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Old 10-30-2009, 05:58 PM   #1
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Random Meal Generator Website

Hi, everyone :) Haven't been here in a while, so I hope everyone is doing well :) This is "kind of" an off topic post - but it's also about food, so I hope it's in the right place.

Aside from loving to cook, I also do website work (yes, I'm going somewhere with this :P). I graduated from culinary school a few months ago, and because of this I get a lot of people at my work asking me "what should I make for dinner tonight?". My wife and I also have this discussion just about everyday. So, I was thinking if there was a website that would give dinner ideas at the click of a mouse, that would be great. That led me to think "hey, I should make that!". So, that is my plan. The idea would be basically - two options "instant meal" - where someone who doesn't want to do any real cooking could get a random suggestion like "tacos from a box" or "frozen pizza". Those ones will be simple. The second option, however, will be an actual meal - main, starch, veg(all randomized so the same chicken could have multiple starch and veg combinations) or one pot meals like chili etc. What I would like to ultimately have is, with each menu suggestion, a link to a recipe to make that item.

Now, the reason why I've rambled on to all of you fine folks is that I'd LOVE some suggestions on individual parts of the plate - MAIN, STARCH & VEGETABLE, or one pot meals like chili, and any links to recipes online that you've tried and loved. If anyone here can help out with suggestions, that would be great!!!

Thanks for any and all suggestions - also if you have suggestions on improving my actual concept I'd love to hear it too :)

Adam

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Old 10-30-2009, 06:27 PM   #2
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How about a section for entertaining? You could have subsections for formal sit down dinner, brunch, buffet, etc.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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That's a really good idea. Thanks! :)
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:03 PM   #4
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There are only about a million recipes posted here already.

What are you looking for that you could not find by reviewing those??
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
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Not sure what you mean. I, obviously, could just look around and try to find a bunch of food and ideas/recipes, I was just asking for any help anyone wanted to offer. If not, that's fine too :)
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:58 AM   #6
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Adam, what a cool idea! OK I'll give you a few ideas.

Chicken cacciatore - pasta - caesar salad

Creamy lemon chicken - pasta - green salad

Cornflake chicken - oven roasted potatoes - coleslaw

Parmesan chicken - rice - green beans

Pork tenderloin - baked potato/rice - greek salad

Pork skewers with lemon and rosemary - rice - grilled zucchini

Beef stroganoff - egg noodles - green salad

Prime rib roast - roasted root veggies(potato, carrot, onion, parsnip) - caesar salad

Garlic cod - wild rice medley - committee salad

Parmesan sole - pilaf - greek salad

I'll edit in links to these recipes or post the recipes for you later. These are all in our regular "rotation"
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:09 AM   #7
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Here is a whole thread of TNT awesome chicken recipes.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:40 PM   #8
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Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic - All Recipes

The above recipe has been whipped up in my kitchen many times. Prep time is so quick and cooking is quick too - serve with a side of rice!
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:08 PM   #9
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It's a great idea. I can't tell you the number of times I've wondered while raising my family 'what should I make'.....looking for inspiration reading numerous cookbooks, seeing what is in season, what is on sale and reading on the internet. And I do think you need quick cooking and regular non quick cooking because there are families that do only one kind and others that do only the other kind.
A couple months ago I put my son in charge of making lunches and my renter in charge of dinners--after 2 weeks, they had the same sentiments 'what should I cook?' I ended up typing out a page and a half of ideas they could rotate over a week or two. Now they are much more involved in menu planning and grocery buying but it's still a struggle for them.
Good luck in your endeavor and send us the link when you get the site up and running, thanks for the inspiration.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:15 PM   #10
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I would recommend that you contemplate using the exisiting resources on the web.

Perhaps you just need a search engine that would take the parameters input by the user.... chicken, beef, oriental, quick, low salt, etc..

and then return some of the millions of existing recipes already on the internet, by
providing links. Might be easier.
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