One Billion Recipes Later: A Brief Post on Finding Suitable Recipes

I often wonder how other people search for recipes. I’ve often remarked that I’m always on my lonesome when it comes to, well, all of this. So, I don’t really know how others find the recipes they do. Now, I’m not talking about your basic run of the mill recipe, I refer to ones suitable to several layers of restriction in a diet. So I thought it’d be fun, or fill a gap, to look at my method for finding recipes. This is just a rough ramble through my process, whether it’ll actually help anyone is anyone’s guess. I’m not here as a teacher, just as an example of other paths traversed, alternative methods tried and because you’d be heartbroken without me.

So firstly, what do we need to eliminate or, rather, what do we need to accommodate? In the simplest vernacular: What’s wrong with me?! So, we want Gluten Free, Nightshade Free, Low Histamine recipes. Now, no, we’re not even remotely done, impatient reader, that’s the basics, next comes the specifics. We also need: No added starches and no gums.

So, that kills off 99.9% of recipes, just kidding. Now it’s a matter of preferences. Each diet should be tailored to the individual. How? By figuring it out yourself, see, told you I’m not much help. Not to say I won’t break these next rules on occasion, the first part was unwavering in its necessity, allergens are no joking mater, these are just what I find helps me stay healthy, thin, I guess, am I thin? No idea, and happy, enough. For me I like a recipe to be comprised of basic ingredients, simple fare, no mixes of overly specific elements. It can be hard to get a lot of ingredients that are free from cross-contamination so the less the better holds true too. There are foods I try to limit, I’m not dairy free but I do prefer low dairy recipes. Same holds true for sugar, I can eat it, I like it, but I choose to limit my intake.

So that covers what goes in, or what I look for when I’m thinking about the type of recipe I’m searching out.From here we go forth and find the recipes, there are still criteria to be met with, but we at least know where we’re going or what we’re searching for. I usually decide whether I want a specific, or general recipe, e.g.: Do I want a bread with fruit, seeds and, oh, whatever, bacon! recipe or just a bread recipe. This doesn’t yield much when you need to be specific like me, I just scroll through hundreds of recipes and hope. Taking inspiration as I go. A better way I’ve found is to search by ingredient and then see if it works with my diet. Some adjectives, admittedly random on occasion, like healthy, paleo, low-fat etc help weed out unsuitable recipes from the beginning. So tahini recipes will yield results that gluten free tahini recipes won’t, there’s no guarantee that there won’t be something in a search without gluten free as a search term that will suit me. Another handy tip is to combine ingredients and just see what comes up. Buckwheat Tahini, Honey lemon, bacon marmalade, which also works when it comes to general searches e.g. Tahini Bread, Buckwheat Crumble. I find Google images better than the text as eye catching recipes can be interesting, but easily skipped if the names are uninspiring or unappetising.

The next part is deciding what size of recipe is acceptable. This is twofold: The first is how large it has to be  made, can I cut it in half? Quarters? The less I  risk wasting from a failed recipe the better. It also allows you to make use of a limited ingredient for maximum results. Man, this sounds more like a business meeting than a recipe post. We need more synergy, readership, at least twofold maximum synergistic possibilities! Heh. Anyway. The second aspect is how much it makes can be problematic when, if like me, you’ll eat all it makes regardless of how extreme that might be. I’m getting better at this, but I’d rather half a recipe than waste it or worse eat it all. So, you’ll need to learn how to do this yourselves, it’s not too difficult and I always say grams as a measurement make it easier than cups. I measure a cup once, record it and then use it as a reference afterwards. It’s worked for me so far.

What else? Hmmm, well I like useful recipes. As in: Do they use healthy ingredients in the best way? Does it utilize an ingredient that’s sadly underused? Will it allow for tweaks and variations? You might think you can have enough recipes, silly reader, you never know what recipes will suit you until you try a multitude of them. Then when you have your staple meals and snacks you’ll come across a far more suitable recipe. I lived on flaxbread,. Now? I’d rather not, it’s mushy, soggy and pales in comparison to buckwheat and quinoa breads. But it served its time, it’ s just that new recipes ousted it in my esteem and they helped me eat better. Win win. How to figure out any of this is complicated. I go with how basic the recipe is. An example: You have plain bread, basic, simple fare and you have chocolate swirl, cinnamon pumpkin, stone dishwater bread with coffee swirl frosting. How much will you take out of the latter to get it basic? How much is vital? When will removing part destroy the viability of the recipe? The less in a recipe the more chance you have of replacing or substituting. Not that I’m disparaging single use recipes, I just prefer tweaking them endlessly.

So, what the end game? You have your recipe. It suits, you make it and others and then someday you’ll try tweaking it and it’ll fail, horribly, but you’ll keep at it and you’ll succeed. then eventually the successes will far surpass the failures and you’ll start making your own recipes. You’ll use ingredients others aren’t. You’ll do things that are unheard of. You’ll understand the ingredients better, you’ll find which ones your body need to heal, to be healthy, to be better. You’ll have better control of your overall health. Or maybe not. Who knows? I just though I’d share some of the processes I go through searching and using recipes. If you have any questions, or if any of this was unclear, well, then…you’re on your own, kid! Joking. Ask away, not to say I’ll make it any clearer, but miracles do occasionally happen. Until later.


6 thoughts on “One Billion Recipes Later: A Brief Post on Finding Suitable Recipes

  1. I don’t have as many restrictions as you do, but I usually search for a recipe like this “gluten free, dairy free, nut free ________” and I can usually find a recipe. Not always though. It’s not easy finding a recipe when you have so many dietary restrictions. It might be best to stick to protein and veggies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s honestly a hassle, but I find if you stick with it you can find a lot. You just have to be willing to try everything once. Some of my favourite recipes are ones I’d have shied away from if I was looking for them to fit a mould. These days I look for the best nutrition and taste possible and try not to worry too much about culinary labels.


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