View Full Version : How do you Raw Chefs Create/Revise Recipes
10-03-2007, 09:12 AM
Would any of you recipe creators be willing to share how you go about creating new recipes or how you go about modifying?
How do you know what works and what doesn't? Do you just try something and hope it works or is there a method or some kind of rules you go by?
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but I would love to know this.
10-03-2007, 09:24 AM
I mostly come up with recipes by mistake. Either I am trying to make something else.. or I experiment until I get something I am trying, just right. I revise by taste. Sometimes you have to scrap stuff and try try again.
10-03-2007, 09:33 AM
I have created something by mistake, it was Khaju an indian dessert, I was making something with cashews and I just messed up the recipe and my husband taste it and said this is just like my fav indian dessert and he loved it but I don't even remember now what I did and how I messed up..
I'm wondering if there is some kind of process that people go about when creating a recipe.
10-03-2007, 09:35 AM
Write down your steps next time and even the mistakes. incase you LOVE it! That is what I did for my cream of wheat. :D
10-03-2007, 10:14 AM
Bye the way I think I spelled that indian dessert wrong, I'm not sure how to spell it.
I will have to write everything down, I think I'll busy a special book for this.
Any other tips on creating recipes?
10-03-2007, 11:13 AM
As a chef I can usually tell by looking at a recipe what conversions or substitutions will potentially work, & the ones that probably won't..
This is the result of 40 plus years cooking with my grandmother, my mother, aunts, working as both a pastry chef & regular chef in restaurants & catering..
For someone who does not have this kind of experience, I would suggest that your substitutions begin with ingredients that are similar..One of the things that virtually all raw foodists crave during their transitions is sweets..
Sugars of every description are in 80-90% of all manufactured foods found in a grocery store..Those foods not containing sugar, invariably contain starches which break down quickly into sugars so as to fuel our cells..Even canned vegetables contain some natural sugars, so it's impossible to get away from them..
When substituting honey, agave, maple syrup, etc. for granulated sugars you must remember that a raw version will seldom have the texture of a cooked or baked version of a dessert..This is because of the fact that heat will not be causing chemical reactions between the sugar & the other ingredients..Also, allowances MUST be made for the liquid in raw sweeteners..
Something that most cooks do not articulate is that baking is all chemistry..Cooking entrees in an oven, a steamer, or stovetop allows for a certain amount of "fudge" factor..Mistakes are more or less easily correctable, depending upon the circumstances..This is not the case with baking..Proportions between various ingredients must be maintained, or the recipe will either turn out less than acceptable, or fail altogether..
I admire the ingenuity of those who have created so many wonderful raw versions of sweets..I have done this myself, with exellent results, as many SAD eaters dive into these desserts..
Lately however, I am beginning to question the wisdom of continuing to make & consume so much of these types of raw foods..When I next go onto a raw diet it is my intention to wean myself completly off of these sweets by the end of my third month back on raw..Hopefully, by that time, I will be 100% raw for at least several weeks, if not longer..
Substitutions in savory recipes should be somewhat easier..Some foods, such as potatoes, probably should not be eated raw..Most raw foodists will only need to make their substitutions so as to immitate the texture of the SAD food that they are trying to mimic..
Hope this helps some..
10-03-2007, 12:38 PM
Thanks Bruce for the info I really appreciate it!!
As for desserts I noticed since going raw that I don't need or want desserts as much as I use to, and I do understand what you mean about elimnating the desserts I think anything can be over abused.
I'm really surprised at how I don't crave sweets as much, it's really shocking.
10-03-2007, 01:33 PM
I'm going to try and make my own recipe this weekend, I'll let you know how it turns out.
If anyone has anymore tips let me know.
10-03-2007, 01:45 PM
For me it's usually a case of I don't have the right ingredients so end up subbing all the time. I always use different nuts for things because I never have what they call for, or if it's a certain vegetable I use whatever I have instead, I often use spinach for fresh basil or different spices because I don't have Cilantro.
One time though I was trying to make honey crackers and they were not getting crisp (think because of too much honey) so the idea came to me to cut them up in squares put bananas inside and then roll it up like a Cannoli and I had this icing I'd just made for something else and had leftovers so put that inside and then drizzled chocolate sauce on top and had a new creation.
Another time I took a recipe that wasn't raw and just left out the non raw ingredients and came up with my raw creation. Or someone on here has an idea for a raw version of a SAD food and my mind starts thinking of ways to do it and I create that way. It is all trial and error though. Not everything comes out perfectly all the time.
