Butler County Times Gazette
  • Food for Thought: Culinary experts offer food substitution tips, tricks

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  • Tip of the Week
    Simple and healthy food substitutions can help your family shed some pounds this spring. Some substitutions are easy, for example, substituting brown rice or quinoa for white rice or adding barley in with brown rice to add another type of whole grain. Other substitutions are completely unexpected. To be inspired and jazz up any meal time, take cues from culinary experts.
    Chef Andrew Lyman, culinary director at The Art Institute of Austin, suggests, “It is not uncommon to use brown sugar, for white sugar, but I often challenge my students to use other ingredients as a sweetener - for example, using a teaspoon of vanilla can often produce similar results as a cup of sugar and it saves over 400 calories. Another option is using prunes for butter, especially in brownies or other dark baked goods - 3/4 cup of prunes with 1/4 cup of boiling water, puree to combine and you have a great option.”
    Chef instructor Peachy Seiden from The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Cincinnati-Ohio says, “Using pureed fruit warmed on the stovetop with a bit of honey is a great substitute for classic maple syrup - decreasing the sugar content and providing an extra dose of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals.”
    Elliott Hilton, culinary director for The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Michigan, adds, “Using non-fat Greek yogurt when the recipe calls for mayonnaise or sour cream works really well since it’s a lot less fat and a good way to add additional protein.”
    Here are a few more substitutions:
    * Mashed bananas for fats. The creamy, thickening power of very ripe mashed bananas is the ideal consistency in place of one cup of butter or oil.
    * Spaghetti squash for pasta is a natural substitute. Simply roast and pull apart with a fork and voila.
    - Brandpoint
    Number to Know
    1/4: Unsweetened applesauce is good substitution for sugar (can be in a 1:1 ratio, but reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup).
    - Brandpoint
    Easy Recipe
    Veggie Burger
    Makes four to six burgers
    Umami Glaze:
    2 tablespoons light soy sauce
    2 tablespoons Thai golden mountain sauce (available at Asian markets, optional)
    2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
    2 tablespoons molasses
    2 tablespoons honey
    Patties:
    1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
    1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained and roughly chopped
    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    1/2 medium onion, smoked then minced
    4 cloves garlic, smoked then minced
    1/2 cup grated cooked beets (use a box grater to grate one roasted beet)
    1/4 cup oat bran plus more as needed
    1 tablespoon pureed chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
    Page 2 of 2 - 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
    6 prunes, minced
    1 teaspoon salt (kosher)
    1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
    1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
    1 teaspoon ground toasted cumin
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Directions:
    In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, Thai golden mountain sauce if using, the hoisin sauce, molasses and honey.
    Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and when hot, add the minced onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to caramelize and brown. Add garlic and continue cooking until the onions are golden brown.
    In a large bowl combine the cooked rice and roughly chopped beans.
    Add 1/2 cup of the Umami Glaze and the remaining ingredients including the sauted onion and garlic. Mix well to combine.
    Evaluate how well the mixture holds into patties. If too dry, add some of the Umami Glaze. If too wet, add a little more oat bran.
    Shape the veggie mixture into four to six patties, depending on size. Place the patties on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
    To cook, brush the patties with a little vegetable oil and cook on a flat top griddle or nonstick pan over medium heat about five minutes per side to set the burger up.
    — Brandpoint
    Food Quiz
    What percentage of the eggs produced in the U.S. each year are used by consumers (rather than the food-service industry)?
    A. 90 percent
    B. 70 percent
    C. 60 percent
    D. 40 percent
    Answer at bottom of rail.
    Wise to the Word
    Poaching: A gentle cooking method in which meat, poultry, fish, eggs or fruit is simmered in a court-bouillon made of water, stock or wine. Poaching helps ensure that delicate meat, fowl or fish does not dry out. Fruit such as pears can be poached in a lightly sweetened simmering bath of water or wine and spices such as vanilla bean, cinnamon or star anise.
    — Cookthink
    The Dish On...
    “The Food Substitutions Bible,” by David Joachim
    Cooks need information on how to substitute ingredients -- often in a hurry. This comprehensive, easy-to-use guide is organized from A to Z, with thousands of alternatives that can quickly and easily solve on-the-spot cooking dilemmas. Whether a substitute for a key ingredient or utensil, or simply how to create a different flavor or texture, there is a wealth of fresh and enjoyable ideas that will inspire confidence in the kitchen.
    - Amazon
    Food Quiz answer
    C: 60 percent; while 40 percent of eggs are used in the food service industry
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