Midweek Menu #88 is keeping things simple and loaded with flavor! Not only are these recipes easy to make, but they also stretch your grocery budget with leftovers. I’m also including great ideas for substituting ingredients that you may not have on hand or like so that you’ll be cooking like a pro in no time.
My number one goal with Midweek Menu is to inspire, help and make things easy for you to get a great meal on the table. I want to pull together recipes that “just seem to go together” with flavor and texture that any home cook would be proud to make.
Now, having said that, I know sometimes you might not have an ingredient on hand or maybe even more importantly, you just don’t like something. So, I’m giving you a few ideas on how to substitute some common ingredients so that you can make each recipe your own.
- For tacos, meatloaf, and meatballs, if you don’t have ground beef, substitute ground chicken or turkey. This also works well if you’re making Baked Spaghetti or Lasagna Soup. You’ll notice a bit of difference in the texture so make sure you are tasting and adjusting the seasoning to your liking.
- When making pasta salads, if you’re not a fan of the veggie included in the recipe, just switch it out. Substitute green beans for peas for asparagus, broccoli for Brussel sprouts.
- Need fresh tomatoes? No problem, just do what I do and buy what’s on sale. I switch out grape tomatoes for Roma or whole tomatoes. Unless I’m making a tomato sandwich (which I’m craving fresh summer tomatoes) I don’t worry too much about the size of the tomato. I go for fresh, ripe and ones that don’t break the bank.
- One of the easiest things to sub in a recipe is cheese. My advice is not to get too hung up on what a recipe calls for. If you don’t have cheddar on hand, then add-in Monterrey Jack. Don’t like Parmesan? Just skip it or shred your own hard cheese from the grocery store deli.
The key to being successful at substituting ingredients in any recipe is to think about flavor. Ask yourself, if your changes will have a negative or positive impact on the dish you are making. This may seem a bit scary at first but believe me, once you get the hang of substituting ingredients, you’ll become a better cook in no time. Just trust your instincts, taste, adjust and taste some more. That’s what cooking is all about!
If you make these recipes, let me know! You can leave me a comment or snap a picture then tag me on Instagram at #asouthernsoul.