10-03-2007, 01:48 PM
i usually never follow recipes from books bc i usually never have all the ingredients so it just leads to loads of improvising which leads to me experimenting and creating my new recipes. lately i just like to see what i have around, use my good judgement and taste buds and whip up something yummy and interesting.
10-03-2007, 02:23 PM
wow thanks.. I'll try using what I have and see what happens. One thing about me I'll eat almost anything but my husband is not like that so that is why I tend to try and keep recipes they way they are but I'm going to start trying something different.
10-03-2007, 02:38 PM
I think recreating recipes is a skill learned with time and experiance. Try try again.
I think creating desserts is easier than entree's etc.
With desserts, it's usually crunchy sticky and sweet and smooth.
Smooth - nuts, bananas, fruit puree, avocado, coconut
crunchy - nuts, dehydrated pulp, grains
sweet - dates, agave, stevia, fruit
sticky - dates, agave....
You really just have to think of the taste you're going for, isolate those options, and then think about texture.
For entrees it's more about the seasonings.
For a meaty patty you want something that is proteinaceous and somewhat fatty, and from there you'd season with flavors that you associate with meat. (example - poultry seasoning, lemon pepper etc.)
10-03-2007, 02:45 PM
Great tips Smilling Raw Dancer... I'm excited about making new recipes. I come from a family of people whom like to cook I hope it helps in my ability to un-cook.. lol
10-03-2007, 03:37 PM
I think it comes from experiance, trial and error, and an open mind to try something new.:)
Also necessity is the mother of invention. When you have made up your mind to eat raw no matter what, the mind decides to shift into high gear to re-learn old food prep techniques, so that one won't starve to death or revert back to old "cooked" habits.
10-03-2007, 04:08 PM
another tip sharp is that i find I put a little acid like lemon juice, lime juice, even sometimes a little vinegar into foods that are bland and pasty (as is often the case with stuff with nuts/seeds).
It's a "pro" tactic to include all the tastes, so salty, sour, sweet, sometimes bitter in all foods. Many commercial foods are "cheated" with sugar, such as tomato sauce. So if you want to impress with a tomato sauce raw, you squeeze a little sweetener in, a little sour, salt, etc., along with your sundried tomatoes and raw tomatoes and herbs.
I kind of taste what is "missing" and add that. That goes for both modifying and developing.
Starting with good quality ingredients also helps. So if you see something that is really nice, fresh and tasty, work around that and develop something out of it. Find good sources for your veggies and you will reap dividends in the final product. There are carrots and there are carrots.;)
When trying to mimic a SAD food, often the main ingredients are completely different. Example hummus, hummus with sprouted garbanzos is a disaster, but hummus from sprouted sunflower seeds, cashews, whatever else is better. I think that's the case for the pumpkin pie from Raw Food Real World, that they found that to mimic cooked pumpkin pie, don't put pumpkin anywhere near it.
It's amazing what herbs and spices can do, so if you learn what the magic herb or spice combo is in your favorite SAD food, often that will make your raw version very enjoyable.
I would say start simple, with fewer ingredients. As you get blending lots of ingredients it makes it difficult to not get a "dog's breakfast" type of thing going on.
Next tip is if you get a disaster, think of what else you could turn it into to not have it go to waste.
Another tip of mine is the "sub clinical" dose of good quality fresh cayenne. So it's not hot enough that you taste hot, but it opens up the taste buds in a similar way that MSG would, so all the tastes become more vibrant.
Last tip is do not get discouraged if it's more difficult than you thought. I was a fantastic cook SAD, like Baked Alaska flambee not using recipes, etc., but when I went to cook raw, at first I had to stick to recipes because everything I tried to "wing" turned out godawful!:o After cooking with established raw recipes a while, the improvisational side started having better odds of being edible. I probably still use more actual recipes when cooking raw than when cooking sad.
Good luck, can't wait to see what you cook up!!! And post any good ones here, OK!
10-03-2007, 04:12 PM
Thanks!!! Great advice coming out of you guys, I will be sure to post my first recipe right in this thread,, I hope I don't forget, I did book mark it though.
I can't wait to get busy on making my own creations.
10-03-2007, 04:30 PM
I'll echo exurb on not getting discouraged at first..
Virtually all of my early raw sweets worked out okay..
But the first dozen or so raw savory foods I tried to improvise with, in a word, sucked..
So bad that I threw them out..I'm REAL frugal & it has to taste BAAAAAAD for me to toss it..
Halve, or quarter your recipes so that if it does not turn out you won't have so much to throw away (unless the dog will eat it?)..
The use of acid, bitter, salty, spicy, & sweet are all things that pro chefs do to try & rescue mistakes..Don't be afraid to experiment!!..It's just food!!..
Good luck, Bruce
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