top of page

A guide to substitute cooking ingredients: Part 2 - Substituting for Greens, Veggies & Alliums

With the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19, cooking and shopping for groceries takes so much more effort & creativity. Whether you are ordering your groceries online or if you are just planning to cook with the ingredients in your pantry, the odds are that you may be missing an ingredient or two that the recipe calls for. In this second part of substitutes for cooking ingredients, I will be covering substitutes for Leafy Greens, Vegetables & Alliums


When you are substituting greens, think about how you would consume them- mild and tender greens are generally consumed raw & firm greens are generally consumed cooked.

  • Mild and tender: Chard, lettuce, mâche, mesclun, spinach, tatsoi.

  • Mild and firm: Bok choy, cabbage, collard greens.

  • Bitter and tender: Arugula, endive, frisée, mizuna, radicchio, radish greens, watercress.

  • Bitter and firm: Escarole, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens.


Substituting vegetables while cooking, depends a lot on personal taste and preference. Vegetables can be further divided on the basis of cook times.

  • Quick-cooking: Asparagus, cabbage (bok choy, broccoli, broccolini, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale), celery, corn, eggplant, fennel, mushrooms, peas, peppers, summer squash, zucchini.

  • Firm: Root vegetables (beet, carrot, celery root, parsnip, potato, sweet potato, turnip), winter squash


Alliums have a pretty unique group for flavours, asafetida (or heeng) is commonly used as a substitute. Other substitutes include leeks, onions, shallots, scallions, spring onions. You could also use the more potent dried forms of Garlic and onion. You can also use dried forms of garlic and onions that come as powdered, granulated or flakes. However, it is important to note that these powdered forms are much more potent than fresh garlic or onions.

If you haven't already read the first part of this series on Substitutes for Dairy Products, Oils & Fats and Stock click here

4 views0 comments


bottom of page