Recipe category guidelines | PCC Natural Markets

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Recipe category guidelines

PCC uses the following criteria to categorize our recipes.


Appetizers: Individual portions that can be hand held and served before a meal.

Beverages: Final product is served as a drink.

Breakfast/Brunch: Includes typical breakfast items.

Desserts: Final product is sweet, including fruit, and/or can be enjoyed after a meal (i.e. some traditions include tea/other beverages as part of "dessert").

Entrées: Final product includes 3 to 4 ounces of protein; also can include vegetables, grains and/or pastas.

Salads: Final product can be cold or hot, and may include vegetables, pastas, and/or whole grains.

Sandwiches/Wraps: Final product is in the form of a sandwich or wrap (i.e. burgers, burritos, etc.) or is an item that is wrapped during preparation (i.e. fresh spring rolls, etc.)

Sauces/Spreads: Final product is used as a sauce, spread or dip on or with another item.

Side dishes: Final product complements a meal but is not necessarily the entrée; however, if the dish includes a significant protein (3 to 4 ounces is a "main" dish portion) it can be considered an entrée as well. May include vegetables, pastas and/or whole grains. 

Snacks: Final product is a small portion of food intended to be eaten between meals.

Soups/Stews: The recipe title contains "soup," "bisque," or "stew" or is the traditional name for a soup (i.e. Gazpacho).


5 or less: Recipe uses five ingredients or less.

Baking: Recipe uses flour (wheat or gluten-free) and requires the oven to bake (i.e. muffins as opposed to "baked" fish). 

Fruits/Vegetables: The main ingredients in the final product consist of fruit and/or vegetables or the dish highlights a specific seasonal vegetable (i.e. asparagus, pears, etc.)

Grains/Beans: Recipe prominently features whole grains, whole grain flours or whole legumes.

Grilling: The final product is cooked on a grill or barbecue.

Kid-friendly: Recipe appeals to children by taste, color, and/or texture, and/or a child feasibly could make or help prepare the dish.

Meat: Recipe uses poultry and other fowl and/or red meat.

Pasta: Includes couscous and orzo, in addition to gluten-free and traditional pastas.

Seafood: Recipe features fish or shellfish.

Special Diets

Note about allergens: We do not include optional ingredients or serving suggestions in our recipe analysis. Our allergen and food sensitivity labels are based solely on the list of required ingredients used to make the dish in question. You may find it necessary to adjust the serving suggestions to suit your dietary preferences.

If a recipe is marked as allergen free, please understand that some ingredients, including pre-packaged condiments, may vary from brand to brand as to their safety of cross contamination. Please be aware of the foods you need to be cautious of, and read labels before making any recipe.

Corn-free: Recipe does not use corn or corn derivatives like corn syrup, modified food starch, cornstarch, etc.

Dairy-free: Recipe does not use milk, cheese, yogurt, or other dairy-derived ingredients.

Egg-free: Recipe does not use egg yolks or egg whites.

Gluten-free: Recipe does not use ingredients containing gluten (wheat, barley and rye). If you are avoiding gluten, be sure to look for oats that are labeled gluten free, and ideally certified as such. 

Peanut-free: Recipe does not use peanuts.

Soy-free: Recipe does not use soy or soy derivatives like lecithin, soy "whey" protein, TVP (textured vegetable protein), soy sauce, etc.

Tree nut-free: Recipe does not use tree nuts - macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, chestnuts (not water chestnuts), beechnuts, hazelnuts (filberts), pine nuts (pignoli or pinon), gingko nuts and hickory nuts. Note: Coconuts are considered a tree nut by the FDA. They are not flagged as such in our recipe database because many people with a tree nut allergy can safely consume coconut, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. 

Vegan: Recipe does not use meat, seafood or animal by-products such as eggs, dairy, honey, or gelatin. Note: This does not account for production processes. 

Vegetarian: Recipe does not use meat or seafood but may include dairy, eggs, and other animal by-products.

Wheat-free: Recipe does not use wheat, wheat flour or wheat germ, or the other "cousins" of wheat such as spelt, kamut, emmer/farro, and rye.


Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer: The final product is made with main ingredients whose growing seasons are limited (i.e. cherries, asparagus, corn, winter squash, etc.) or a recipe is more commonly made in a particular season (i.e. “leftover” turkey sandwich, baked ham, etc.).

Holidays: Only includes dishes that are commonly made during the November/December holidays.


A dish that is easily identifiable as coming from a specific country, whether authentic or inspired, or has the country of origin in the title (i.e. sushi [Japanese], tacos [Mexico], Amazing Greek-style Salad [Greece]).

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