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Ingredient Substitute
Butter Clarified butter (milk solids have been removed), olive oil, sesame oil
Chocolate Carob
Cow's milk Almond, goat, rice and soymilk
Cow's milk cheese Cheeses made from soy, nuts, goat or sheep milk
Eggs Egg Replacer; liquid lecithin with 2 tsp. guar gum; baking soda plus pureed fruit or vegetables; and flax seeds pureed with water
Peanuts Almonds
Wheat flour (for baking) Barley, buckwheat, corn, kamut, oats, rice, rye, spelt
Wheat pasta Corn, kamut and spelt pasta, rice noodles

Origin Ingredient Substitute
Americas Cactus pads (nopales) Green beans, okra
Chayote squash Yellow or green pattypan squash or zucchini
Masa flour Mix corn flour with lime juice
Poblano or Anaheim chilies Minced jalapeno chili and green bell pepper
Posole (dried hominy) Canned white hominy
Asian Bok choy (Chinese white cabbage) Beet greens, kale and Swiss chard
Chinese cooking wine Dry sherry
Chinese five-spice powder Anise seed or star anise, fennel seed, cinnamon, black peppercorns and whole cloves. (If you have a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder, use whole spices, otherwise use ground dry spices.)
Galangal (Thai ginger) Fresh ginger
Lemon grass Lemon zest
Lotus root Jicama or water chestnuts
Mirin (Japanese rice wine) Sweet white wine
Nam pla (Thai fish sauce) Soy sauce and lime juice
Rice wine vinegar Cider vinegar, white wine vinegar
Sesame oil 1 Tbs. sesame seeds fried in 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Thai basil Italian basil
Water chestnuts Jicama
Indian Atta (chapati flour) 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour plus 1/2 cup sifted whole wheat flour
Chana dal Split yellow peas
Curry powder Mix together to taste ground ginger, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, turmeric and fennel
Garam masala (mixed spices) 1 tsp. cardamom seeds, 1 Tbs. cumin seed, 1 Tbs. coriander seed, 2 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. cloves, 1 tsp. nutmeg. (If you have a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder, use whole spices, or mix together ground dry spices.)
Jaggery (coarse palm sugar) Date sugar or brown sugar
Toor dal, urad dal, mung dal Red lentils
Mediterranean Broccoli rabe (rapini) Broccoli plus arugula or dandelion greens
Cannellini beans Great Northern beans, navy beans, red kidney beans
Fava beans, dried Butter beans
Fava beans,fresh Fresh or frozen lima beans
Fennel Celery plus some fennel or anise seeds
Parmesan cheese Any hard, aged grating cheese such as Asiago or Romano or aged Monterey jack
Pine nuts Walnuts or a mixture of walnuts and almonds

Ingredient Substitute
Red wine Pomegranate juice; 1/2 cup water plus 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
White wine Apple, carrot or bell pepper juice, vegetable stock
Wine or beer Non-alcoholic wine or beer

This is based on an article by Gigia Kolouch. She specializes in creating and cooking vegetarian fare, especially low-cholesterol and allergy-free foods. She is based in Denver, Colorado.

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