Missing one or two ingredients in a recipe? In usual times we would make a quick trip to the supermarket and not think twice about it. In the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, we make ingredient swaps instead.
We’ve put together suggestions for ingredient swaps that you can use on our (or any other) recipes. Who knows, you might make a new family favourite recipe in the process!
Meat or meat alternatives
It might be titled chicken curry, but probably tastes just as good with beef, fish or tofu. Most of the time, the meat or meat alternative in a recipe could be swapped out for another protein source. You might just need to vary the cook time or how big or small you chop it up.
Vegetables are an easy one to swap out, and the more you vary your vegetable intake the better in terms of getting a variety of nutrients into your diet. Frozen and tinned vegetables are also a great alternative to fresh in times when you want to stretch your groceries out for longer.
Our Design your own pumpkin soup recipe uses pumpkin as the base, but you could also use potato, sweet potato, cauliflower, roasted capsicums, parsnip or carrots. This goes for our other soup recipes as well - use whichever vegetables you have on hand in our Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Soup and Clare’s Green Soup
Swap like for like. For a similar texture and cook time in dishes it helps to swap like for like vegetables, e.g. starchy vegetables such as potato for another starchy vegetable such as pumpkin or sweet potato, and green leafy veg such as spinach for others such as kale. Our Basic Mushroom and Baby Spinach Side and Homemade Baked Beans with Eggs and Spinach could also be made with kale or Asian greens.
Use frozen peas and corn. These are a great (and cheap) swap in so many cases. Replace any vegetables you don’t have with peas and corn in our Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry, Tofu Stir-Fry Noodles and Beef and Vegetable Korma.
Herbs and spices
Herbs and spices add an important flavour hit and may be a key ingredient, but they can also be swapped out. Try swapping fresh herbs for dried, and if it’s a pre-mixed herb or spice mix then try googling the individual ingredients as you might just find what you need in your pantry stash (e.g. mixed spice is mostly made of allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg).
Sauces and condiments
You’ve got the big ingredients but you’re missing the jar of pasta sauce or stir-fry sauce. Often you don’t need much to make a tasty sauce yourself.
For pasta dishes try a tin of diced tomatoes, tomato paste and dried herbs (see our Tuna & Veggie Pasta Bake)
For stir-fry recipes try salt-reduced soy sauce and (if you’ve got them) sesame seeds (see our Leftover Fried Rice)
Use curry powder if you don’t have curry paste (about 1 tsp of powder for 1 tbsp curry paste) (try our Beef and Vegetable Korma with curry powder instead).