My husband was rather surprised to be offered ‘bottom of the fridge sauce’ with pasta the other day. I know his mother always had a menu plan for the week, so I suppose he’d never come across this particular delicacy before.

tomatoesMy new resolution for the year is to avoid waste, and (obviously!) this pasta sauce was made with the things lurking in the vegetable drawers in my fridge. It was great, but perhaps I need to work on the marketing …

For years I’ve wanted a recipe book or site that I could ask “what can I cook with what I have in the fridge?” And here it is!

I love this!

At Cookthink, you can ask for:

  • recipes that fit your ingredient (yay – two going-soft peppers, anyone? They suggest sauteed bell peppers with pine nuts and parmesan, or an aubergine, pepper and basil caponata, or …)
  • recipes that fit a particular dish (if you’re looking for a dessert, or fancy a risotto or …)
  • recipes from a particular cuisine (if you fancy turkish, for example)
  • or recipes that fit a particular mood (e.g. healthy, special occasion, gooey or brittle or … what looks like hundreds of different moods)

And any combination of these four main types (and multiple ingredients).

They will come up with one suggestion, but if that’s not quite right, there are many more recipes that fit your requirements.

Now then, the key question is how do they cope with gluten-free? Oddly, this counts as a ‘mood’, but once you know that, you can ask for gluten free recipes – and there are lots. I asked for a gluten free dessert, and they offered me roasted pears with caramel, creme fraiche and pistachios. Sound good?

It isn’t quite perfect yet. It is tiresome to have to keep refreshing to look for the one adjective that fits what you want, particularly since they are randomly generated and it’s easy to click past the one you want and have to wait for ages for it to randomly reappear – I’d prefer to scroll forwards and back across the tag cloud to see what I want. Also, adding items in the box at the bottom doesn’t seem to work. But the idea is great, and they do say it is beta.

Go and explore – I think it is well worth it. I’m going to cook the pears for my sister-in-law later this week, I think …