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, 3 cooking process 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)
Real 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.
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 it, healthy fats), and about half the fat used in traditional recipes
Only natural sweeteners (like honey, maple syrup, agave, etc.), and about half the total sweetener of traditional recipes
Low in sodium, using only unrefined sea salt
No inconvenient amounts (like “1 Tbsp. tomato paste” or “1/3 cup crushed pineapple”- what are you supposed to do with the rest?!
No multiple step 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!