Since beginning my health journey 5 years ago, I had to make major changes in the food I cooked for myself and for my family. At first, I was disappointed as I am a baker at heart, and I thought I would no longer be able to bake and enjoy all those yummy carb and sugar heavy treats. Instead, I found that there are so many good, healthy replacement recipes out there – and they are not found in my old Betty Crocker cookbooks, but rather mostly through Pinterest!
So I began pinning and creating board after board, trying to stay organized. Or let’s face it, board after board for each new diet concept I tried!! But mostly, I was going after dairy-free and refined-sugar free … and if they were gluten-free, that was a bonus. Now one thing with Pinterest or other people’s recipes, as you probably know, there’s a lot of margin for personalizing. As I became increasingly interested in actually cooking, I found that I adjusted most recipes I made – either due to preference or taste. Now this proved to be an issue when I just followed the recipe from my phone, and then I wouldn’t remember what changes I had previously made. Plus trying read all the instructions on my phone as I moved my head up and down to adjust my progressives to see clearly was always a challenge—if you wear them, you know what I mean!!
Enter in “Brenda’s Favorite Recipe” book. Now I’m promising you, this is nothing fancy or original. It is simply what works for me, and you may find it to be useful as well. I found a 2” 3-ring binder that I had in my closet and some colored plastic dividers with pockets, and sheet protectors. Right now I have five sections in my binder:
- Main Dishes
- Sides/Bread/Sauces (will probably eventually break these out into separate categories)
- Miscellaneous (toothpaste, cleaning, essential oil recipes, etc.)
Within each of these sections I have them organized by type of food even though not labeled separately. For example, my Main Dishes starts with salads, then chicken, then beef, etc. Desserts has cookies, dessert breads, chocolate, fruit recipes organized in sections.
As I began to make each recipe, I would print it out, making note of changes I made on the paper. There are many recipes where the original wasn’t necessarily “healthy” but the ingredients were easy enough to substitute. My final note at the top of each sheet was my rating: excellent, very good, or good. If it didn’t at least rate good, it was out of there! The pockets serve well as a location to put recipes I’ve discovered that I like how they sound but haven’t tried them yet.
I can’t even begin to tell you how useful this book has become to me! When grocery ads come out each week, I can quickly go through and find what recipes go along with what is on sale. It is faster and easier to search through the pages than to go through all my Pinterest pins to find something and then figure out if I had previously made it or not—even though I have a board I call “My Favorite Recipes” so I can move the family favorites there. It’s user friendly, convenient, and also easy to share with family and friends as I can just pull the paper out and copy it with all my adjustments on it.
As I said before, this isn’t anything exciting or original, but I do have people in my life that compliment this system, and I know organization isn’t second-nature for all. I hope this helps you, or as you take it and personalize it to make it your own and even better, I would love to hear what you change. Or you may even have a better system that I can learn from you. Please share for us all!
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