When I develop recipes, I have certain goals and criteria in mind. The top two goals are flavor and nutritional value. At heart, I am a “lazy cook” and try to find the most efficient way to get a good result with a recipe. I believe others are encouraged to cook more healthfully when they can experience for themselves that good food can be tasty, beneficial and easy-to-prepare. So you won’t find many gourmet, multi-step, three-pot recipes in my collection.
These are the criteria and goals I have in mind when developing a recipe:
- The final product needs to taste great (if my family isn’t excited to have it again, then I don’t bother writing it down)
- Only whole, natural ingredients (and as few as possible)
- Plant-based ingredients (foods that have been shown to be nutritionally beneficial)
- Realistic ingredients– not too difficult to locate or too costly to purchase. Ideally, most recipes are made from “staple” ingredients I keep on hand. I don’t want to have to make a special trip to the grocery store for an unusual ingredient.
- Economical ingredients– recipes based on simple, inexpensive ingredients (not “3 cups almond meal”, but focusing on cost-effective dry goods like oats, rice, beans, etc.)
- Minimally processed ingredients (for instance- dried herbs are okay, but no prepared foods like ketchup, vanilla, soy sauce or rice milk, etc. as ingredients in a recipe)
- Avoid common allergens and foods people are commonly sensitive to (like wheat, corn, soy, dairy, sugar, etc.)
- Only natural, unrefined fats (that is, healthy fats) and about half the fat used in traditional recipes
- Only natural sweeteners (like honey and maple syrup) and about half the total sweetener of traditional recipes
- Low in sodium, using only unrefined sea salt
- No inconvenient portions (like “1 Tbsp. tomato paste” or “1/3 cup crushed pineapple”- what are you supposed to do with the rest?!)
- Minimal number of steps in recipes – reduced to as simple a preparation process as possible
- Minimal number of pots, pans and dishes used in preparation
I also put a high priority on a good final layout of the recipe- that it be easy-to-follow, have simple directions and the ingredients be ordered and grouped conveniently. I hope you enjoy and benefit from these standards!
For a book that satisfies all these criteria and more – check out my ebook that makes gluten-free vegetarian recipes easy!
For simple, family-pleasing gluten-free recipes – vegetarian and vegan – check out this tried-and-true collection of fabulous recipes!