The contest for the Cooking Planit and T-fal 12 Piece Cookware set just ended last night, but you can still sign up for Cooking Planit to take advantage of their innovative meal planning software. I test drove the software last night for their "All Under Five" meal, meaning that each component had five or less ingredients. Overall, I was pretty impressed with how it worked.
You have the option of browsing through the suggested meals and selecting one of those, or you could build your own meal by searching for the various components that appeal to you. Once you have your dinner planned out, you can get a shopping list with all the ingredients you need with just the click of the button.
There are apps for iPhones and iPads, but seeing as how I have neither of those I used the online version. The feature I was really impressed with was the timing aspect. It lays out the steps so that everything should be finished all around the same time. Additionally there are timers at the top of the screen that go off when something should be flipped over or taken out of the oven. Coordinating this on one's own can be a tough skill to master, but it's made simple with Cooking Planit's technology.
In terms of the food, I opted for the roasted chicken, parmesan fries, and sautéed spinach. All were pretty simple and straight forward, and the directions were easy to follow. The timing on the potatoes needed to be adjusted however. I will be truthful in writing that the instructions do state to leave them in the oven longer if they aren't crispy when the timer goes off, but I may or may not have ignored that sentence because I was getting hungry. My one other note is that it says to put the fries on two sheet trays depending on the amount to make sure they aren't crowded. The problem I had with this is that my oven isn't very large and had difficulty fitting in two trays of potatoes plus the chicken. Overall, I would definitely recommend Cooking Planit to anyone that wants to make planning and cooking dinner simpler.
Have you tried it? What do you think?