Tip of the Week: Swapping Out Ingredients

Every time I cook, I try to make something different. Most of that comes from my own attention span. I get bored cooking and eating the same thing more than once a week. Unfortunately, there are sometimes when I don’t have the option of making something different. Somedays, I barely have enough time to make anything more than a simple bowl or stir fry. To prevent myself from getting burnt out and bored, I will always swap out at least one ingredient. This may seem like a very simple tip, but it really makes a huge difference.

To begin, I am not just talking about swapping out vegetables or sauces in everyday meals. One of my favorite things to do is cycle through a variety of grains. I like using quinoa instead of rice if I find myself eating too much rice over the course of a few days. A change as simple as that can make the stir fry I’ve had three times in a week more bearable. Another simple solution is to play with the ratios of spices that go into a dish. By changing spices up, different flavors can be created in seconds! When I am in a pinch or almost out of ingredients, different and new combinations of spices will spruce up my boring, incredibly predictable, “my fridge is empty” lunch. I also like to use various proteins. I will rarely eat tofu two days in a row. If I am making a stir fry or sandwich two days in a row, I will use tofu one day and seitan or tempeh the next day. It’s all about finding the simplest switches to create interesting and exciting meals.

Although this tip is incredibly simple, it is very useful. I am constantly using tricks like these to create dinners for customers, and for myself. By changing one element of a common meal, it can quickly become something new and different. This tip is for anyone who is stuck in a rut and needs inspiration! It doesn’t take a lot of creativity. All that is needed is a bit of curiosity!

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