Meal planning is my JAM! I love to pick out recipes that have gorgeous photos and nutritious ingredients, but often I am unable to consume every single ingredient listed. Sometimes I can’t even eat FIVE of the ingredients, but that doesn’t stop me from modifying recipes and cooking up my own version of deliciousness! It shouldn’t stop you either!
Modifying recipes helped me to make friends with my taste buds and gain a larger understanding of what flavors I enjoy most. We all live in a different body with different life experiences. Aroma and flavor often take us back to nostalgic memories, or sometimes moments we would like to forget.
Cinnamon is one of those flavors and smells for me. When I was a kid there was a person in my life who didn’t bring me joy and their home smelled of cinnamon plug-ins and candles. Now, don’t get me wrong there isn’t a damn thing wrong if you enjoy cinnamon (to each their own), but because of those times I simply can’t be around the sent and it would be even worse if it was in my food. So I opt out of cinnamon each and every time. I substitute with a tiny bit nutmeg if I absolutely think I have to, but I almost always skip it all together, and this has never “ruined” a recipe for me.
When I find myself reading ingredients and saying “Well shoot! I can’t eat that… nope, that will make me sick… and ew I don’t like that” Yet, the photograph and all the other ingredients still sound MARVELOUS! What do I do?? … I REVAMP IT!
Create every dish so that is suitable for you; your body, your taste, and your dietary needs. Make it your own, honey!
Okay, but HOW?
Know your dietary restrictions
For example, I am unable to consume garlic, but that doesn’t mean I am going to give up the flavor of garlic! If my recipe calls for olive oil and garlic cloves, I cook up a 1/4 cup of garlic oil to use instead. I have celiac disease so I am unable to consume wheat. If my recipe calls for wheat flour sometimes I can get away with corn starch (to thicken) other times I will use a gluten free flour mixture. I also shouldn’t consume most onions, but green onions are safe as long as I don’t eat the white parts I am good. So when a recipe calls for onions of any kind, I use green onions instead. Yes, the flavors are different with type each onion, but this is my option for my body and what works for me.
Know your GOALS
Looking for healthy alternatives to your already favorite recipes?
Swap butter for avocado puree!
Swap pasta for ZOODLES
Swap mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower
Swap white rice for cauliflower rice
Know what is in your kitchen
Reading over a recipe but your kitchen is lacking an ingredient or two? Check for substitutes.
Don’t have ground coriander? Finely chop up some cilantro instead.
Out of red pepper flakes? Toss in a few dashes of hot sauce or cayenne pepper.
Out of olive oil and butter? Try coconut oil! Seriously, I use it for just about everything.
Know what brings your mouth delight
In our home, we cook up a ton of Asian dishes, many times those recipes call for some kind of sweetener (honey, brown sugar, sweet chili), but guess what… I skip it every single time. Why? Well, I prefer savory and spicy flavors. I have never had much f a sweet tooth. So just a little bit of something sweet can even be too much for me.
Know what benefits your body
We are in the process of reducing the amount of carbs we eat. Why? My body feels way better when we eat less of them, I have more energy, and my digestive system actually works the way it should. So when a recipe calls for rice noodles, we use kelp noodles instead. Kelp noodles are rich in calcium, iron and vitamin K, all with very low calories too. Just a half cup has only around 34 calories, Wooo!
Revamping and modifying recipes is actually my favorite part of cooking, it’s a creative outlet for me. I can take something that I already know sounds delicious, make it my own, and display it in an artistic way. Of course, the best part is getting to devour it and share it with those I love.
FOR 20 SIMPLE SUBSTITUTIONS FOR COMMON FOOD ALLERGIES CHECK OUT VERY WELL.
FOR 83 HEALTHY RECIPE SUBSTITUTES CHECK OUT THE GREATIST.