MY GUIDE TO CREATING YOUR OWN NEXT LEVEL RECIPES
Many of us look to others for culinary inspiration, but how many of you actually get to dive into creating something new and inspiring that is birthed from within? You don’t have to be a trained chef to learn how to create amazing recipes. My entire life I’ve been into food, making it, eating it and serving it. When I opened local juicery in 2015 I had some training with teaching at Matthew Kenney’s academy and playing in my own kitchen but when I opened for business I quickly found a whole new world of recipe development and hacks for making magic in the kitchen happen. Now with my shop, I spend even more time in the kitchen inventing. I have a couple of expert tips that will offer everlasting guidance.
There is something so rewarding and empowering in making something new and fresh based off your own culinary tastes and desires. Put some music on, get inspired, go to the farmers market, have fun and let your creative juices flow through. Food should be sensual, it should be pleasure manifested into physical form. For me, it’s always a pleasurable experience. That’s my most important advice, let the process take over you and find some rapture in the kitchen. That the key to making next level recipes.
1. Add one ingredient at a time, taste it & take note!
When you’re just beginning and getting used to creating recipes this tip can be very usual. This was a great lesson for me in the beginning, a wonderful discovery of the power and subtlety that foods can have. At culinary school for example we made fresh nut milks and experiment with different ingredients. We would add a dash of cinnamon and then taste it, add a little honey and then taste it, add some cardamom and then taste it, etc. Each time, this addition added a world of change to the flavor.
You don’t need a lot to make an impact! This practice is so simple yet really amazing for heightening your senses and developing your ability to craft and create a recipe entirely on your own. Trial by error works. You’ll be surprised by how much you can flavor balance just by using this tip & your intuition. And you’ll get to enjoy the yumminess along the way.
2. Don’t be afraid to mess up!
We all mess up and it is part of the process, but it can be a beautiful thing. Sometimes when we mess up we actually discover something different or find our way to something that have never been done before. If you find yourself upset, just take a deep breathe, sip a little wine, turn the music up and then come at it from another angle. I once was making a chili and put cinnamon instead of chipotle, amazing! I now use it all the time, I even add a little cacao powder.
Side tip: What I love about cooking with raw foods is sometimes when it tastes a bit off, you have a bit more leeway for fixing it, then if I were cooking with lets say a recipe with eggs. Play between the acid, fat and sweet. Don’t give up, because your recipe might just need a little more balance in order to save it.
3. Let the magic work through you
Yes, there are so many cooking classes you can take, schools you can attend, videos you can watch and books you can read, but there is something special that happens when you are in the moment and preparing your dish. You might even get certain “downloads” for how the food wants to be prepared. Pay attention to how your body organically responds while you are cooking. It’s almost like making music or art, it’s an incredibly emotional experience, and you might just feel like the “food is cooking itself” and you are just the vessel it needs in order to become reality. Set an intention before cooking and see if that helps you bring the magic into the room.
4. Look for the inspiration in your life and let that influence you
What sparks you and brings you to life? Is it fashion? Nature? Music? I personally love traveling. I recently went on a trip to Oaxaca, and the people the cuisine, and the simplicity have really influenced my dishes. I am also a huge fan of fresh organic produce that is local and in season. When I am at the farmers market, I let the shapes, colors and sizes of the food speak to me. Perhaps reach for something that just excites you for no reason, even if you don’t know what it is.
I also love music. Creating food for me is like making music. I am a huge fan of listening music when I cook, what it is just depends on my current mood, but I find what I listen too gets into the food too! Get in touch with what really makes you tick and see how that energy can influence what you cook or the way you cook.
5. You don’t have to be perfect at plating to be a good recipe builder.
I know how to create great flavor. Plating is not my forte, but that is perfectly fine. You don’t have to be super technical to make great food. See where you fall on the scale and run with that strength. You will be surprised with how much imperfection plays to your advantage in making something new, special and completely yours. I opt for a natural and organic style that is less organized. That’s what works for me!
6. Put things together that don’t necessarily “go together”
Be bold in your combinations. This really can be exciting and a big place for discovery. While you mind have standard recipes for saw a raw cheesecake, you may want to experiment with the flavors of the frosting for instances. You might want a Smokey flavor, which isn’t typical for a cake. This is a place to let your inner wild child out. It’s an incredible release and a big part of the fun in surprising others.
7. Consider who you are cooking for
First, are you cooking for yourself or for others? If it’s for you, go absolutely crazy, but if it’s for others too, take their wants, needs, desires and food accommodations into consideration. Do they like light food? Are they raw? Can they not consume any sugar? Sometimes having guidelines for cooking can force you to be even more creative. Let your boundaries become your friends and run with it.
8. Carry around a notebook
I have carried around the same notebook for 10 years. It’s full of recipes, drawings and notes. When flipping through I might look back and find exactly what I was looking for to ignite my inner fire. You never know when inspiration will strike so you want to be prepared!
9. Document the process
Documenting is fun and also creative. I love taking pictures, might be due to my inner blogger. You might want to create a blog of your own where you can document this exciting journey. Photos also make you stop and enjoy the process. Another benefit to creating recipes on your own.
10. Find a loved one to help you clean up.
I am wonderful at creating and being somewhat of a hurricane in a good way. My husband is great at coming around and helping me clean up. If you don’t like cleaning up, see if there is a roommate, friend, or loved one who doesn’t mind helping you out at the end in exchange for some of your delicious food.
The last recipe I created was the Dragon Bowl for Local Juicery, Here is the recipe!
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can of cooked chick peas
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 small white onion, sliced
1 yam, cubed
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
Pinch of micro greens
1 cup tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
3 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup water
Blend together until creamy! this will make at least 5 servings of dressing
For the chick peas, combine the chickpeas, turmeric, cumin, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, pepper and coconut sugar in a bowl. Still well until all chickpeas are covered. Sauté in a frying pan until light brown, about 20 minutes.
For the yams, roast onions and yams with coconut oil and sea salt for 1 hour until soft and crispy. Oven should be at 400.
put the quinoa at the bottom of your favorite bowl, section off each ingredient making a lovely and fierce bowl of healthy life!