Have you ever been seized by culinary inspiration and dashed to the fridge or pantry, only to discover that you lack a key ingredient for your intended dish? Frustrating, isn’t it? For those of us who love to cook, it usually means we’ll just make something else – but if you don’t, it can be tempting to heat up a can of soup or order take away food.
Next time you find yourself in this situation, don’t reach for the pizza menu. Many ingredients used in everyday meals (think meat and vegetables, pasta, stir fries etc) can be readily substituted without spoiling the result. Add a few of the substitutes shown in the table below to your kitchen repertoire, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself creating your own!
I’m not suggesting you launch headlong into recipe hacking – your favourite chocolate cake recipe will not be as amenable to changes as say, a bolognaise sauce. When it comes to substituting ingredients, some recipes – like cakes – can be tricky as they often depend on precise quantities and the chemical effect created by a combination of specific ingredients. If you’ve ever mistakenly added plain (all-purpose) flour to a cake instead of self-raising flour, you’ll know what I mean!
Do you have a clever cooking substitute? Share it with us in the comments below!