Category Archives: Ingredients

Food substitution advices


Image: yoppy

You could turn any meal into piece of art by changing some products. Use this food substitution chart to individualize the recipes or to cook meals when some ingredients are not available.

Basil – you will achieve similar taste with oregano or mint

Butter – margarine or light vegetable oil

Capers – instead of 1 tablespoon capers use 2 tablespoons green olives, chopped

Cilantro – you could substitute this exotic herb with parsley

Fresh mushrooms – for ½ lb. use 6-oz can mushrooms

Goat cheese – feta cheese

Ice Cream – frozen yoghurt with honey with fruits or chocolate chips

Marjoram – basil or thyme

Mascarpone – unsalted cream cheese

Mayonnaise – the combination between yoghurt and olive oil is a healthier choice

Mint – basil

Ricotta cheese – cottage cheese

Sesame seed – finely chopped or grounded sunflower seeds or almonds

Shallot – green onion will help you to get almost the same taste

Tomato paste – for 1 cup tomato paste use 1 tablespoon ketchup

Vinegar – use the same quantity lemon

Wine – use 2- 3 tablespoons vinegar instead of ½ cup of wine

Unsweetened chocolate – stir together 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tbsp. butter.

Home-made Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a mix of exotic spices that accentuate the flavor and taste of main products. The combination is prepared by mixing spices that have been roasted and ground.

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  • 1 tablespoon of Coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Green cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of Black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed Bay leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

How to prepare?

Roast on a medium flame the whole seeds one by one. Consider a slight colour change of each spice. Cook until they turn a few shades darker. First roast in a pan the coriander seeds, then cumin seeds, pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bay leaves.


Let the seeds cool at least 2 minutes before blending.


In a dry coffee grinder, grind them all together to a powder.


Store the Garam Masala for several weeks in jag, in a cool, dark place.

Ghee (Clarified Butter)

_DSC0766 If you adore the exquisite smell of butter and cooking is your passion, then you definitely need to prepare a special healthy clarified butter named Ghee. It is better than classic butter when you prepare meals at high heat – 400˚-500˚F (204˚-260˚C) or for a long time. The ghee-making processes originates in India.

Compared to the butter, ghee has a different taste – it is sweeter and creamier. Try to not exceed a daily dose of 2 tbsp or 20 g, because Ghee contains almost the same calories as the common butter. The great advantage is the fact that our body metabolizes faster the type of fats in clarified butter.

Ghee is a butter melted over low heat for a long period of time. In the preparation process the water evaporates and the milk solids are removed.

Check out these easy instructions on how to make a clarified butter at home.


  • 1 pound or 500 g of butter


  • Saucepan
  • Spoon or ladle
  • Heat-proof mug
  • Cheesecloth
  • Jar

Preparation time: 60 minutes

How to prepare?
Put the butter in the saucepan and adjust the heat at medium lever. Lower the temperature when the butter is melted.

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Continue simmering and skim the foam as it appears to the top. Instead of skimming the foam, you could wait for the foam to drop to the bottom of the saucepan. When the butter changes color to intense gold(not brown) and the pure butterfat turns clear without foam bubbles on the surface, remove the butter.

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In order to remove the solid particles from the bottom of the saucepan; strain them out. Use a cheesecloth or coffee filter. Pour the clarified butter into a heat-proof mug. Once the liquid has cooled, pour it into a jar. You can store the ghee in the fridge or on the shelf.



The Quinoa is a super-food in terms of its overall benefits. It provides significant amounts of antioxidants, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The seeds of this South American plant are a rich source of anti-inflammatory compounds, and omega-3 fatty acid.

Quinoa by sweetbeetandgreenbean

Photo: sweetbeetandgreenbean

The Quinoa is regarded as a perfect source of vitamin E which is closely associated with a beautiful, youthfull skin and hair. It is a good source of calcium – the key element for your healthy nails.

What makes the Quinoa so unique? In fact, this plant features a high concentration of nutrients and certain health-supportive elements for the calories it contains. One portion of cooked Quinoa weighs at about 45-50 g and contains 155 calories. Only one serving of Quinoa provides you with a daily amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Another advantage is that it is a time-saving product and is easy to cook. It takes only 15 minutes to prepare this delicious and valualable dish. Quinoa can be eaten as a grain, or ground into flour.

The unrivaled nutrient benefits of Quinoa have been known for 5000 years. There are more than 200 varieties of this plant. The most common type features a sandy-white colour.