Pretty much every cook aspires to have a handful of go-to recipes. These are the recipes you know will work – that have your family’s favorite ingredients in them, a twist on an old technique, or a signature touch that makes it completely your own.
The recipe feature in MyNetDiary can be used to create these kinds of recipes. It starts with a pantry inventory and then displays recipes using only the ingredients you have on hand.
1. Make a list of all the ingredients you have.
A recipe is a detailed list of ingredients and a method for making a dish. Recipes are a great tool for learning how to cook and for finding inspiration for meals. They also provide a way to track food and cooking costs.
Most recipes are written in a clear and concise style that is easy to follow. The method of a recipe will include numbered steps detailing the order in which to complete each task, and often information such as pan size and cooking temperature. The Preparation Instructions of a recipe may also include details about the dish once it is finished (e.g., the appearance of a cake or casserole).
If you’re using Premium, you can enter recipe ingredients and their weights into MyNetDiary so that you can calculate calories and nutrients for your recipes. MyNetDiary uses a recipe_ingredients table to store ingredients and the recipes they are used in. When you add a new recipe, MyNetDiary will automatically create the recipes_ingredients table if it doesn’t already exist. The ingredients in this table will be linked to the new recipe via a foreign key.
You can also use basic, non-branded foods as recipe ingredients. These are often cheaper and have more accurate nutrient and weight information than many branded products. Using these ingredients will help ensure that your calculations are as accurate as possible.
3. Create a shopping list.
Once you have tracked a recipe in your dashboard, and it appears on your meal plan, tapping Create Shopping List automatically makes an accompanying list for all the ingredients you need to buy. Ingredients are merged based on their title, measurement, and grocery category to save you time and effort. And the lists are scaled to the number of servings you want. You can also create additional lists, such as a list for this week’s meal prep, and they’ll be available to everyone in your household. All lists and recipes sync across all devices, so you can view them anywhere.
4. Plan your meals.
Once you’ve gathered recipes and a shopping list, it’s time to plan out your meals. Start by plugging in the recipes you want to cook into your schedule and evaluating the level of cooking skill needed (or any specialized utensils/pans that may be required) as well as the nutritional value of the recipe against your family’s eating goals and budget.
It’s also worth checking the weekly sales circulars from your grocery stores (or a free app like Flipp) to see what ingredients are on sale or in season. Once you’ve done this, you can look for recipes using those ingredients to make the most of your grocery money.
Try to choose recipes that are multi-functional so you can create variety in your meal plans without having to rethink your menu too often. For example, a black bean corn salad can be served as a quesadilla one night, tossed with greens the next and then used as a base for a burrito bowl the following week. This can save you a lot of planning time! Use the Copy & Customize feature to save yourself even more time if you can reuse a recipe as a template for another. You can then simply edit the recipe name and nutrition information to match the new dish you’re creating.