The winner on the cooking/meal-planning/shopping app is MealBoard.
Let me start by saying that it’s not perfect. A lot of recipe sites have a bookmarklet tool that lets you post the recipe to just about anywhere, but unfortunately that just about anywhere doesn’t include MealBoard. That means that if your recipe site isn’t one of the sites that works with MealBoard, you’re going to have to cut-and-paste the details into the app. The app C uses (which is too complicated for my brain to handle) works with all the sites she likes and MealBoard doesn’t. Looks like we’ll be using two different shopping apps, but so it goes. I’m hoping, of course, that MealBoard will fix this in future versions.
And that said, it’s an awesome little tool otherwise. I spent most of the day yesterday inputting recipes that fit this crazy diet’s needs. To refresh: no grains of any sort, no eggs, no dairy, no nuts, no seeds, (including oils or flours made from both), no nightshades (including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant & peppers), no gluten, no alcohol, no coffee or black tea, no chocolate, candy, sugar, no soy… I’m not sure I got it all. But it’s crazy. Yesterday I got all excited because I realized I could spice food up with wasabi or horseradish–um, nope. The root of each product is fine but the oil and/or algae used in making them is not. But I found some fresh horseradish so I will be grating my own.
At last count, I had 98 recipes that either fit or could easily be modified to fit within this diet. And a meal plan for most of the week that is both organized, appeals to my tastes, and includes recipes that I approve. It’s very autumnal, which is a little odd when it feels so summery out, but I found all the ingredients easily at the store yesterday, so autumnal it is.
Today for lunch, I’ll be eating chicken-and-apple sausage patties and leftover cinnamon-and-ginger roasted acorn-squash and carrots. For dinner, Shepard’s pie with cauliflower topping. (I had to make homemade beef broth which is currently simmering on the stove–I could not find a single brand of store-bought beef broth that didn’t include things I couldn’t eat.) Tomorrow, I’ll have a chicken pesto zucchini noodle salad. Wednesday, coconut lime tilapia with beet, carrot, and horseradish coleslaw. Yum. I almost wish I could start eating now, but I ate leftover red snapper mixed in a mango, avocado, cucumber, red onion, coleslaw for breakfast and I’m quite stuffed.
Oh, but the app! It does the meal plan, the recipe storage, the shopping list, and the pantry recording, all within a straightforward, reasonably sensible interface. It took me a while to find some of the tricks–you have to be in edit mode to drag-and-drop items, but mostly once I found out how to do what I wanted to do, I thought, well, that’s sensible. Any time I couldn’t figure out something, it turned out to be done the easiest possible way, usually by holding the top-level icon down until a context menu with the option I wanted popped up.
My cooking tendency has always been to wander out to the kitchen at 5 or 6 or so and see what I can do with what’s on hand. It worked really well with C’s grocery-shopping style, because there were always more bits and pieces around then when I lived on my own. But I’m actually having fun with this process, which is nice and unexpected.
Part of it–in the good news/bad news sense–is that I’m already feeling better. I’m still allergic and my joints are still hurting more than I’d like, but I’ve got more energy and more focus. Yesterday was probably the most focused day I’ve had in months, where I actually concentrated intently for hours and hours. Okay, so it was on becoming the master of a meal app, but that’s still a good sign. Except, of course, that it means at least one food is never coming back into my life. The reading I’ve been doing strongly suggests that it’s going to be nightshades, but I am so, so, so not ready to contemplate a life without tomatoes, potatoes or hot sauce. On the other hand, back in May, life without bread seemed too hard and it only took a few weeks of feeling amazingly good to make bread seem a lot less appealing. I guess I’ll see.
Meanwhile, off I go to use this energy for good. Not browsing for more recipes, but maybe actually writing more than a paragraph or two!
Yeah the night shades thing is hard for me to contemplate, too. The diet for your blood type told me not to eat tomatoes and peppers. I hate to say that for the short time I followed it, I felt healthier. I didn’t stick with it, though.
Planning meals is very hard for me.
Whatever is going on with me not being able to comment is something to do with the wordpress thing with my Hotmail address. Sticking with yahoo for now.
It’s really strange that it doesn’t work anymore. I will try to see if its something on my end–hmm, I think once I rejected a comment of yours because it was a duplicate. I bet that was a mistake. I’ll see if I can fix that!
I have always been a terrible meal planner. It doesn’t suit me. But I am very much enjoying working with MealBoard. I’ll be having chicken pesto zucchini noodles for dinner (made with leftover chicken) tonight, followed by coconut lime tilapia tomorrow night, followed by roast chicken on Thursday. I’m being a little more flexible on breakfast and lunch, as long as there are plenty of leftover options that fit within my restrictions, but especially within the very restricted diet, it’s handy to be able to open up MealBoard and find a recipe that’s exactly right for what I can eat and what I have on hand.
Good review – I would love to know what you think about our meal planner: https://spoonacular.com/weekly-meal-planner
Wow, I love that “generate a meal plan” feature on your web site. That would be really cool if it used my approved recipes. I’m surprised that it didn’t show up in my original search of iTunes–except that I’m downloading it now, and I see that the focus in the marketing blurb is about organizing recipes and that’s not what I was looking for. I’m not sure your marketing blurb is working well for you. A virtual cookbook sounds pointless. (I hope that doesn’t sound rude.) A meal plan generator that can filter recipes for specific diets, including AIP (auto-immune protocol) would be far more interesting.