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In a few of my past blogs, I have requested that you not toss out the recipes that you had used before you found out about the BTD. The reason is because it is very possible you will be able to adapt them to your new lifestyle using the fine art of substitution.
To steal a line from an old ad campaign of a popular fast food chain: Where’s the beef? There is more than just a small glimmer of light here! Both of the blood types that should not eat beef CAN have beef BROTH. That alone saves a lot of onion soup recipes and some lentil ones, too. If this sounds too radical to believe, I encourage you to do a bit of poking around in the archives of this site or come join us over on the BTD Forums to discuss it with other BTD-ers. However, that still leaves beef itself out. So what can you do when you want say, a hamburger? What else tastes like beef (not necessarily identical, but very close)…did you guess it? Ostrich. It is available in many forms: fresh, frozen, ground, ground patties, and filets. That’s nice, but where do you find them? There are several places that are possibilities. One is mail order via the web and another one is to just simply ask the natural foods store meat department. You will probably be pleasantly surprised to find that while ostrich is not a meat they currently carry on a daily basis that they can and will order you some. All you have to do is ask. The same goes for other sometimes hard to find animal proteins like lamb, pheasant, and rabbit. Some people like to substitute lamb for beef, but for my vote, lamb tastes like lamb…not at all similar to beef.
This brings us to chicken because for chicken, I suggest using rabbit instead. It is fairly safe to say that you can substitute rabbit any time chicken is called for in a recipe. I do not like to use tuna (even if it is called the chicken of the sea) because it’s a completely different animal protein category. It strikes me the same way putting eggs in with dairy does – not many cows I know of lay eggs or chickens that you can get milk out of. If you have never prepared or eaten rabbit before (which is why you wouldn't know it tastes like chicken), then you may need to have the following WARNING: Depending on what form you buy it in (ground, boneless cuts, whole fryers, etc.) it can look EXACTLY like cat. This can be very horrifying with no forewarning, especially to cat lovers. That is why I had to make my very first rabbit dishes with boneless pieces...then it looks just like pieces of chicken breast. I apologize to you if I just grossed some of you out, but I felt it was better to warn you than leave you open for a possible shock later.
Okay, now you have these two new ideas to try, but, what about the PRICE of these gourmet items? Where I live (the PNW of the USA), ostrich is about twice the price of “clean” hamburger. AB’s are not supposed to be consuming a lot of red meat, so to me, it does not break the bank to have a serving of it now and then when I REALLY want a hamburger on the grill on Memorial Day weekend or the 4th of July. As to the rabbit, humanely raised rabbit is no more expensive than free-range chicken. This means that if the chicken’s not on sale, and the rabbit is, then the rabbit is actually cheaper! While I did not suggest pheasant be used as a substitute for anything I can tell you that for us it comes out about the same as the ostrich. I am hoping that as more and more people want these products that the price will eventually come down…I did not say I was holding my breath, just that I am hoping. For those that hunt or have friends/relatives that hunt (which I do), there is also that possibility. Another possible price control strategy would be to buy more than you could use and split the order with other people…sometimes this has gotten me a better price per pound.
Various vinegars are another item that generally needs to be replaced. They are commonly used in making mustards, salad dressings, mayonnaise, some marinades, and even a few candies and desserts. These items are often the very place that the unique flavor of a dish comes from. So if you lose the goo then you lose the flavor…why bother making it then? If I’m going to be eating this way the rest of my life, then it had better be tasty. Time for a bit of chemistry now: vinegar is acidic just like tomato, citrus fruits, and wine. It is the acid that is what the recipe really needs so what you do is substitute the type of acid that you should not have with one that you can. For instance, if you wanted to make basic vinaigrette that traditionally includes red or white wine vinegar you could substitute red or white wine. If you wanted to make a mayonnaise or aioli sauce you could substitute lemon juice. How much? Generally, you use the same amount that you would have used of the original acid that you are replacing so if you originally needed two tablespoons of vinegar you would use two tablespoons of the new ingredient.
What about those cans of cream of X that are used as a base for sauces that go into casseroles like tuna noodle casserole and that green bean thing you make for the holidays? You can make more variations of the tofu based sauce that I mentioned back in my blog about investment cooking two days ago than manufacturers make types of cream of mushroom, celery, or chicken soups. That one little recipe is a real gem in my opinion. Soft (silky) tofu can also be used to replace many other cream type items…it’s good in shakes for just one example. Usually the manufacturers of the products have recipes on their websites with ways to use their product(s). This can open up a whole new range of recipes and tastes.
I feel the best way to look at all the foods that you now should not be using is like this: These new food rules are going to make you try new foods that you otherwise would have missed completely had you not been “forced” to try them. Another way to say that is this: What if you had gone your entire life without ever tasting your current favorite food because you had been too hung up on the flavors of something else to ever try whatever it is that you currently really like to eat? You never know…you just might find yourself some terrific new taste sensations.