Alternate ingredients (substitutions) or optional ingredients are preceded by an open cicle
All recipes on this site came from my mom's kitchen. Some were given to her from family or friends, others she picked up from cookbooks and tweaked to her taste, and so on. She scribbled some of them on pieces of paper, or annotated photocopies of cookbook pages; but over the years, she had memorized them all and her memory was the only place they could be found.
One fine day, I left home to study engineering in college, a few thousand miles away from home. Soon I realized that my mom's cooking was not to be discovered in even the best Greek restaurants in the US; and following standard cookbook recipes didn't produce the result I remembered from childhood. So I asked her for her recipes, and I got them all. But they were the kind of recipes meant to be read by other cooks. I was a kitchen ignoramus and an engineer too: some kasseri meant nothing... How much is some, in pounds? Since I can't find kasseri at the local store, what other cheese can I use? And so I set out to rewrite her recipes into a form that is slightly more idiot-friendly, consulting other cookbooks for substitutions, tables for measure equivalencies, and doing lots of experimentation.
This is the outcome. The neighbor's dog (see the picture above) enjoys the leftovers, even the veggies. Greek friends that taste it at my home find it very authentic. Tell my mom what you think: her email is recipes at lerios dot org.