Substitutions Guide

Substitutions Guide

If you’re having difficulty sourcing ingredients or if you have dietary restrictions or allergies, we’ve offered some substitution guidelines below! Since ingredients can be used in so many different ways depending on the recipe, use your judgement; some ingredients can simply be omitted.



You can either substitute pear or apple sauce.


Used as a topping for many recipes. Avocados add a healthy fat in this meal plan but are not essential in any recipe. You can substitute pre- made guacamole or a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt where needed or desired.


In smoothies, substitute banana with soft tofu or avocado if you have it on hand (you may want to sweeten it a bit more to taste), or simply add extra yogurt and/or frozen bananas or another fruit and omit.


Simply omit the basil in recipes or substitute with parsley or another herb as desired such as oregano.


Substitute any other sturdy vegetable that can be steamed, ie. carrots, cauliflower, brussels sprouts. In the soup cauliflower would work best or frozen broccoli could be used.


Carrots can either be left out (just add extra other veggies) or look for frozen varieties that can be substituted in some recipes (like the Lo Mein) where carrots are cooked. Extra grated zucchini can be used in recipes where carrots are grated.


Use frozen cauliflower.


Simply omit celery from the recipe and use extra aromatics (ie: onion).

Cherry Tomatoes

Simply substitute any tomato variety and cut into smaller pieces if needed.


Simply omit cilantro in recipes or substitute with parsley or basil.


Either omit cucumber or substitute with bell pepper or another vegetable that you enjoy.


You can use bottled lemon juice in replacement of fresh lemon. Lime juice will work in many recipes.


Used as a garnish in most dishes, substitute lemon juice where needed or bottled lime juice.

Basil (fresh)

Substitute dried basil or fresh parsley.

Butternut Squash

Substitute extra potatoes or a similar squash. Frozen squash works well in recipes that are blended, but we didn’t enjoy it when we tried it roasted.


Substitute garlic powder (use . of the volume of fresh) or pre-minced garlic; otherwise omit and/or add extra onion to compensate if appropriate.


Substitute powdered ginger (half the quantity of fresh) or pre-minced ginger in a jar or simply omit.

Green Lettuce

Use another variety of lettuce such as iceberg or romaine lettuce in replacement of leafy green lettuce.

Green Onions

Simply omit green onions from the recipe, use chives or add additional herbs.


Omit if you can’t find or don’t like them and add extras of the other vegetables.


Substitute grapefruit and add maple syrup to taste in the citrus smoothie. Other fruit such as frozen peaches would also work for the smoothie.


Substitute cilantro, use dried if appropriate or omit.

Sweet Bell Peppers

Omit peppers, use green peppers or substitute a similar amount of sliced carrots.


Substitute spinach or another leafy green lettuce in salads and spinach or swiss chard in recipes where kale is cooked.

Red Cabbage

Simply omit or substitute green cabbage or a ready to make salad with cabbage. You may want to increase the other vegetables in the recipe if you choose to omit it.


Substitute kale if possible, or frozen spinach in recipes where the spinach is cooked.


If used to garnish a dish, simply omit. If used in a salad substitute with cucumber. If used in a recipe where tomatoes will be cooked use canned diced tomatoes in replace of fresh tomatoes.

Russet Potatoes

Substitute with another variety of potato or with sweet potatoes where appropriate.

Red onions

Substitute sweet onion or white onion.

Sweet Potatoes

Substitute with another variety of potato.

Yellow Onions

Substitute another variety of onion (white or sweet).

Yellow Potatoes

Substitute with another variety of potato.


Use extra grated carrot in recipes that call for carrot. In the pasta dishes simply use another vegetable that cooks well such as red peppers or mushrooms etc.


Cheddar Cheese

Substitute another variety of semi-hard cheese such as Havarti, Monterey Jack or omit.

Chicken Breasts

Substitute chicken thighs or use your judgement depending on the recipe; shrimp or fish are often great options. You can often find frozen chicken breasts in the freezer aisle.

Chicken Thighs

Substitute chicken breasts or use your judgement depending on the recipe; shrimp or fish are often great options. Check the freezer aisle for additional options where needed.


Substitute chia or flax eggs (1 tbsp. Ground flax or chia mixed with 3 tablespoons water for each egg) in baking and extra firm tofu in cooking recipes (except for the frittata – tofu does not work in this recipe).


Option to make your own vegan feta cheese, add another type of cheese or omit.

Heavy Cream

Substitute a store-bought cashew cream, use 18% cream or make your own cashew cream.


