Monday night as I was preparing Bean and Cheese Enchiladas for dinner, I realized that I only had a ½ cup of sour cream, which is unusual for me since I always have this on hand. I needed at least one cup of sour cream because I wanted to double the batch of Enchiladas. I then remembered that my daughter has been making homemade dip with sour cream and salsa this week, so I figured that is where the sour cream disappeared.
No matter how well-stocked you keep your pantry, sometimes you run out of an ingredient that you need for a recipe and it can be inconvenient to run out and purchase the necessary ingredient. I know I would have to make a ten mile round trip to pick up more sour cream, which was out of the question.
What should I have done?
I could have simply made one batch of the Enchiladas and solved my problem, or I could use a substitution. Substituting an ingredient is another frugal tool that we can use to save money in our kitchens.
I scrounged around in my refrigerator to see what I had on hand. I had just picked up several blocks of cream cheese on sale the week before, so I decided that would make a great substitution. And you know what? It turned out we actually like the recipe even better with the added cream cheese! How wonderful is that?
Here are some other substitutions that I personally make in my kitchen:
Here is a photo of the Mexican Rice that I served with the Enchiladas. The recipe calls for Pace Picante Sauce, but I have successfully substituted my own home canned salsa for the Picante sauce many times and have always been happy with the results.
If you are looking for an ingredient to substitute in one of your own recipes, there are a number of lists online that can help you with this. The University of Nebraska has an excellent article online regarding commonly used substitutions, which can be found here.
I was glad that my recipe turned out well after substituting an ingredient. I know that is not always the case though. Have you ever substituted an ingredient in one of your recipes? What were the results?
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2012.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”