Cooking is more complicated than many people give it credit for because to genuinely make the meal great, the cook needs to understand how the ingredients chemically work together.
Guessing while cooking or adapting a recipe will only work sometimes, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Btp23 was fed up with her husband cooking meals, only to ruin the meal by trying to adapt the recipes with healthier options.
When he accused her of being ungrateful for his cooking, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to do next.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my husband to stop changing the recipes?”
The OP and her husband had an arrangement.
“My (30 Female) husband (33 Male) does the majority of the cooking, like 90%.”
“This is specifically because he’s a picky eater and I have given up cooking for him (I just clean up afterward and watch the baby while he cooks).”
But the OP was frustrated with how her husband was cooking.
“Sometimes he would try to take recipes from online or copy a dish we like, except he would change the recipes so that it’s ‘healthier.'”
“By modification, I mean like cutting sugar by 75%, and replacing white flour with wheat flour/almond flour. That level of substitution or modification.”
“It usually results in something that neither of us enjoys eating.”
“However, since he’s picky, he just doesn’t eat it, so then I get stuck with eating all of it since I don’t like to waste food.”
This eventually led to an argument.
“I told him to just stop trying to change the recipes, especially if it’s his first time making it.”
“He called me ungrateful.”
“So was I the AH for suggesting he stop modifying recipes to make them healthier?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some couldn’t get over how much food was being ruined or wasted.
“It seems like the husband doesn’t mind putting in the effort but doesn’t also mind throwing things out if the result is not good. OP hates wasting food.”
“A compromise is necessary. Either the husband would cook to OP’s specs, or OP needs to relax about wasting food, or cook herself, or suck it up and eat.” – Dont_know_you
“Also, if he does not stop changing the recipes, start cooking for yourself and make him eat it.” – Napolna_Freesun
“Seriously, when you swap wheat flour for white, you need to adjust the moisture level (an egg or extra milk) and sometimes the fat level (extra oil or butter or a little extra applesauce) in order for the dish to keep its appeal.”
“These things can be done but DH (Dear Husband) needs to watch some Youtube. There are substitutions that won’t make the dish inedible. The almond flour is a tough one because it does not have a one-to-one swap (not even close).”
“Your husband can take cooking classes at a continuing education center or sign up for ones online. There are also some really good food blogs that can help learn the art of recipe adaptation.”
“But no impulse changes if he is not willing to eat the result!”
“And NTA. If the cook won’t eat it, you should not have to either.” – moodyfish7777
“NTA. LOL (laughing out loud). Ungrateful? He doesn’t even like his meals. Why does he deserve gratitude?”
“‘Listen I work hard trying to sap all the flavor out of the meals that I cook for the family to nibble on and toss out due to disgust. I deserve a little gratitude!'”
“No one that gatekeeps flavortown deserves a single ounce of gratitude, lol. The absolute audacity to cook poorly and demand appreciation.” – YoureNotSpecialLol
“I develop a lot of my own recipes and I’m wanting to put together a lemon sour cream cake mix for the holidays that will be a just add water affair. I’ve got a couple of different reference recipes that will serve as a bit of a road map, but what I’m doing right now is figuring out how much citric acid and powdered sour cream can go in while doing this w/o egg (due to allergies).”
“If I didn’t take the chemistry into consideration, I’d be ruining a lot of food and forced to eat my mistakes.”
“It’s like wanting to take the Toll House cookie recipe and make it a chocolate-chocolate chip. You need to swap out some of the flour for the cocoa powder so you don’t wind up baking chocolate scented bricks.” – no_shirt_4_jim_kirk
Others suggested either splitting the grocery budget or ordering takeout.
“But he’s not eating what’s being served now, and you’re eating things that you don’t like. Is he just not eating on nights he doesn’t like what he cooked or is he eating UberEats? Either way, if he’s not going to eat it anyway, what’s being cooked might as well be something that YOU at least like.”
“Set a budget for food for the week, and then split it in half. You can each use your share of the budget to either cook food you like or order out. When the money’s gone, you eat leftovers or eat from the pantry.”
“NTA. But it’s not about telling him to stop modifying recipes to make them more ‘healthy.’ It’s about asking him to stop wasting your food budget on recipes that are inedible.” – mlmarte
“Maybe if he doesn’t listen or care about what you like and want to eat, as well, then it’s time you each cooked for yourself and redistributed household chores accordingly.” – Swimming-Item8891
“If he won’t stop, then split the food budget in two. You make your meals and have your leftovers and probably have money to spare for something you like (I personally would get yarn and nail polish).”
“He can run out of money after throwing it away in two weeks and spend the last two weeks of the month eating delicious instant ramen (because canned soup is too pricey these days and he can’t afford it, $3.50 for split pea soup?!).” – gissycat
“This sucks but splitting the budget might be the way OP needs to go. It’s ridiculous, no adult should have to be managed like this, but I don’t have great faith in OP’s husband’s ability to act like an adult…”
“I realize this might come off as insulting. I think it’s a really good idea, but being in a place to have to implement it is something of a nightmare scenario, which is the part that sucks.” – inkpaperdream
“So he orders food delivery after not eating what he himself cooked… he doesn’t even pick it up? Sounds like he is just costing you guys extra money.” – Glum_Shoe7959
Some also pointed out needing to understand a recipe before changing it.
“NTA. You need to be a more skilled cook before you can randomly change the proportions of things like sugar and flour. Those aren’t just a flavor in a dish, they affect things like rising.” – poetic_justice987
“Different types of flours and sugar substitutes change cooking times and texture, and you generally need to change the amounts you use.”
“This bro needs a special ‘healthy weirdo’ cookbook written by someone who knows what the f**k they’re doing. (Source: I am a healthy weirdo who went to a healthy weirdo culinary school.)” – goldentealcushion
“I prefer to reduce sugar in a lot of recipes because they’re usually too sweet for me or have just an obscene amount of sugar.”
“So I have two options: 1, actually make sense of the recipe and see if the sugar is necessary (and sometimes it is) or 2, MAKE A DIFFERENT D**N RECIPE.”
“You don’t have to modify every recipe to make it ‘healthier’ if you just start with healthier recipes. Look for a low sugar alternative or an almond flour recipe, for f**k’s sake.” – Thermohalophile
“I tried making some Yorkshire puddings a couple of times and they came out pretty decent. They rose really well and tasted good, anyway.”
“I decided to try making some for a family gathering one year. I was going to make them at my parent’s house, so the roast and drippings would be fresh.”
“When I got there, they told me they only used chickpea flour and almond milk. The result was not good. Sad little hockey pucks.” – Beneficial_Step9088
“I’ve had to work with my husband in this. We now agree that the first cook of a recipe is as written, then we decide if it’s worth cooking again or if it needs tweaking. I like this method because it gives us a baseline so we know how to change it to make it suit our tastes better.”
“The OP’s husband should do this or stop cooking. NTA.” – pizzadaughter
“NTA. I’ve been gluten-free for over a decade due to a horrible allergy. When I first started, I had a ton of flops due to not getting the ratios correct. There wasn’t a lot of research online back then, at least that I was able to find.”
“I certainly wouldn’t have tried to serve something I wouldn’t eat to someone else. Thankfully, gluten-free food and information have come a long way.” – AlysInBetween
The subReddit was frustrated on the OP’s behalf for having to eat inedible meals for the sake of not wasting food, just because her husband insisted on altering recipes.
The husband needed to understand what made the recipe good before he could alter it, and until he could do that, it would be better to stick with the recipe so everyone could at least eat.