There is a business axiom that a project cannot be simultaneously optimized for Time (T), Money (M) and Quality (Q):
- a high-Q low-M effort may take a long T (e.g., a low-priority but interesting work)
- if work is to be done in a short T with high Q it takes a lot of M (e.g., a high-visibility effort)
- and when T is short and M is low, Q suffers (e.g., "cheap" products and services).
Here are some examples of optimal T-M-Q in cooking:
- hard-boiled eggs are easier to prepare (low-T) than scrambled eggs, they have fewer calories and additives (high-Q), and cheaper than a restaurant omelets or other sources of protein (low M)
- eating hard-boiled egg whites is the most optimal as they are both a good source of protein and lack calories and cholesterol of the yolks
- fresh spinach is both more nutritious (high-Q) and less time consuming than cooked spinach (low-T) for the same M spent at a supermarket
- raw fruits and vegetables are more nutritious, more filling and generally healthier (by stimulating the chewing activity) than juicing
- water is better (Q), easier (T) and free (M) in comparison to any liquid alternatives.
Note here that this is not an endorsement of a completely raw diet that may not agree with one's digestive tract and may require additional effort (T) on keeping the bacteria count low. Neither is this a promotion of vegetarianism. It is a simple common-sense approach to simplifying one's meals (T) while preserving high Q and low M.
The key to the Contrarian Anti-Recipe Approach (CARA) is to forgo the idea of recipes. In a grocery store buy produce (vegetables, fruits), eggs, meat (turkey, chicken, fish), milk. At home look at your fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator as a "salad bar." Pick different colors, mix, eat. It is that simple.
No need for cook books. No need for recipes. Follow CARA.