Let Them Eat Cake: Ingredient Substitutions Done Right

Carrie Beylus

A friend of mine once told me that when my kids were little, Pesach would be all about the cleaning — getting every last Oatmeal Square out of the den couch, et cetera; but as they get older it would be about the cooking and food preparation.

Wow, how right she was — is. These days it’s so much more than, “What will I do without cereal and pasta?!” Now I need to know how to keep the refrigerator filled with ready and appetizing foods for hungry adults, newly informed teen palates, and the human vacuum cleaner who was once a relatively innocuous, if picky eater.

I’ve said it before, and it stands repeating: recipes from the other 357 days of the year are the best solutions to this latest conundrum. All I need for a great menu, a full fridge, and a happy family is some forethought and a little tweaking. The right ingredient substitutions are all it takes. But before you begin swapping out ingredients, carefully read through the recipe you want to adapt. Consider the quantity of the ingredient you’d have to replace. A cake with three cups of flour is not a good candidate for conversion.

Remember, stick with recipes and ingredients you are familiar with (or can adapt quickly), and you’ll be assured a tasty and kvetch-free eight days.

Carrie Beylus

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