In terms of where I get my recipes, I usually surf the web for awhile on a specific subject. Like, "turkey meatloaf." I take what I like from certain recipes, and I leave what I don't, or what would be better replaced with something else. I usually print a recipe just to use as a rough guideline for cook times and really significant proportions, but I never really follow it. I know many of these recipes were supposed to have bread crumbs, whole eggs, a different spice arrangement, and ketchup rather than tomato paste, so it's basically not any of those recipes at all anymore. As a past (and eternal) Writing Center consultant, I feel that this goes too far away from any sort of plagiarism to be a concern. So here is "my" recipe (if anyone can own a recipe anymore), modified from like four other recipes that either didn't seem healthy enough, or flavorful enough, or just didn't suit me well.
2 lbs extra lean ground turkey
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes with chiles (lightly drained) or 1 cup salsa of choice
4 egg whites
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Mash, shape into a log, and bake.
After 40 minutes of cooking at 350 (it's a very large loaf), slather with 2/3 cup tomato paste reduced with 1 cup chicken stock plus 2 tsp brown sugar (or stevia).
Bake for another 30. Let rest.
Weird last minute bean stew thing. Sort of just using what we had, but it turned out to be delicious.
Onion and garlic sauteed down in olive oil. Green bell, red bell, roma tomatoes, garbanzo beans, black beans, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper.
Totally separate cauliflower love time. Sometimes I make a whole meal out of roasted cauliflower (olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder) finished with nutritional yeast. Yum.
Simple baked tilapia with blackening seasoning for parents. Chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, pepper.
Rosemary sweet potato fries for mom and rosemary golden potato fries for dad. Olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, rosemary, garlic.
Peas that don't suck. Melted butter (tiny bit) with olive oil, sauté onion and garlic, salt, pepper. Add peas. Get tender, bright, and pretty.
Cooking is always fun (whoa, wait no, that's a lie!), and I try to make sure everything comes out according to the tastes of the people I'm cooking for. In this case, my parents really dig well-rounded homey meals so that's what I'm doing, now with the additional component of meals that are much more health conscious, red meat-free (nearly), with fruits, veggies, and lean proteins at the center. I'm not going to make them tempeh bacon or TVP meatloaf or seitan pepperoni, because they will not like it, and then it becomes much more about cooking for me than it does about cooking for others.
I'll make something naughty while I'm down here surely. I just wanted to start with simple and wholesome.
More mom and dad meals soon.