Hello, friends! I’ve got two announcements for you.
First, I compiled this list of healthy meals with shelf-stable foods to make. However, the recipe list from the blog is mostly breakfast options, snacks, and desserts, which brings me to my next announcement.
I’ve updated the library of resources to include an ebook with 30 healthy meals with shelf-stable ingredients. The ebook contains 30 recipes not found on the blog, typically only available to my meal plan subscribers, but I’m now making them available to my Newsletter subscribers as well. More than 20 of these recipes are shelf-stable lunch and dinner recipes for you to try out!
So, between this list and that list, you should have plenty of exciting meals to try! At least that’s my hope!
Not on the list? Sign up using the form below! (or click here)
Also, I wanted to share a few swaps and substitution ideas for how to make recipes work when you don’t have all the exact ingredients.
Shelf Stable Swaps & Substitutions
No Eggs? Try making a chia or flax egg instead. You can also use a shelf-stable egg replacer. I’ve used those in the past, but they really amp up the sodium, so I try to use flax eggs instead. You can also use 1/2 medium mashed banana as a binder too.
No Milk? It depends on the recipe. Check below for some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years while developing recipes.
- Carton Almond Milk or other Non-Dairy Milk
For instance, 90% of my recipes call for almond milk. In that case, you can typically sub water. Almond milk is just slightly thickened water, so while it adds a nice vanilla flavor, water plus vanilla extract will work. If it’s real milk, you might be able to get away with subbing water or non-dairy milk options for non-fat milk, but for 2% or whole milk, I would sub coconut milk.
- Canned Coconut Milk
The downside here is that coconut milk has a coconutty taste that’s hard to miss. Structure wise though, it will work as a substitute. There are two types of coconut milk, lite and regular. The lite version is just the full-fat with water added into it.
Use the light version or a watered-down amount of the full version as a sub for 2%, and the full version for a sub for whole-milk.
Another trick, place your can of coconut in the fridge for a few hours. When you open it up, it will have coconut cream on the top and water below. Use the cream as a substitute for half and half or heavy cream.
- Evaporated Milk
Exactly what it sounds like, milk that has been condensed by evaporating any naturally occurring water out of it. Use this canned substitute for milk, as stated on the can. Adding the most amount of water will bring you closer to non-fat milk, adding the least amount of water will bring you closer to whole milk.
No Butter? Coconut oil has similar properties to butter so that it can work as a one to one substitute in many cases.
No Yogurt? This is not substitutable if you want just straight up to eat it, but for baking, you can try mashed avocado in some cases. Cottage cheese can often work, so does plain old mayo. (We use avocado oil mayo.)
No Cheese? Difficult to sub out in some recipes unless you use a vegan substitute (like mac and cheese). Instead, I opt to add flavor to food by making guacamole or using bacon instead. Parmesan is a shelf-stable sub to add flavor with as well.
No Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Chives, Cilantro, etc.)? You can sub one teaspoon of dried for every tablespoon of fresh herbs.
No Onion? Sub about 1 tbsp onion powder for 1 medium onion.
No Fresh Leafy Greens (Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens)? Sub frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dried. 1 10-ounce package of frozen spinach equals about a pound of fresh spinach cooked down.
No Fresh Veggies? Get creative and sub in whatever frozen or canned you have on hand. With canned veggies, you may need to add them later in the cooking process since they are already soft. Canned diced tomatoes can sub directly for fresh diced tomatoes and other tomato products.
Other Swaps & Substitutions
Keep in mind the following easy swap-outs as well!
- Canned beans can usually swap for each other in recipes. The taste will vary slightly, but in soups and many recipes, you can sub white beans for black beans, etc.
- Dates and figs can be swapped for each other one to one. Other dried fruit is typically interchangeable with each other, ie, raisins and cranberries etc.
- You can’t typically sub dried fruit for fresh fruit, though.
- Canned pumpkin, ripe bananas, mashed sweet potato, and even, depending on the recipe, mashed avocado or mashed garbanzo beans can sub out for each other. This depends on the recipe, but it can work.
- Whole grains can typically swap out for each other pretty easily. For example, brown rice and quinoa can sometimes replace each other. Not in a one to one fashion, but it can work.
- Flours are difficult to swap out for one another. You can often swap whole wheat flour for refined white flour, but you that’s about it. Recipes start to get tricky after that one type of substitution. Nut flours are higher in fat, whole grain flours higher in fiber, and some are very absorbent. This significantly changes the recipe from the refined white flour version, trust me. I suggest googling whatever kind of flour you have on hand and what you want to make with it. For example, “oat flour banana bread,” etc. If you have an idea and can’t find anything, let me know, and I’ll help!