Technology offers meal preparation guidance

Posted: Apr. 2, 2020 1:39 pm

NEW LONDON, Mo. | Some multi-purpose apps and websites can now help Missourians create easy meals from items already in their pantries.

Jim Meyer, the nutrition and health education county engagement specialist for Ralls County, said free apps can help people make sure they're ready to feed themselves with what's in their pantry or put a different spin on left-overs.

“With social distancing people are trying to avoid a lot of trips to the grocery stores and these resources can help people prepare meals,” Meyer said.

Meyer uses some of the websites listed below and said the University of Missouri service has a website of its own that has a COVID-19 resources link that is helpful.

The NoWaste – Food Inventory List, is an easy app which helps people keep tabs on their food inventory. Users can easily track, organize and manage the food in their home. Separate inventory lists can be created for the freezer, refrigerator and pantry. Barcodes and receipts can also be scanned to easily add food to the app.

The BigOven Recipes and Meal Planner app includes a variety of useful features, like the “Use Up Leftovers” feature, which suggests recipes for people based on items already in their pantry.

Users of the SuperCook app report an abundance and variety of recipes. The app also includes a shopping list feature and a tracker for what is already in the pantry — helping make grocery shopping easier.

The Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app features step-by-step cooking videos. Users in certain locations can also take advantage of a feature allowing them to cook with what's on sale at their local grocery store.

The Epicurious website and app are well-organized and include recipes from around the world. New recipes are added often and videos have their own tab for viewing.

The Mealtime app focuses on creating healthy, easy meal plans for the busy consumer. Users can select dietary restrictions, food dislikes and serving size before the app suggests recipes the user may like.

Meal Hero app users tout the ease with which meals can be planned. In certain locations, users can click a few extra times and groceries are delivered to their door.

Created by University of Missouri Extension, the Seasonal and Simple app allows users to search for recipes based on what is in season. This app is also unique in that it houses recipes and guidelines for preserving food at home by canning, freezing or drying.

Other resources for home use The Canned Food Alliance website is home to information related to canned foods, including the harvesting and canning processes, nutrition information for canned items and recipes. The website address is

University of Missouri Extension provides Can-Do Recipes guide sheets filled with easy recipes using pantry staples, including everything from rice and canned vegetables to canned meat.

More information is available from Meyer through the University of Missouri Extension office in Ralls County, 311 S. Main St. P.O. Box 540 New London, Mo. 63459, at or 573-985-3911.


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