About our Recipes

Our standard for recipes

The ideal Fork Ranger recipe uses common ingredients in unexpected combinations or new flavours. It’s easy enough for someone who wouldn’t consider themselves to be a ‘good cook’, but exciting enough for someone who is.

🛒 All ingredients should be available at the mainstream supermarket (we use ah.nl for this)

🍅🥦🥥At least 3 different veggies, fruits and/or nuts, for health guidelines and a filling meal

8️⃣ Max 8 ingredients, excl. spices, onion and garlic, bouillon, so that your shopping list isn’t too long

🐮Max 1 animal-based ingredient, excl. parmesan so that it's in line with our Compass

💪 Source of protein (nuts, beans, lentils, peas, etc.), especially if it’s not pasta or bread-based, which has a higher protein count

🥫Ingredient amounts match as much as possible with packaged amount in a recipe for 4 persons (e.g. 400g canned tomatoes, not 300g)

🤔 Max 1 ingredient that is potentially new/unknown, to not scare people off

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Do I get all nutrients with a Fork Ranger meal?

It is always hard to confirm that you get all the nutrients in one meal because we don't know what you choose for breakfast and lunch. And exactly that is important: that you get all nutrients over a day/week.

But what we can say: we have designed our recipes according to the EAT Lancet recommendation of a sustainable and healthy diet. And for the Netherlands specifically, you can see on our poster how this could look like.

The recipes do take into account to be sufficiently filling, contain vegetables, and a source of protein, as you can see in our standard above. We do think that many other veggie recipes out there do not contain enough vegetables or protein sources or are not filling, which is why we started making recipes ourselves 😉

There are still a few Fork Ranger recipes we've made first that don't fully meet this standard (yet), but most of them do!

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How much is a portion?

All our recipes are displayed for 4 portions. This doesn't mean that it's enough for 4 big eaters. For example, Frank and Mareike love food and eat 3 portions together.

We did keep the 4-portion-based recipes as this is used in many other cookbooks, and has become something like a standard. We've experienced that it leads to confusion if we make actual 4 person recipes.

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Do I have to do all the preparation upfront?

We divide our recipes into 'prep' and 'cook' steps.

The reason we show the 'prep' steps first is that we've found that in many other recipes you had to cut something during the cooking process and you are stressed to cut it in time while the frying pan is on the fire.

We only add some 'prep' steps in the 'cook' steps when there is more than 10 minutes time to do something.

Obviously if you're a quick cook, you can also do some 'prep' steps while cooking according to your own insights.

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What sort of pans/cooking utensils do I need?

Let's start with a good knife. We found this really helps making the preparation part more enjoyable and quicker.

We try to keep the number of pans to a minimum, but most recipes require a medium-sized cooking pan and a frying pan.

Some recipes also require a handmixer to blend. If you do have a kitchen processor of course you can use those.

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Why don't you also specify ingredient amounts and temperatures in different units (pounds, ounces, Fahrenheit)?

It's quite a challenge to provide this in a user-friendly way. That's why we haven't implemented it so far.

We don't want to display them next to each other, as that makes recipe text longer, always containing irrelevant information for some people. So there should be toggle (or similar) so the person cooking can set their preferences.

As we create our own specific formats for the recipes on the website and for our app, this costs quite some development. So far, we've prioritised other developments.

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Which oil or butter should I use for sautéing?

We generally use sunflower- or olive oil. Sunflower oil has a neutral flavor and a higher smoking point, but in most cases this doesn’t matter.

We do highlight the type of oil if it is important in the recipe, for example when you need an oil which stays stable at higher temperatures.

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What kind of cream should I use?

We most often use soy cream, but for most recipes you can use also a different kind of cream. For example, you could also whipping cream (which has a similar consistency as soy cream).

In the Netherlands we also have cooking cream (which has lower fat percentages than whipping cream). Sour cream might give a bit more sour taste, so just make sure you keep that in mind when you add more lemon/lime (simply taste and add gradually).

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Why don't you give more detailed instructions?

We have to say: this is a balancing act. Sometimes more details really help for understanding how to best prepare a meal.

However, it also makes many steps seemingly more complex (simply by containing more text) and this easily becomes a hurdle for trying a new recipe.

Besides that we believe cooking is also a creative and learning process and there should be some space to use your own intuition and insight to make decisions on how to prepare the meal.

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How can I adjust the taste if it’s too much for me?

We try to keep meals as balanced as possible and watch out, for example to make it not too spicy. It’s better to add more if you like it, than to have your mouth on fire 🔥

We also recommend to add salt when cooking potatoes or pasta.

If you do want to adjust the taste, follow these rules:

If it’s too bland - add salt & pepper to taste.

If it’s too salty - compensate with acid such as vinegar; lemon or lime juice, or something sweet like sugar or honey

If it’s too sweet - add an acid or seasonings such as vinegar; lemon or lime juice, or chopped fresh herbs

If it’s too spicy - add a sweetener such as sugar or honey

If it’s too sour - add a fat such as olive oil. This will coat your tongue and block your taste buds from the acidity. Or try adding a sweetener like sugar or honey.

If it’s too bitter - add salt or an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice

For Cooking Club members: let us know whenever you do this as we'd like to know. We try to tailor our recipes in a way that it's a good balance for most people.