Creative, Economical Cooking
By Nikki Willhite
Achieving Savings with Substitutions that are
Many people think when they follow a recipe from a cookbook they
must follow it exactly. This is not true, and it is not cost effective.
This is especially true when it comes to casseroles. Some
recipes have numerous ingredient, many which can be discarded without any
significant loss of flavor.
You need only to look up the recipe for something like Beef
Stroganoff in several different cookbooks to see the many variations of this
If you are trying to save money in the kitchen, you will want to
make your food as delicious as possible, using the fewest amount of ingredients
possible. A lot of recipes call for things we don't normally stock in our
cupboards. If we buy them, we may only use a portion of them, and the rest may
go to waste.
Sometimes a recipe calls us to purchase just too many
ingredients. We don't make it because we calculate that the cost per servicing
is too expensive.
Sometimes we can get the flavor we want by using substitutes for
items we don't want to buy. There are many commercial substitutes already...such
as IMO for sour cream, and margarine for butter. I use IMO both in dip and when
I make beef stroganoff. I almost always use margarine.
Here are a few substitutes that may help you. You can
decide if there is a noticeable difference in quality.
-If a recipe calls for cake flour, just remove 2 Tablespoons of
flour for every Cup of Flour.
-For self rising flour add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ¼
teaspoon of salt to every Cup of Flour.
- If out of milk, use 1/2 Cup evaporated milk mixed with 1/2 Cup
-A Buttermilk substitute can be make from yogurt. Add 2
Tablespoons milk, and 1 Tablespoon Vinegar or Lemon Juice to 1 Cup Milk. Let it
set 10 minutes and then stir.
-To make whole milk out of 1 Cup of skim milk, add 3 Tablespoons
-A cream cheese substitute is 1 Cup of cottage chess mixed with
1/4 Cup of butter/margarine.
-For sour cream use 1 Cup of yogurt mixed with 3 Tablespoons
-For baking powder use 1/4 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 1/2
teaspoon cream of tartar.
-When baking with chocolate, 3 Tablespoons Cocoa with 2 ½
teaspoons butter is equal to one unsweetened chocolate baking square.
-For lemon juice, use 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar.
tomato products may be interchanged. Add water to tomato paste to make tomato
Olives, mushrooms, green peppers, onions...and such can usually
be left out of recipes. Think of a casserole like a pizza. You can eat a plain
cheese pizza, or you can eat one that is fully loaded!