Mastering Recipes With ‘Too Many’ Ingredients
I always cringe a little bit when I read user comments on recipe sites, and I find that the odd user is complaining that a recipe has ‘too many’ ingredients. There are so many delicious recipes out there, and though they make a little more time and an extra trip the grocery store, sometimes too many ingredients in a dish can be just the right amount.
This post is meant for all those people who would love to be aficionados in the kitchen but are a little shy about making that odd leap into the bewildering 5+ ingredient zone. Of course, since this blog is all about healthy weight loss, this post will focus on healthy ways to amp up your fine cooking skills.
How To Get Started Cooking
The main problem with having too many ingredients on your list is that you can feel overwhelmed. What if it’s too much? Too little? What if the recipe doesn’t say exactly how much spice to add? Will it be a disaster?
The first step is to assume you can always add, but not subtract. Add a base amount of the spice into your cooking – say, one pinch - and slowly adjust from there, in the proportions you assume the recipe should have. Mix and taste, and pour things onto a spoon before adding it to your dish to prevent accidents. Blow on the tasting spoon to cool it down to near body temperature so you can really taste the dish very well. Lastly, aim for a pleasant but not overpowering fragrance wafting from the dish. You nose is always an excellent guide, as the art of being a gourmand isn’t in your taste buds, but in your sense of smell.
The Art of Substitution
Just because you don’t have all the ingredients doesn’t mean you can’t practice a little artful substitution. Lean meat can always be exchanged for another, such as turkey for chicken. For a full list of ingredient substitutions, I’ve added a link to the bottom of this post. Amazingly, you can even make your own sour cream substitute out of cream and lemon juice. With this knowledge at your disposal, you’ll go from pantry prisoner to supermarket superhero in no time.
Some of you busy bees are groaning out there, wondering why they should take the time to cook. It’s hard, I know. I’ve been a working parent too and it’s not easy, especially when you’re tired, to whip up something great three times a day. Well, I’m not saying you need to be supercharged and perfect, which doesn’t work for anyone by the way, but taking time to cook and eat with your family has always been one of the greatest treasures of everyday life. Think of it as the last refuge of the happy home. When you cook, you know what goes in your food, not this MSG-laden, fat-soaked nonsense the kids get outside. You feel better, eat better, you practice a little family time, and that’s great. If you can manage to do this once a day I give you my wholehearted applause. If you can do it more, you have my full admiration. So keep it up and have fun!
What do you like to cook? Any favorites? Let me know by commenting please. As promised, here are the ingredient substitutions:
My passion is to help you live your healthiest and most harmonious life, but in a way that’s realistic and practical for you as a unique individual on this planet. My philosophy is all about “balance,” never a diet since a diet is not sustainable for life, aka Kill The Diet.