Does anyone else find themselves sticking to simpler recipes just to avoid the hassle of logging?

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Replies

  • Lean59man
    Lean59man Posts: 714 Member
    toxikon wrote: »
    This is just a light-hearted observation, wondering if anyone else can relate.

    I love to cook and before calorie counting, I'd always add dashes of this and that, use lots of ingredients and adjust to taste as I went along.

    Now - knowing I'll need to input the meal into my diary (or create the recipe) - I tend to seek out really simple recipes. When I come across a recipe that has 20+ ingredients, I groan and move along.

    I'll only do a "complex" recipe if I know I'll be making a huge batch (like soup, for example), because then at least I'll only have to input it once. :D

    Same here.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    I have not really thought about this. I have 20 pages of recipes in the builder. I use the saved meals a lot too.

    I alter recipes a lot to add more protein, more of less of other certain ingredients ..

    I made a chicken pot pie with top crust Saturday, and making that is a pain but always worth it. When we decided to have that, the first thing I said was 'this is a pain to make'.. saved recipe just needed a tweak.

    I make more chili's and roasts in the fall/winter, I made a huge pot of meatless spaghetti sauce yesterday to make several things like: with just pasta and/or meat balls, spaghetti bake/casserole, homemade pizza, take on chicken Parmesan, etc. and can freeze it too.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,969 Member
    I prefer to cook simple dishes generally. Has nothing to do w/logging.

    If a recipe has more than 4-5 ingredients or requires some esoteric food item, I'll generally avoid it simply because I don't want to cook things that are too complicated.

    As for logging, when I first started using MFP, I was very scrupulous at creating recipes and logging my meals from them. But, now, I don't bother and just look for a pre-existing entry that looks close enough to whatcI'm cooking and just use it instead.
  • rankinsect
    rankinsect Posts: 2,238 Member
    toxikon wrote: »
    I do find myself gravitating to recipes with fewer/simpler ingredients or recipes I already saved and know the calories for. Sometimes when something with many ingredients looks particularly enticing I go through the trouble of creating a recipe, but then it's there and is added to my recipe arsenal I have no trouble cooking it again if I wanted to.

    Now this may sound excessive or obsessive, but I would rather do almost the exact weight of stuff in my recorded recipes when I prepare the same recipe again, so if something is larger I cut off parts until it's close enough in weight (any cut off parts go into whatever I'm cooking for the dog if it's a safe food, so I'm not wasting anything). It's just a quirk.

    I kind of have the opposite quirk - I don't like wasting food, so my ingredient portions are always different even for the same recipe. If I buy an onion for a recipe, I'll use the whole thing.

    So if I log a quiche recipe, then a month later, go make the 'same' quiche, I'll have to adjust all the ingredients again, so I end up just doing an entirely new recipe each time, hah.

    There are lots of tricks to making it easier to log:

    1. Know where you need to be precise and where you don't. A medium-sized onion is typically just under 50 calories. Just log it as 50 if you use a whole one. Even if you're off by 20%, that's only 10 calories, which is basically rounding error. On the other hand, butter is calorie dense and you should be precise about it.

    2. Know what you can just omit entirely. A lot of herbs and spices have negligible calorie amounts, and even things like lettuce I rarely log, since I tend to eat under 10 calories in a serving.

    3. When I do imprecise recipes that I like and will repeat, I often just make it a couple times and take the average. After that, I log everything else as if it was that average value. As long as you don't try to cheat yourself with this, it works great. If I did do substitutions, I'd just calculate out the difference starting from the average value.
  • 81Katz
    81Katz Posts: 7,077 Member
    Sometimes. My meals (mostly dinner) are pretty much a rotation of the same meals.
    A couple times that I've made chili I didn't bother to make a recipe or log it just because it has so many ingredients and I have no patience for that, same with my homemade pasta sauce.
  • KANGOOJUMPS
    KANGOOJUMPS Posts: 6,479 Member
    love love to cook
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
    edited November 2017
    rankinsect wrote: »
    toxikon wrote: »
    I do find myself gravitating to recipes with fewer/simpler ingredients or recipes I already saved and know the calories for. Sometimes when something with many ingredients looks particularly enticing I go through the trouble of creating a recipe, but then it's there and is added to my recipe arsenal I have no trouble cooking it again if I wanted to.

    Now this may sound excessive or obsessive, but I would rather do almost the exact weight of stuff in my recorded recipes when I prepare the same recipe again, so if something is larger I cut off parts until it's close enough in weight (any cut off parts go into whatever I'm cooking for the dog if it's a safe food, so I'm not wasting anything). It's just a quirk.

    I kind of have the opposite quirk - I don't like wasting food, so my ingredient portions are always different even for the same recipe. If I buy an onion for a recipe, I'll use the whole thing.

    So if I log a quiche recipe, then a month later, go make the 'same' quiche, I'll have to adjust all the ingredients again, so I end up just doing an entirely new recipe each time, hah.

