Upgrade your Recipe
03 January 2016
This Food Swap Recipe's is great for anyone who enjoys home cooking & baking. You've got a steady repertoire of dishes that you can make yourself? Great - but sometimes we are looking for new inspirations and change in our eating to keep our diets from becoming dull and repetitive. Tearing out Recipe's from Cookbooks and Magazines & trying to learn them can be timeconsuming, and frustrating even - when the recipe's do not turn out looking very well or tasting as well as they look. So after a few culinary experiments many of us decide to go back sticking with our basic recipe's that we know and are experienced with.
When I'm looking for new Food Inspirations I found that rather trying out completely new recipe's, I prefer just switching ingredients of existing ones. For example when making my carrot cake - I have had amazing results using grated Pumpkin, Apple or Sweetpotato instead of Carrot. The Recipe's the same, just a different look/taste.
So I've decided to share my top Food swaps with you in this Blogpost. You can basically just swap these Ingredients one to one to lend your existing recipe's a new and exiting touch of flavour.
1. Lemon -> Lime, or if you manage to find some YUZU
Ever since I started using the smaller green Lime in Recipe's I find Lemons rather boring. Wether its Lime Cake instead of Lemon, or Lime Juice on Fish, or grated lime zest in Desserts - Lime has a stronger more intense citrus flavour than its yellow big brother. Very hard to find in Europe fresh - but extremely delicious and complex in flavour is the YUZU. Orange/yellow in colour and rounder in shape than the Lemon - the Yuzu fruit is a rare and very trendy. If you ever catch a batch of fresh Yuzu in a finefood department - its an absolute Must Buy! Use it like Lemon or Limes - you can make Lemonade, use it to scent fish, salads or desserts. I received my first Yuzu from Nathan Dallimore the Head Kitchen Chef in HATO - he told me to 'just experiment with it' which is what I did, and I was delighted by the results.
2. Vanilla -> Tonka Bean
The Tonka Bean has a similar taste to Vanilla, but more intense, making it a perfect substitute for vanilla lending your recipe's a slightly unique taste. The Tonka bean is much harder than the Vanilla bean, so you need to either grate it (like muscat) or boil it in cream or water (you let it boil for 10 minutes, and you can actually reuse the tonka bean around 5-10times). The Tonka Bean works great together with Coconut & Poppyseed flavours or soaked in Rum.
3. Olive Oil & Balsamico -> Pistachio Oil & Raspberry Vinegar
Ok - I am the biggest fan of this combination for a salad dressing. I do not know why we always use just Olive Oil & Balsamico - when there are so many other oils & vinegars to experiment with that are more aromatic unique and varied in taste. I rarely use Olive Oil or plain Balsamico at all any more since I have discovered all the countless other options. My absolute favourite combination is the Pistachio Oil & Raspberry Vinegar - I use it to season almost all of my Salads. Especially in combination with Goat Cheese, Pinia or Pumpkin Seeds, dried Apricot, Figs & Cranberries, fresh Pear or Pumpkin, Egg and Lamb's Lettuce this simple seasoning is just perfect!
4. Raisins -> dried Cranberries
Less sweet but more complex in taste - I've preferred using Cranberries instead of Raisins lately. Wether it is in Salads, steamed Rice Dishes or in Woks - in breads and cake loaf recipes and porridges. In addition to lending different qualities in taste, Cranberries also contain nutritional properties and are known to help control appetite: this makes Cranberries are great choice when looking to diminish cravings and excessive appetite. Tip: lightly Roast the Cranberries in some coconut or pumpkinseed oil before adding them to your Salad as topping.
5. Peanut or Sesame Oil-> Peanut Butter or Tahini
Tahini is just the name used for Sesame Paste - a very rich and fatty paste which is to be portioned carefully just like peanut butter. But both the Tahini and the Peanut Butter are actually even about 25% lighter than the oils. Still - you should use very little of them, around one moderately scooped teaspoon is enough. I prefer using the Peanut Butter and Tahini instead of the Oils in my Recipe's not to save Calories - but because of taste. I find that using Peanut Butter in Soy Noodle Wok dishes lends a much creamier texture to the dish than Oil does. If you prefer a more crispy finish then its better to use oil, if you prefer a mild creamy finish Peanut Butter or Tahini are the nicer options.
6. Mashed Potato -> Mashed Veggies
This food swap adds nutritional benefit, taste and fibre to your meal - plus you can skip one step because your 'mash' and 'veggie' portion is combined into serving. So next time you prepare a nice piece of Meat, why don't you mash some green Pea's, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Celery, Broccoli or Pumpkin instead of just plain Potato. Its easy and colourful and adds a whole new look and quality to your meal! Depending on which Vegetable you use your side dish will be lower or higher in carbs or fibre - whereas Carrots, Sweet Potatoes and Pea's contain a lot of Carbs - Broccoli, Celery and Pumpkin are very low in Carbs. Its the Mix and Variety that matters. Perhaps if you are preparing a heavier piece of meat with a heavier sauce you might want to go for a lighter side dish, whereas if you prepare a lean piece of meat like filet, fish or poultry, a more nutritious side dish is recommendable. You can also try adding Sour Cream, Coconut Cream, Mascarpone, Cream Cheese or Ricotta to vary the taste to your preference. Don't forget to use the fresh herbs and splash of fresh lime juice or whatever else is available in your kitchen.