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How to get started making my own CR-ish recipes?

Thomas G

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Since I started CR in Feb. of this year I've been cooking out of "The Anti-Aging Plan" recipes. I've primarily been trying out the "mega-meals" but have also made several of the other recipes. Beyond that I've just been throwing things together on my own, especially since we've gotten our CSA shares.


I want to start branching out and designing a few of my own meals for a few reasons. I really enjoy most of the recipes I've been making from the Anti-Aging Plan. But I'm trying to start shifting towards a more strictly vegan diet and there are many non-vegan recipes in that book. I'm also going to try to maximize the nutritional benefit of the recipes while still doing what I can to keep the food prep simple. That might be difficult since it seems that to get a meal to fire on all cylinders, it requires using lots of different ingredients. I'm enjoying what I'm making, but a lot of times it's a slow cooking process. I can definitely see the appeal of the CR folks who eat the same meal every day, and maybe I'll end up there eventually as well, but for now I want to try lots of things and find what works best for me.


I have two main questions:


I'd like to find another good plant-based whole food vegan cookbook to start with as a base and I'm wondering what people would recommend? Having something that is evidence based, nutritionally guided would be a plus. I've checked out a number of books from the library and so far the one I'm liking the best is "The China Study All-Star Collection." But there are a number of other books (many of them "China Study" based) that look promising that my library doesn't have.


Second, what is the best strategy for taking a base recipe and making it better? Right now the basic idea I have is to run it through Cronometer and then start seeing if there is another simple ingredient I could add to max it out in one way or another. I almost want to write a formula that would take the form of "would this recipe become gross if I added 1/4 tsp of turmeric? If not, do it!" But I'm not sure what other aspects of such an approach should be included. Any help suggestions would be much appreciated.

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