Sometimes you don’t have all of the ingredients needed for a recipe. Or, maybe you don't have time to go grocery shopping. That’s O.K.! Recipes can often be changed to fit what you do have. And, you can build a healthy meal from some basic tips. We’ll show you how.
Simple Ingredient Swaps
- 1 cup vegetable/canola oil (in baking)--> 1 cup applesauce
- 1 cup buttermilk --> 1 cup yogurt, or 1 cup milk with 1 Tbs vinegar
- 1 tsp cream of tartar --> 2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice --> 1/2 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon zest --> 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup mayonnaise --> 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese --> 1 cup silken tofu
- 1 cup sour cream --> 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 egg --> 1/4 cup silken tofu, pureed or 1 Tbs ground flax seed with 3 Tbs water
Is the Spice Right?
The following inexpensive spices and flavorings are easy to find, last a long time, and help make everything taste better. Experiment with which flavors taste best to you.
Spices and Flavorings for Savory Dishes
Pepper, garlic power, onion powder, chili powder, curry powder, lemon / lime juice, or hot sauce
Spices and Flavorings for Sweet Dishes
Cinnamon, vanilla extract, or fruit juice
Building a Healthy Meal
- Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Canned, fresh, or frozen all work great!
- Include a protein food like beans, lean meats, eggs, nuts, or seeds to help keep you full.
- Include whole grains like brown rice, whole grain bread, or whole wheat pasta.
- Add a serving of a dairy food such as skim or low fat milk or a dairy equivalent (calcium-fortified soy, almond, or rice milk) which are important for strong bones.
Get your own personal MyPlate Plan here, or take a quick tour with our MyPlate Guide.