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Stuck for meal ideas? Got ingredients? Try these recipe-makers!

Updated on September 27, 2012

I don't wanna hear, "There's nothing to eat!"


Ever since I was out on my own, I finally understood what my mom was thinking and feeling as she stared into an empty fridge or a crusty cupboard: There's nothing to eat!

But wait! Finding something to cook might not be that hard, after all. There are a plethora of resources with which to find or create recipes with ingredients that you may or may not have.

The first place is the back of a cookbook. You don't have to search by the type of meal, because what if you don't have the ingredients? If you have a can of beans, you can search for "beans" in the index, and a good cookbook like "Taste of Home" or "Joy of Cooking" should have a list in the back organized in several ways, including by ingredients.

Finally, there are the online recipe-makers. I discovered this - or should I say "stumbled upon" - when I logged onto StumbleUpon and found a little site that allowed you to type in four different ingredients in your fridge, freezer, or cupboard, and then the site would come up with recipes using one or all of those ingredients! It's such a simple concept, but it's really pretty helpful and nifty. It's great when you don't feel like going to the grocery store, if you're not feeling creative, or if you really want to get rid of that bag of rice.

I've actually made a number of meals using sites just like these:

  • Recipe Finder at - Select ingredients that you have so the Recipe Finder will seek meals with those items
  • Recipe Matcher - Type and select the ingredients you have, and create an ePantry
  • MSN Recipe Maker- Enter four or fewer ingredients so the maker will create a recipe using all or one of those ingredients

You might be surprised by what they come up with.

There's also an interesting service such as that called mealMAKERS, which makes food for you based on your tastes and likings.


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    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

      Very useful information, great that you used your practical findings to write this hub!

    • profile image

      carrie 6 years ago

    • mamacoots profile image

      mamacoots 8 years ago from Louisiana

      Thanks for the tips. I'm always looking for new recipes for throw together meals. lol ;-)

    • RVDaniels profile image

      RVDaniels 8 years ago from Athens, GA

      Good. Now what's for lunch? This will help!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Wow that was interesting..Thanks I didn't know about some of this...G-Ma :O) Hugs