Option to make your own (here’s my recipe), use extra tzatziki, baba ghanoush or omit.

Italian Sausages

Substitute another type or sausage or ground and add Italian seasoning.


Any type of milk will work in these recipes: oat, soy or almond (fortified) are good options. You can also make your own almond milk or oat milk.


Substitute another variety of semi-hard cheese such as Havarti, Monterey Jack or omit.


Option to make your own or substitute a tomato pasta sauce in the pasta dishes. Omit in sandwiches.


Substitute another type of fish or chicken breasts.


Substitute a type of fish or chicken breasts.

Sour Cream

Substitute heavy cream in recipes where it is used in cooking (like the cauliflower alfredo or the kale pesto pasta) and omit as a garnish.

Sliced Turkey Breast

Substitute another type of deli meat or cooked sliced chicken breast.


Option to make your own (grated cucumber, lemon juice, plain yogurt, salt and crushed garlic), or omit.


Option to omit or replace with sour cream to top savory dishes. For smoothies you can add soft tofu to add that creaminess.


Frozen Peaches

Substitute another frozen fruit or sliced apples.

Frozen Corn

Substitute canned corn or omit.

Frozen Mixed Vegetables

Use frozen corn, peas, and carrots to make a mix of frozen vegetables.

Frozen Peas

You can add sugar peas in some instances (ie: the pasta) or substitute it with another vegetable that is in the recipe.



Almond Butter

Substitute another variety of natural nut butter or seed butter. Wow butter (or similar) will work in many cases as well.


Substitute with coconut oil in baking and margarine or vegan butter in savory recipes.

Canola or Avocado oil

Substitute any type of vegetable oil.

Coconut oil

Substitute butter or vegan butter.


Add extra tomato paste if used in a recipe with a pinch of sugar or omit if used as a condiment.


You can purchase a sandwich spread that may work in some recipes (ie: tartar sauce – or you could purchase pre-made tartar sauce), add hummus or avocado to a sandwich or omit.


Dijon mustard will work in place of yellow mustard in many recipes, or you can use dry mustard. Note that the taste will significantly change so be sure to try it in a bit of the food before adding it to the entire dish!

Smooth Natural Peanut Butter

Substitute another variety of natural nut butter or seed butter. Wow butter (or similar) will work in many cases as well.

Olive oil

Substitute vegetable oil (canola or avocado if possible).

Rice wine vinegar

Use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar with a pinch of sugar if unavailable.

Sesame oil

Omit if unavailable.

Soy sauce

Substitute tamari or coconut aminos; if all unavailable omit and adjust the salt to taste.


If both stock concentrate and stock cartons are unavailable option to make your own veggie scrap broth or substitute water.


Use whole vanilla bean pulp, vanilla powder (in the baking aisle) or omit.


Baking Powder

Substitute ¼ teaspoon baking soda + ½ teaspoon cream of tartar for each 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Dried Cranberries

Substitute raisins or another dried fruit.

GF Flour*

A 1:1 gluten free blend or oat flour will work in most recipes (or another grain) or grind oats in a blender to create oat flour.

GF English Muffins

Substitute bread or bagels.

Large Flake Oats

You can substitute quick oats for large flake oats. Spelt or rye flakes will work as well.

GF Panko

Substitute bread crumbs.

GF Pasta Noodles

Substitute any similar shaped noodles as you wish; keep in mind that you may need to adjust cooking times. Follow package instructions for cooking times!

Pumpkin Seeds

Omit if unavailable or substitute another type of seed such as sunflower seeds.


Substitute rice or couscous and cook according to package instructions.


Omit if unavailable or substitute another type of dried fruit such as cranberries.


Substitute quinoa, barley or another grain. Riced cauliflower will work in some recipes.


Substitute honey, brown sugar, coconut sugar or maple syrup, depending on the recipe.


Canned Beans

Use dried beans, here is a guide to cooking them. Alternatively, omit or swap with another type of canned bean.

Diced Canned Tomatoes

Substitute fresh diced tomatoes (you may need to cook them down).


Make your own Pico de Gallo or omit.

Tomato Paste

Substitute tomato sauce or pureed canned diced tomatoes, let simmer on the stove until liquid has reduced and intensified the flavor before adding into dish (you can add it right into the lentil bolognaise and increase the simmer time). Ketchup may work in recipes where a bit of sweetness is ok. Option to omit.


Dried spices

Omit if unavailable or substitute with a similar spice. For instance, dried oregano can be substituted with dried basil.


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