
- Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Refrigerate for about 2 hours until cool.
- Once cool, process according to ice cream maker instructions.
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