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Cooking with College Students: Spice Substitution Chart

November 9, 2010
Assertion #1: Unless they are the secret spawn of Martha Stewart, most college students are not proud owners of a full spice rack.

I think I have made my opinion of Maniac Martha fairly clear on this site...

Assertion #2: College students are lazy and poor.  Therefore, it stands to reason that when making dinner, a college student wants to know three things: Is it easy; will it taste good; and does it require a trip to the store (because ya, that’s a deal breaker)?  They also have an affinity for buying frozen meat and seafood in bulk, namely chicken…
Herbs and spices are the easiest and cheapest ways to add diversity to your dining experience.  Yet if my first assertion stands true, you are probably working with a limited amount of options.  Good thing it just so happens that half of the things in those smelly little jars are actually interchangeable (who knewwww).  Check out the chart below for some recipe-saving spice substitutions.  Happy baking! Try not to burn the place down…

Spice Substitutions

  1. Allspice: Cinnamon; cassia; dash of nutmeg or mace; or dash of cloves
  2. Aniseed: Fennel seed or a few drops anise extract
  3. Cardamom: Ginger
  4. Chili Powder: Dash bottled hot pepper sauce plus a combination of oregano and cumin
  5. Cinnamon: Nutmeg or allspice (use only 1/4 of the amount)
  6. Cloves: Allspice; cinnamon; or nutmeg
  7. Cumin: Chili powder
  8. Ginger: Allspice; cinnamon; mace; or nutmeg
  9. Mace: Allspice; cinnamon; ginger; or nutmeg
  10. Nutmeg: Cinnamon; ginger; or mace
  11. Saffron: Dash of turmeric (for color)

Herb Substitutions

  1. Basil: Oregano or thyme
  2. Chervil: Tarragon or parsley
  3. Chive: Green onion; onion; or leek
  4. Cilantro: Parsley
  5. Italian Seasoning: Blend of any of these: basil, oregano, rosemary, and ground red pepper
  6. Marjoram: Basil; thyme; or savory
  7. Mint: Basil; marjoram; or rosemary
  8. Oregano: Thyme or basil
  9. Parsley: Chervil or cilantro
  10. Red Pepper: Dash bottled hot pepper sauce or black pepper
  11. Rosemary: Thyme; tarragon; or savory
  12. Sage: “Poultry” seasoning; savory; marjoram; or rosemary
  13. Savory: Thyme; marjoram; or sage
  14. Tarragon: Chervil; dash fennel seed; or dash aniseed
  15. Thyme: Basil; marjoram; oregano; or savory
3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2010 6:03 am

    i want it

  2. November 13, 2010 5:24 pm

    Neither are men. Whatb do I make for dinner 911 just ask my wife. Great humor.

  3. November 15, 2010 12:46 pm

    i like

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