nutrition philosophy

4 Things I Consider When Creating Recipes

You may have noticed some things about the recipes I publish in this little corner of the internet. Or maybe you haven’t, which is why this might be a helpful read. The recipes I create all follow a similar pattern and I wanted to dive a little bit deeper into that today!

To back up for a second, this post was inspired by one of my online networking groups. I put out a call for football food recipes that I could feature in a roundup and I ended up getting a slew of recipe links that didn’t fit with my style at all.

Now, I am by no means dogging on anyone else’s work or saying that I’m right and they’re wrong. I just think it’s important to stay true to yourself as a practitioner and in that moment I realized that I had no interest in writing the article I had originally planned. I think it turned out to be a positive thing because it made me take a step back and consider what I do like to see in a recipe and why I create them in the way that I do.

Farro with Blueberries and Creamy Herb Tahini Dressing

Farro with Blueberries and Creamy Herb Tahini Dressing

Things I Consider When Creating New Recipes


I usually shoot for 30 minutes or less. I especially love making something traditionally time-intensive faster and/or easier. Case in point: my 20-minute ramen! Since I primarily like to work with busy people who want to streamline their meal planning, prepping and cooking process, I always want my recipes to support this. I enjoy longer cooking projects too, but when it comes to weeknights I like things to be quicker.


This means that I try to use ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store. It can be fun to experiment with the non-traditional stuff sometimes but I know cooking can already be intimidating so I try not to add anything too wild and if I do, I’ll generally provide a substitution for those who might not be able to find it.


The recipes I develop are all things that I make and eat on the regular in my house so if they don’t taste good, I won’t publish them. It’s a huge peeve of mine that healthy tends to be associated with things like raw kale (who in the world actually eats it that way?).

It’s another peeve of mine when someone posts a recipe on the internet just because the photos are pretty. Rest assured that most of the time, I end up posting things that I made on a whim and ended up tasting really good. If you ever make one that doesn’t turn out so well, let me know so I can figure out what happened.

Plant heavy

Lastly, I love using fruits, vegetables, grains and beans in a creative way, while still staying true to the first three points on this list. I follow a lot of food bloggers and recipe creators but I like to think this is a twist that sets me apart even if just a little bit.

RELATED // Roasted Cauliflower Tostadas

No, I don’t plan on replacing all of the meat in my kitchen with cauliflower or anything, but it can certainly keep things interesting to get outside of your comfort zone once in awhile.

Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches with Basil & Bleu Cheese

Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches with Basil & Bleu Cheese

Two Things I Don’t Do

Follow one specific dietary Plan

If you check out my recipe page, you’ll notice that when it comes to food, I don’t discriminate. I feature anything from pork, to seafood to dairy to whole grains. I’ve even got vegan and gluten-free recipes covered (okay that last one was kind of a joke).

I totally see the value in labeling things (way easier to find on Google and Pinterest), but I also worry about implying that something paleo or gluten-free is inherently healthier than their conventional counterparts, which isn’t necessarily the case. So while I might mention whether a recipe meets one of these dietary needs, always remember that I’m not doing it to endorse any one particular diet for all readers.

Use Words like “lightened up”

This might sound odd coming from a dietitian, but I typically avoid referring to recipes as “lightened up”, “skinny” or any other similar terms. In general, I feel like this type of recipe relies on diet, low fat, or artificially-sweetened ingredients when I tend to lean toward the real stuff in more moderate amounts.

Leave me a comment: What qualities do you tend to look for when searching for recipes?

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