Cooking Tips and Questions - Your Top 3 (or more) Ingredient Substitutions

07-04-2009, 06:34 PM
Hi all :)

I am going to have to really focus on changing the way I cook. I know there are great ingredient substitution ideas out there that make recipes more calorie friendly, but I only know a few. Example: using apple sauce in place of vegetable oil when baking

Have you found some awesome ingredient substitutions that you'd like to share?

I tried to search a bit for this here, so if this has been done somewhere here before, please point me in that direction! Thanks :)

07-04-2009, 09:06 PM
I don't know if it is so much "substitution" as thinking outside the box. Most recipes need nowhere near as much oil as needed. I am not averse to some Splenda in quick pickles because the veggies are "free" and filling and great for us. Amping up the vegetable proportions I think is key. Looking at your plate as 2/3 veg, 1/3 whole grain if possible or good carb like butternut squash or quinoa, and 1/3 lean protein. I will be reading to see if I am missing something.

07-04-2009, 10:11 PM
I use applesauce instead of oil (although leave 1Tb in).

I tend to use cooking spray, however, you can use a little beef / chicken or vegetable stock instead of oil when starting a dish off in a frying pan.

I occasionally use brown sugar splenda (a mix of splenda and real brown sugar) when cooking.

I've started adding soy flour and/or protein powder into baked goods. Making them higher protein (fits better into the way of eating I've changed to).

Egg/egg white blends for making omelets. You really can't tell and it's a better mixture which I find easier to fold.

Adding half ground turkey to our homemade hamburgers. Fewer calories and fat and nobody call tell the difference.

Using TVP (textured vegetable protein) with ground beef to make chili. Cheaper than using turkey and again, can't really tell the difference.

I'm sure there are other things that have become second nature, but that's a start.

07-04-2009, 11:32 PM
Yogurt for sour cream, or even mayo

Applesauce for oil

Ground flax seed for whole egg

Stevia for sugar

Okara (soy bean pulp) for oil/flour

FF feta for full-fat cheeses

Mustard/yogurt combo for Full Fat dressings

Grilled sweet potato fries (just a spritz of oil) for French fries

Quinoa for white rice

Mix ground flax seed with my peanut butter

07-05-2009, 12:31 PM
tommy: good idea about looking at your plate as fractions. I really want to stick with this and all the tips do help.

RealCdn: I hadn't thought about beef/chicken stock instead of starting out with oil - great idea! Half turkey/half beef is good, too. I have never heard of TVP - does it really not make a difference in the taste??? I have to find that.

CountingDown: Yogurt for sour cream??? I would have never thought of that. Just plain yogurt - does it do well only mixed in with things to replace sour cream or does it taste good as a topping like on tacos? I have never heard of Okara. Is it something I can find at a regular grocery store, or only at a health food store?

Thanks ladies - keep 'em comin people - this is interesting. I am going to have to modify my grocery list for this week. :)

07-05-2009, 12:38 PM
I use yogurt instead of sour cream and even cream cheese in both recipes and as toppings. You can flavor or mix it any way you wish. For baked potatoes I mix it with Laughing Cow :)

To use it in place of cream cheese, strain it through muslin or cheesecloth to make "yogurt cheese".

I often sweeten it with Splenda or stevia when I use it for toppings. In fact I made multi-grain waffles for brunch, served with fresh blueberries and strawberries - topped with plain yogurt mixed with Splenda. It was delish!

Okara is the leftover pulp from making soy milk or tofu. It can sometimes be found in Asian markets, but I make my own (we make our own soy milk so that we can control the ingredients).

08-19-2009, 01:09 AM
I also use plain yogurt in place of sour cream, it tastes close enough to me that I can put in on baked potatoes or use it to make a veggie dip or put it on my taco salads, pretty much anything.

Thighs Be Gone
08-19-2009, 01:18 AM
I love my subs! These have really helped me.

Nonfat cooking spray--I don't use butter--Nope, not at all. I do use olive oil however but sparingly.

Shiratake noodles for Pasta---LOVE them--had to do some experimenting..but my gosh--I will never eat regular pasta again at home!

Almond Milk for skim milk. 1/2 the calories and actually I have come to prefer the taste.

Arctic Zero for Ice Cream. I just finished an entire pint of the chocolate peanut butter variety. Yep, I ate the whole thing. For 128 calories why not!!!!! OMG TASTY!

Last, but definitely NOT least--I cannot stress the importance I have found in fruits and vegetables and whole foods in general. I do use *some* items that are not whole foods (see overhead) :) but my days of buying boxed mac and cheese, hamburger helper and the like are SOOOOOO OVER!

Thighs Be Gone
08-19-2009, 01:23 AM
Counting Down--tell me about the Okara being used for oil and flour--how would you use it in place of flour? Is it a liquid?

eta--where would I find it at the asian market?