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DH hates cilantro & bell pepper

It seems like every recipe I look at calls for either/or cilantro or bell pepper. What do you think would be good substitutes for these ingredients? I do use a lot of garlic, mushrooms, herbs, etc. but it just seems like everything needs both or at least one or the other. Help!

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  1. Sub basil for cilantro. Works for most things! And is it all bell pepper that he dislikes? I find that many people who dislike green bell pepper and good with yellow, orange or red.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mojoeater

      hmmmm...I've heard that celery leaves are a good sub for cilantro too...yes, many people who can't do green bell peppers CAN eat the red, yellow or orange ones..which are even better for you, due to the colors.

    2. rather than find a substitute, is it too late for an annulment? ;)

      3 Replies
      1. re: raygunclan

        Yup. He's gotta go.

        To save the relationship maybe he could drink beer in large quantities before a meal to loosen up a little and try new things...

        1. re: raygunclan

          Hey! Julia Child hated cilantro too.

          1. re: raygunclan

            Fraid not, we've been married 54 years! And it's all bell peppers even though he loves all the other peppers! Frustrating to say the least. It seems every recipe I see now calls for cilantro and/or bell peppers.

          2. Cilantro tastes like soap to me so I sub based upon the cuisine. That means omitting it in Mexican, subbing in coriander seeds for Indian, and either parsley, basil or mint in European dishes. As to bell pepper, I've had friends who wouldn't eat green peppers but were fine with red or yellow--otherwise just omit unless it is a pepper based dish in which case you'll have to skip it until he is away or you're making something else he'll be happy with.

            1. My husband used to hate bell pepper when we first started dating and even suggested omitting it entirely from a dish he loves that is no good without it. After he tried the dish without the bell pepper, he began to come around and has become more willing to eat bell peppers. Though I still get all his leftover peppers when he orders fajitas at mexican restaurants.

              1. Sub parsley for cilantro and just forget about bell pepper. My wife can't handle bell pepper in any color (makes her quite ill) and frankly we don't really miss it in recipes.

                1. Seriously. my husband used to Hate (yes with a capital H) curry. I asked him to try a very mild coconut curry soup. He liked it because it was so 'mild'. Every time I made it I made it stronger and then I started making other dishes too. Pretty soon it was the family joke how he only liked 'mild' curry.

                  Left him anyway but that's another story...

                  1. Sorry - my point was to work a wee bit into food to get him used to the taste of cilantro and peppers.

                    1. Parsley for the cilantro. The dish will lose flavor but if you have fresh chopped cilantro to throw in for the true believers, there will be redemption.

                      Re: bell peppers -- my husband really dislikes raw green bells, but will eat them cooked; he likes red/orange/yellow, raw or cooked. (As others have said) find out if DH will eat this red pepper spectrum, they're sweeter and usually more tolerable, cooked or raw.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DuchessNukem

                        I never realized how many people don't like green bells until I got on food boards. I love it in any preparation, particularly when it's cooked into ground meat.

                      2. You could try another pepper low on the Scoville scale, like banana.
                        Subs for cilantro- none really. It has a unique taste, however! think about other herbs which often get used together with cilantro; basil, thai basil, parsely and mint.

                        1. Thanks everybody for all your suggestions. I love to cook and love experimenting with new dishes. DH is open minded and will try anything and everything but he says cilantro tastes like soap and the bell peppers really give him indigestion. Sounds like I'm already going with the best possible substitutes.

                          1. Many people perceive the taste of cilantro to be soapy, which is an unfortunate genetic trait rather than an issue of personal taste. I agree with monavano's suggestion to use a mixture of other herbs as an alternative, and have cilantro on the side to add to your plate, since there really is no substitute for its flavor. Depending on the cuisine you could use tomatoes, sweet onions, snow peas or green beans to add a crisp or sweetness instead of bell peppers.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: colfaxBee

                              I've heard that cilantro taste is genetic, but is it? The first time I ate cilantro was on a lobster quesadilla and it really took me back! Right back to my childhood when my mom washed my mouth out with soap a time or two.
                              It was years before I ate it again, but I started to like it. A lot.
                              Now, I load up on it and the soap taste never registers.

                            2. Just add cilantro to your own portion after you serve his. The flavor is best uncooked, anyway. I would substitute fresh poblano peppers for the bells, but take out the seeds and veins to remove any heat. (They usually are mildly hot, but seedless and veinless, they will be as mild as a bell.) Poblanos in California are sometimes called pasillas.