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Old 01-12-2008, 05:02 PM   #1
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Recipe website that gives recipes according to what ingredients you have?

I'm sure I've heard of websites where you enter what ingredients you have available, and it suggests recipes based on these. What I really want to do is enter the basic things that I normally buy, and get recipes based on these. I'm fed up of trawling through recipes only to be knocked back by calls for wine or some stupid herb or any of the millions of ingredients that I can't afford as a student.

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Old 01-12-2008, 05:14 PM   #2
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I think the best one to use is Google You can search for something like this:

recipe chicken "tomato sauce" pasta

The quotes will cause Google to restrict results to those that contain that phrase, as well as the other search terms. If you find there are a lot of recipes that contain ingredients you don't have, you can narrow it down by specifying terms that should *not* be included, like this:

recipe chicken "tomato sauce" pasta -wine

The - sign says, don't include this word or phrase in the search results. If you still have too many results, continue adding terms to include or exclude until you find something you like. HTH.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. That method is a bit tedious for my liking, plus it relies on my imagination to come up with something to search for in the first place. If I was going to follow the Google approach, I'd need a list like "-wine -basil -corriander -honey -stilton -brie -steak -chicken" etc etc since there's always something in there that I don't buy. It's a lot easier to list what I do have! I'm really looking for something where I can spend 20 minutes entering the ingredients that I'm happy to work with and then save them into my account on that website and be done with it, reserving the Google expeditions for when I want to do something special.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seans_potato_business View Post
Thanks for the reply. That method is a bit tedious for my liking, plus it relies on my imagination to come up with something to search for in the first place. If I was going to follow the Google approach, I'd need a list like "-wine -basil -corriander -honey -stilton -brie -steak -chicken" etc etc since there's always something in there that I don't buy. It's a lot easier to list what I do have! I'm really looking for something where I can spend 20 minutes entering the ingredients that I'm happy to work with and then save them into my account on that website and be done with it, reserving the Google expeditions for when I want to do something special.
It's going to work basically the same way whether it's Google or another site - that's just how search engines work. They can't know what you don't have if you don't tell them and if you want to exclude those items, as I thought you said you did in your first message, then you have to tell them.

Three things can help: Keep a text file on your desktop with a list of the minus items in it that you can copy and paste each time you want to use it, and do what I said in the last sentence of my previous message: Keep adding ingredients you do have, to restrict the results to those. You can save this list in your text file, too. Also, get a reference of what kinds of things can be substituted for what. For example, if you like to make stir-fry but don't have bok choy, you can substitute celery.

You might also consider looking for a cookbook or two based on the type of cuisine you like to cook, so you don't have to go searching for recipes all the time. You can find inexpensive ones on bargain tables at bookstores and sometimes used books on Amazon. HTH.

Or maybe someone else knows of a site like what you're looking for. I don't use any like that, so I don't know.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:26 PM   #5
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Not sure if it is OK to mention on this site, but allrecipes.com has an "ingredient search" feature that lets you list the ingredients you want (and specify those you don't want) and it will give you recipes. Hope I haven't broken any rules.....
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:28 PM   #6
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Nope it is fine to mention that Karen
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:01 AM   #7
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Personally, I always considered THIS website to be my one-stop shop for coming up with ideas based on the ingredients I have ;)
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:08 AM   #8
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I am with flukx. Why not list your ingredients here and see what our folks come up with?

Can't assure you that someone will not suggest adding an additional ingredient or two. Very creative types here. But I am sure you will get a lot of ideas.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:10 AM   #9
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You can try this Invent Your Own Casserole
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:34 AM   #10
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Why don't you start by telling us the sort of things your normally buy; the fine folks here can surely help you out. Also, don't let recipes restrict you. Many times the recipe will be affected only slightly by omitting certain ingredients.

Search out local ethnic grocery stores. They can be tough to find, but their products are about as cheap as you can get. Asian grocers always carry more varieties of rice than you thought existed, in varying sizes, from 5 lb. bags to 50 lb. bags. And of course, buying in bulk is usually a good deal cheaper.

The best thing you could learn to do is blaze your own trail. By that I mean, when dinnertime rolls around, have a look at what you have, and make something out of it. That's the way I cook almost every night, and while it's difficult at times having that skill available to me certainly allows me to be more thrifty while shopping.

Also, PM me for any questions you might have for shopping on a budget. I just graduated, less than a month ago, after 4.5 years of cooking on a very limited income. Actually I don't think I've ever been more broke than I am right now, but I still manage to eat very well, IMO.
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