    There are lots of tricks to making it easier to log:

    1. Know where you need to be precise and where you don't. A medium-sized onion is typically just under 50 calories. Just log it as 50 if you use a whole one. Even if you're off by 20%, that's only 10 calories, which is basically rounding error. On the other hand, butter is calorie dense and you should be precise about it.

    2. Know what you can just omit entirely. A lot of herbs and spices have negligible calorie amounts, and even things like lettuce I rarely log, since I tend to eat under 10 calories in a serving.

    3. When I do imprecise recipes that I like and will repeat, I often just make it a couple times and take the average. After that, I log everything else as if it was that average value. As long as you don't try to cheat yourself with this, it works great. If I did do substitutions, I'd just calculate out the difference starting from the average value.

    I've been using MFP on and off since... maybe... 2011? Haha, I know all the tips and tricks, don't worry. I don't ever bother logging spices, salts, SF-sweeteners and sometimes particularly low-cal vegetables.
  • leggup
    leggup Posts: 2,942 Member
    I don't bother logging condiments/herbs under 5 calories. Lemon juice, basil, garlic... I have a large enough deficit planned that I don't have to worry about 2-15 calories uncounted.

    That said, "a little of this, a little of that"-type skillet meals are how my portions got out of control. I would start with something, then add 2 eggs, some cheese, some fake sausage ... and on and on, nibbling on cheese while i cooked.
  • CTcutie
    CTcutie Posts: 649 Member

    If I'm looking for a recipe (a former daily hobby, now almost a vague memory, lol): Now I look specifically for recipes that include the nutritional info so at least I know what I'm in for before I sit down & enter everything (and then change it to fit what I want it to be!).

    Yeah, I can make a baked chicken breast and steamed broccoli and have a salad of iceberg lettuce and shredded carrots... but no thanks. Life's too short :smiley:

    When I get lazy I eat cereal, eggs, simple sandwich, or a protein shake.

    Recipes: the internet has revolutionized the sharing & creation of them. I think it's great.
  • jamespatten3576
    jamespatten3576 Posts: 71 Member
    guilty
  • grinning_chick
    grinning_chick Posts: 765 Member
    edited November 2017
    Nope. I cook solely from recipes, sometimes with tweaks/combinations, but from recipes. Tons from Cooks Illustrated, if you want to talk about "complicated" recipes ingredient list length-wise. :lol: And not a single one with the nutritional info already worked out for it so I am having to do it every time. :angry:

    I'll even one up you. Not only do I just suck it up and create a "recipe" for something I want to eat and so cook, I end up doing all the individual ingredients macros entries as well to use in the recipe since so many ingredient entries are not just wrong, but obscenely so, regardless of what database one consults. So I have my own private database that grows every time I cook.

    Sure, it makes inputting future recipes easy, but it is a PITA nonetheless. Part and parcel is how I think of it and move on.
  • Fyreside
    Fyreside Posts: 454 Member
    I'm with @grinning_chick I love to make things from scratch So I will cook the most complex recipe's and go to the trouble of working out the nutritional data a accurately as I can, even developing my own spreadsheet to make it easier. the thing I like about a recipe, other than repeatable results, is you only have to work out the numbers once. Then confidently log what you know them to be.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited November 2017
    Cooking from scratch need not be the same thing as cooking from recipes, however. As I said above, I almost always cook from scratch, but never from recipes -- I read cookbooks and get ideas, but dislike following a recipe unless I'm baking. I tend to look at what I have on hand, what I'm in the mood for, and wing it. (I might end up with a recipe after the fact from the notes I take to log when cooking, however.)
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,835 Member
    Not at all.

    I'm not a big recipe person, but I routinely scratch cook things with many ingredients.

    Between putting individual ingredients in a pot on the scale (zeroing between), weighing the jar and using the minus when I dip some out, and putting the cutting board on the scale before pushing an ingredient into the dish, it's seconds. Note on junk mail envelope to record once hands are clean.

    I think I actually cook more often from scratch, and use more ingredients, now that I'm in MFP-world. I'm enjoying food, cooking and eating so much more, now that it's thoughtful and selective - really savoring what I eat - compared to just mindlessly shoveling in whatever happened to be on hand.
  • JaydedMiss
    JaydedMiss Posts: 4,288 Member
    iv neever liked makign huge recipes but that may be because i have a fridge that doesnt work very well. Always gravitated towards the delicious basics. Easy logging is a bonus :p
  • cat_lady77
    cat_lady77 Posts: 203 Member
    Sometimes yes haha. That barcode scanner does not help! It is pretty easy to manually enter recipes though, so I've been doing my best at that. Plus you can name it whatever you like, so there's a chance for creativity! Yesterday I threw a bunch of stuff in the crock pot & the only thing I had to weigh was the chicken.