Cooking Class: Food Substitutions

There's nothing more annoying than realizing you're short on an ingredient mid-recipe! Here's a list of common substitutions.
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ARROWROOT POWDER: White whole-wheat or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (double the quantity needed).

BREAD CRUMBS: Ground oats, whole-grain cereal or crackers.

BULGUR: Couscous, quinoa or brown rice.

LOW-FAT BUTTERMILK: Mix 1 cup low-fat milk with 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or white vinegar; let stand for 10 minutes.

LOW-FAT RICOTTA CHEESE: Puree low-fat cottage cheese or silken tofu until smooth.

CILANTRO: Fresh dill, mint or flat-leaf parsley.

NATURAL UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER: For every 3 tbsp needed, mix 3 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder and 1/8 tsp cream of tartar, fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. To reverse, mix 3 tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/8 tsp baking powder for every 3 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder needed.

EGG: For every large egg needed, mix 3 tbsp water and 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds; let stand until mixture turns sticky and slightly thick (use only in baking - the protein and fat in flaxseeds simulate the structuralizing properties of egg).

GARAM MASALA: Mix 1 tbsp toasted ground cumin, 1 tsp each toasted ground coriander and ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper (yields 5 1/4 tsp; store remaining in a zip-top bag).

LEMONGRASS: Lemon zest (1/2 tbsp per stalk).

RED PEPPER FLAKES: Ground chipotle chile pepper or hot paprika; ground cayenne pepper (half the quantity needed); hot sauce or minced fresh chile peppers (to taste).

LOW-SODIUM TAMARI: Low-sodium soy sauce.

NONFAT PLAIN GREEK YOGURT: Strain low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt through a cheesecloth-lined fine-mesh sieve set over top of a bowl and refrigerate until thickened.

FRESH HERBS: Dried herbs (sub in one-third of the quantity needed).