If you love to cook you are very familiar with the joy and excitement that comes from trying out a new recipe. Every step of the process from buying the ingredients to trying the final dish can be a joy to discover. Unfortunately in today’s busy world we don’t always have the time and energy to go through the whole process of trying out a brand new recipe. Instead of exhausting yourself with something new, why not use the power of swapping to create a whole new dish from what you already have.
Every ingredient has it’s place in a recipe, it true. What a lot of people don’t realize is just how versatile pastas and meats can truly be. Swap out a few ingredients and you’ll have a whole new dish. There’s no reason to look up a whole new recipe, and chances are you’ve got everything you need to create something new in your fridge and cabinet already. For example, if you already know how to bake a chicken breast just pick a new sauce to marinate it in and you’ll have a whole new meal ready to go.
Still don’t know where to start? Never fear, we’ve written out a few of our favorite, easy tips to get you going!
- Sick of marinara sauce on your penne? Try something new such as vinegar, soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or even just plain old butter.
- Or perhaps you have tired of the pasta under your marinara sauce… Instead, check out spaghetti squash, which is exactly like it sounds. Pair it with pasta sauce, meatballs, and some almond slivers and you’ve got yourself a nice little meal (by little we mean you’ll be eating leftovers for days. Spaghetti squash is not known for its ability to make small servings).
- Traditional omelets can get boring, so spice it up by making a fruit omelet! Peaches and pears make a great addition, with just a sprinkling of cheese. If you want to go really fancy, try pairing peaches and craisins and topping with plain yogurt.
- Instead of using peppers or tomatoes to garnish your food, gut them and stuff them! Stick some breadcrumbs and ground meat in your tomatoes or rice and ground meat in your peppers. If you’re feeling adventurous, give the spicier stuffed peppers variation a go; grab some spicy peppers (poblano or cubanelle work well), mix re-fried beans and ground meat together for the stuffing, top with cheese.
- Seen enough of the same salad day in and day out? Replace the lettuce with sauteed spinach (pro-tip: add a little garlic while you saute – yum). For a really tasty, warm meal, stick your toppings of choice in the pan after the spinach has been sauteed, set the heat to low, and let the whole concoction warm up.
Remember, if you’re ever at a loss for ways to spice up a recipe, apply the golden rule of cooking: if it sounds like it will taste good, it probably will!
(Photo by Alpha)