Doctoring Recipes

Ever make a recipe and find it bland and boring.

Oh the number of times I have done this and been disappointed with all the effort I have put into my meal.

One of the things I have gotten good at is what I call doctoring recipes, meaning I adjust the ingredients at the end or add something else to make the meal more delicious. The following are what I reach for when I find my meal to be bland. There are times where a food simply tastes bad and it is not worth eating, but hopefully these tips will help with you budget and help you to enjoy your food.

Add Seasonings

I usually reach for garlic salt first, because I find it to be a flavor boost and typically cook with large amounts of garlic. You could also add simple salt and pepper, seasoned salt, everything bagel seasoning, taco seasoning or simply start adding spices from your cabinet.

When I was in graduate school and my former boyfriend now husband was living in Florida with all of our belongings. He would make ground beef in a skillet and simply test out all the seasonings.

I have always been something of a spice hoarder. Oh well, in this case I find it to be extremely useful.

Add a Sauce

Open fridge.
See the door and the back of the fridge sauces abound.

You can use sauces in your fridge to play with the way something tastes. Add soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, toasted sesame oil, ketchup, oyster sauce, chili paste, salsa, and simply get creative with what already exists in your pantry or your fridge. Condiments can make a big difference.

Add Dairy

Cottage cheese and parmesan make this potato into something special.

Typically I mean sour cream. I find that if a sauce needs a bit of creaminess you can add yogurt or sour cream to enhance the flavor and give a bit more of a rich taste. I also sometimes to a pasta dish will add a dash of heavy cream to add that richness too. I will also add extra cheese, because I love it and I find the flavor to help most dishes.

Add Fat

Salad with carrots avocado and lettuce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and carrot ginger dressing.
Avocado makes this salad filling rather than just simple.

Fat also adds that richness like dairy, I usually add avocado, a bit of butter or olive oil can do wonders for a dish.

Add Sugar

I usually only use sugar to combat a spicy curry, but I find a pinch of sugar makes it taste a bit more edible.

Eat With Starch

Minestrone soup with bread and cheese
Soup is always better with bread.

Sometimes if a meal is too intense stirring it with some rice, or eating it with pasta or over a potato will make it lose some of it’s potency because you are spreading it over something milder. Keep in mind though if you do this you are likely to eat it for longer because you will eat smaller amounts at each meal.

What do you do with your meals that don’t come out as you expect? What are your tips and tricks?


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