- Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:46 pm
Ah this idea is awesome! I seem to always have random food items but can't really think of anything to make of them all because I don't cook that often. There are TONS of recipe websites, but the ability to just put in certain ingredients like this is not something I have seen (then again, I haven't looked either). I want to see this happen. It would actually be really simple... here's my technical thoughts.
You'd just need two database tables: one for ingredients and one for recipes. Each recipe would have a list of ingredients (which would literally refer to the entries in the ingredients database). A user could then just start typing in ingredients into their "pantry" that they've got and the site would search for recipes that include those ingredients. If it doesn't find anything with just those ingredients, it could suggest recipes that only have one or two additional ingredients.
Now what would be REALLY cool but REALLY hard, and something that I've actually wanted to do for a long time, is integrate grocery store prices and nutritional information into this. Then a user could go in and say "I want a meal with these ingredients, that costs less than this, or that meets these nutritional guidelines." As far as developing such a website, it would not be too difficult to do this. The real problem would not be figuring out how to put algorithms together, it would be where to find grocery store prices in a accessible database and where to find nutrition information like that.
A possible solution at least for prices would be to have a price table in the database where any random user can input the price that they paid for a given ingredient at their grocery store (since prices can vary heavily from one store to another) and then just show the average price.