- Bittersweet – Cocoa; 100% cocoa chocolate bar; 70% cocoa chocolate bar, decreasing the amount of sugar called for.
- Semisweet – Cocoa; 70% cocoa chocolate bar, 100% cocoa chocolate bar, slightly increasing the amount of sugar called for.
See ‘WHEAT,’ below.
BREAD CRUMBSâ€“ Instead of buying them, save the crumbs in the bottom of bread bags or cereal with little or no sugar (corn flakes, puffed rice, shredded wheat, grape nuts) & make your own. Used as is or, toÂ pulverize, spin quickly in a blender or coffee grinder. Or place in a grip lock bag and run over with a few swipes of a rolling pin. Store in grip lock bag in the freezer until ready to use. Rolled oats put through the blender or coffee mill briefly can also be substituted. In certain savory dishes (meat loaf, meatballs) beans â€“ soaked, cooked & mashed â€“ can be substituted for bread crumbs. Use the same amount, or less, of the beans as is called for of bread crumbs.
- Butter or Oil pan before adding foods â€“ This is done so that food wonâ€™t stick to the pan. Also slows scorching.No substitution.Â You can use cooking spray, but only if you don’t want the butter flavor.I don’t recommend cooking with margarine.
- Clarified Butter â€“ Ghee (available in Indian markets). Why make it when you can buy it? Indeed, unless you want to.Â If preparation calls for high heat, you can substitute oil (corn or olive), but it will not have the buttery flavor that only comes with butter.
- Unsalted butter – Use regular (sweet) butter and decrease or omit the amount of salt called for.
CILANTRO - Grown from coriander, the leaves are also called Chinese parsley.Â Used in many types of dishes: soups, salads, salsa & tacos, it has a distinctive flavor & scent that can’t be duplicated.Â Dried coriander is not a substitute for cilantro.Â Curly parsley can be used as a substitute, but the dish will lack the cilantro flavor.
CREAM â€“ There is no good substitute for the flavor & richness of heavy cream — especially in baked goods and sauces.Â You can use milk, but expect the taste to change, as well as the consistency.Â For light cream, mix filtered water (1:1) w/heavy cream.Â If you’re concerned that it is too rich, decrease the amount of heavy cream by half.
CREAM CHEESE – Greek yogurt.Â Plain yogurt (low-fat rather than no-fat) drained (see below) at least an hour; add a little kosher or sea salt.
GREEK YOGURT â€“ Thicken plain yogurt by draining in a Melita coffee filter for Â½ – 1 hr. Discard drained liquid.Â The longer it drains, the firmer the texture & richer the taste.Â Low-fat plain yogurt is slightly richer than no-fat.
MARINATING TIME â€“ There is no substitute. Marinating flavors foods (especially meat) & teaches planning ahead. If something needs marinating, simply begin a day ahead of time or The discipline of a little foresight will be richly rewarded.Â This is not to say that you cannot proceed without marinating; the flavor will just not be as deep. Fish needs less time to marinade, & will actually â€˜cookâ€™ in citrus ingredients like lemon or lime juice. You can speed up the marinating process (usually also preserving the food if the marinade contains wine, liquor or vinegar) up by marinating the food at room temperature rather than in the refrigerator.
MSG - Never use msg in anything you eat.
PREHEATING â€“ There is no substitute for the important step of heating an oven or pan to the correct temperature before cooking. Some things are more temperature-sensitive than others (cake & bread baking temperatures are more important than roasts & stews), but preheating an oven is important to insure that the dish cooks within the prescribed time. Get an oven thermometer to check that your oven is calibrated correctly to be sure that the set temperature is the actual temperature. Bringing pans up to temperature is also important, as is boiling water before adding foods such as vegetables, pasta & thickening agents.
SESAME SEEDS â€“ While substituting black sesame seeds for white may not really matter in dishes like sushi, for example, it may matter in others. For example, use white sesame seeds in granola. If you use black sesame seeds the taste will be fine, but as soon as you pour milk on the granola and those little black seeds float to the surface it becomes visually unattractive.Â Poppy seeds can sometimes be used as a substitute for black sesame seeds.
SOFT MARGARINE – Take butter out of the refrigerator 15 min before using.Â I don’t recommend eating soft margarine.
- Brown – Sucanat
- Corn syrup -Â Honey, molasses, maple syrup; agave nectar if organic from wild (not blue) agave.Â (Never eat corn syrup.)
- Granulated - Sucanat; honey, maple syrup – may have to increase dry ingredients in baked goods.
- Powdered - Spin sucanat in a coffee grinder to finely pulverize.
- Sucanat – Brown or granulated sugar.
TEFLON (on pots, pans & skillets) – Use butter or oil to prevent sticking.Â I don’t recommend cooking on Teflon surfaces.
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Regular / brown in color – No substitute, really, but a red wine vinaigrette may come close, depending upon the preparation.
- White Balsamic Vinegar – No substitute, really. Used in dips where you want to preserve a white or light color.
- Red - Red wine.
- White or Apple Cider Vinegar – Lemon juice or white wine (except when using white vinegar for cleaning!)
- Red â€“ White wine, more often than not.Â balsamic vinegar in some preparations.
- White – There is no across-the-board substitute for white wine.Â Lemon juice will substitute on fish; lemon juice, lime juice or white balsamic vinegar in other preparations.Â Use sparingly & taste after adding a little at a time.Â No substitute for use in poultry gravy.
WHITE PEPPERâ€“ Ground black pepper is a great add-in to many savory dishes. However, when seasoning light-colored sauces like hollandaise, cheese or white sauces, black flecks are not appetizing so I would omit the pepper if you haven’t any white pepper on hand.
- Bran - Oat bran if in a cooked preparation; ground flax seed if it’s not going to be be cooked.
- Bread crumbs – Crumbled toast, crumbs of unsweetened corn (corn flakes) & rice cereals (puffed rice, Rice Chex), pulverized rolled oats, corn meal. (See BREAD CRUMBS, above.)
- Germ – Pulverized grape nuts