Composing a Recipe

Before writing a complete food recipe, it is worth asking a few questions about the intended user (whether this is oneself or somebody else), which set the requirements of the recipe:

  • What are the user's nutritional needs? Things to consider here include:
    • What nutritional standards are going to be applied to determine their nutritional needs?
    • How many calories do they need?
    • How are their calories going to be apportioned between carbs, protein, and fat?
    • Are they male or female?
    • Do they have dietary restrictions such as vegan, kosher, etc.?
    • Do they have special dietary goals, such as weight loss or bodybuilding?
    • What are their food allergies?
  • What is the user's budget?
  • What ingredients are available in the region where the user lives?
  • To what preparation equipment does the user have access to? (Equipment of interest might include a blender, scales of various levels of precision, an ultrasonic processor, etc.)
  • To what extent are good taste and texture important to the user, and what are their aesthetic preferences in this regard?

Once these questions are answered, constructing a complete food recipe consists of answering the following questions about the recipe:

  • What are the ingredients?
  • How much of each ingredient is to be used? Conventionally, this question is answered by specifying the amount to be used in a day's worth of complete food.
  • What is the procedure for preparing the complete food from the ingredients?

The standard procedure for preparing a complete food is to measure all of the ingredients, mix them, store the resulting powder, and mix the powder with water near the time of use. But one might follow a different procedure, for example if one is preparing a solid complete food, or cooking some of the ingredients; and even if not, there might be fine points to the mixing process which help improve the final product.