Spontaneity and substituting ingredients

Life happens and inevitably, there will be days when you go to the store and you find out that a few of the items on the shopping list were simply not available at the store you went to.  It is usually pretty rare that main ingredients aren’t available at more stores – they are usually pretty stocked up on meats and seafood.  However, there are definitely occasions when I have arrived at the store and been surprised that there isn’t a particular fish available.  This can happen when a certain fish is out of season, especially if you are looking for wild fish.

It is usually one or two of the other ingredients needed to make a recipe that sometimes goes missing in the grocery store.  Personally, I live thirty minutes from a large store with a large selection of organic and fresh foods, so it is not very easy for me to just go back the next day when the produce guy tells me they will have fennel available.

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Cooking tip: Marinating

Many recipes that I create often have some type of marinade in it which can be used on the meat or seafood the night before, or as little as 15 minutes before you cook your meal.  It does make the dish tastier the longer the marinade time, but you also have to adjust the recipes to your lifestyle.

If you end up having a little extra time in the evening before you go off to bed, this is a prime time to plan ahead for tomorrow’s recipe.  It not only gives you a head start on the recipe so that there is less to do the next day, it makes the meal that much more flavorful.

For some marinades, you can turn them into sauces, like the one in Mahi Mahi in Citrus Coconut Sauce. (This recipe is featured in the free sample Nourishing Foods Menu Planner – get it here).  The marinade is first used to infuse the fish with the flavors of citrus and ginger, but then is later made into a sauce by adding arrowroot powder to it.

As with everything in cooking, if you find yourself running out of time, you can always cut corners and marinade for less time.  It won’t be the end of the world and I’m sure you’ll still have a yummy meal!

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