A lot of women, including my past self, get hung up on not having all the right ingredients to make a recipe. But really, a recipe in my opinion, is just a guide. You can add or take away whatever you want (in most cases) and make it your own without changing the taste too much. Don't be afraid of changing things up. It's just food...how bad can it really be?? Okay, don't answer that, just trust me!
Let me show you what I did to a recipe I just made this morning. I am sure that I could never write a cookbook because most of my recipes would have a "use this...or this...or this"....several options to make essentially the same thing. There are many things you can substitute for something else or just leave out and it really won't change the taste all that much. Now there are other things you absolutley can not leave out, because it could totally change the texture, taste, etc (like leaving out baking soda from a cookie recipe, speaking from experience). Whenever I need a substitute, I search online...most of the time you can find something that will work.
I saw this recipe yesterday on Rachel Ray and it looked so tasty. I knew I had many of the ingredients but that I would be missing a few things. Here is what I did with the recipe.
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided - had this
- 1/2 cup orzo - I typically would not have this ingredient but I just happened to coupon one of those velveeta skillets dinners and orzo was in there. I pulled out the other ingredients in that boxed meal and will use those for something else. You could just use rice though and even couscous would be delicious, and a great source of protein.
1 onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice - didn't have onions, can used minced onions from spice rack or skip it.
1 vine ripe tomatoes, finely chopped - used a can of organic diced tomatos with liquid since I didn't have enough broth
As you can see, I didn't use much of what the recipe called for but it tasted delicious to me! If you don't have any groceries, you really have to be creative in the kitchen sometimes! It is very rare that I have all the ingredients for a recipe, even if I planned the recipe before going to the store! I am sure most of you are like that also - you forget to buy something or the ingredient cost too much (not on sale). So it's really simple to adjust the recipe to what you have at home and what your taste preferences are. Don't let that recipe or the kitchen get the best of you. You can conquer the kitchen and meal times!
The link and picture of Rachel's originally recipe is here. Compare her picture to the one below in the skillet...they don't look much different to me.
Here is a picture of my version of Rachel's recipe:
The soup mixture...