Everything But the Kitchen Sink

| 2/27/2017 12:28:00 PM

Erin SheehanDoes anyone else use the cooking philosophy that any recipe can be changed pretty much in any way? That's my cooking method through and through, especially at this time of year; we're starting to run out of certain vegetables from our freezer and cold cellar. We ran out of onions two weeks ago. We're down to three packages each of broccoli and spinach. We're out of shredded zucchini. We haven't bought veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, or cucumbers for years, so when the freezer and cellar run bare, we're looking for substitutes.

Cooking at the kitchen counter

Here's a few of my favorite substitutes:

Onions or scallions = chives. I freeze bags of cut-up chives in late spring. We don't grow scallions and I refuse to buy them, so chives are close enough! We grow lots of onions, but by the end of February they are usually sprouting and getting soft so I use chives instead, when possible.

Celery = cucumbers. We don't grow celery but we grow loads of cukes, and in lots of recipes no one will know the difference.

Cucumbers = zucchini. If we have a bad year for cukes, zukes work just as well!

Zucchini = frozen tomatillos. I cut tomatillos into quarters and freeze them without blanching. If a recipe calls for zucchini, I will substitute these in. Zucchini only freezes well when it's shredded, so I never have it available cubed in the winter.