Ingredient Search Feature--My New Best Friend! - Livin' la vida Pobre Blog at Allrecipes.com - 190616

Livin' la vida Pobre

Ingredient Search Feature--My New Best Friend! 
 
Aug. 17, 2010 11:16 am 
Updated: Aug. 20, 2010 2:11 pm
Because I usually buy what's on sale at the grocery store and plan my menus after the shopping is done, I often find myself purchasing meat, produce etc. with no ideas about what I'm going to do with it.  I LOVE AR's ingredient search feature.  This is also especially helpful when the pantry is starting to look a little overloaded, and I need to find something to do with the staples that I've stockpiled.  August has been a "purge" month, when we've been using up our stockpiled (aka hoarded) pantry goods and freezer proteins.  Do you ever find yourself in a cooking rut?  Your family likes certain things, so you make the same meals over and over again until none of your favorites look good anymore?  I do!  Several years ago I went on a salmon kick.  To this day, my poor husband can't even look at a piece of salmon.  With three kids running around, and time in short supply, I often lack imagination when it comes to cooking.  Some days I look at the clock and uh-oh, it's 4:30 and I still haven't taken meat out of the freezer.  It's also a cr@p shoot when I make a new recipe on whether or not the kids will even touch it, so I depend on the ol' reliable recipes that I know they'll eat.  I have been known to make the same thing two days in a row---shhhhhh.....  I know, I'm a terrible homemaker. 

Last week I went to Costco.  I shouldn't have done it, but I bought a pack of 100 corn tortillas.  It was only $2.79 for A HUNDRED tortillas!  What kind of cheapskate could pass up a deal like that??? I wouldn't be doing my civic duty as a penny pincher to walk away from that kind of deal.  But what to do with that many corn tortillas?  My family loves soft tacos, but that's what, like two tortillas per person?  I needed recipes!  I found this recipe http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chicken-Tortilla-Bake/Detail.aspx< and I admit I was dubious.  Tortillas with cream soup and chicken?  But even my picky little one likes chicken and cream soup, so I gave it a shot.  I was all set to hate it, but it smelled soooo good in the oven.  It was a little salty, but Hubs loved it, and the kids ate it up too.  I served it with a little sour cream and chopped tomato and cilantro to cut the salty taste, and I'll totally make it again but use the lower sodium soups next time.  The best part is that I used up not only some of my tortillas, but my "hoarded" cream soups, green chilis, and pinto beans from the pantry to make refried beans for a side.  I love it when I find a recipe and already have all of the ingredients on hand.  It's like winning the lottery.

If you're ever in my boat with too many corn tortillas, try this recipe:  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chilaquiles-II/Detail.aspx < Chilaquiles are my all time favorite comfort food, and P.S. also a great hangover cure, so I'm told.  They're traditionally made for breakfast, but I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and I HAVE!)  Between the tortilla bake, chilaquiles, and the steak tacos I'll be making tonight with the huge package of steaks that I picked up this morning on super-sale, we're rapidly working our way through my giant bag of tortillas.  If all else fails, I'll just cut them up and fry the remainders and make a big bowl of pico de gallo.  I admit, I've had much bigger problems.

So back to my original thought; I really like this feature.  Really, really like this feature.  It's worked out great when it's time to clean out the fridge, and I found a baked pasta recently that used up all of my half used tubs of dairy products which my husband proclaimed was so good that "If I had known this was coming, I would have starved myself for the whole day so I could eat more of it". 

I'm curious:  How many other people use the ingredient search?  Do you have a recipe that you'd like to share?  We've found some of our favorite new meals this way; things that I never would have though to even look up.  It's a great way to expand your recipe repertoire! 
 
Comments
Aug. 17, 2010 12:04 pm
I just love this feature too. I so hate waste and I love that I have the option to type in the ingredients I need to use up. And hey presto, there are all these delicious dishes to choose from..
 
Aug. 17, 2010 12:14 pm
I shop first and plan second, too. Love to save money, but like getting what looks, smells and tastes the freshest. Anyway, this feature is great. I also like the calculator feature so I can adjust to size of a recipe up or down to meet my needs.
 
Mrs. C 
Aug. 17, 2010 12:34 pm
Great feature! I like it also because I find recipes of unusual titles, some I would never find with traditional search! Since finding AR, I plan meals more... but we are easily distracted...
 
Aug. 17, 2010 5:02 pm
I use that feature too probably every day that I'm on AR. I've made a lot of recipes from here using that search.
 
Aug. 17, 2010 5:33 pm
I shop very similarly, and love the ingredient search too. I buy (and generally use) a 100 pack of tortillas at Costco. I make all the typical freezer meals, but also freeze them in portions between wax paper and in a ziplock bag, so that I always have tortillas on hand. LOVE these quesadillas too http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Black-Bean-and-Corn-Quesadillas/Detail.aspx and even my husband didn't miss the meat. (I bet you have the stuff to make them in your pantry too!)
 
Aug. 17, 2010 5:59 pm
When using it, it's good to remember you can list things you don't want! That can narrow the search tremendously!
 
Aug. 17, 2010 7:05 pm
just discovered the ingredient search feature, and its pretty amazing. i havent put it to use yet, but i know it will come in handy. im always trying to get creative with my odds-and-ends food in my cupboards. my husband and i live an hour and a half from a real grocery store. we have a small "general store" in our town, but it only carries a small section of commonly used grocery items, which is never anything i need at any given time. so this will be a lifesaver for me :)
 
Aug. 18, 2010 6:56 am
penny pinchers unite! I love the ingredient search tab too.
 
NancyH 
Aug. 19, 2010 8:46 am
I know how you feel with the tortilla's, I bought a bag with about maybe half and payed maybe $1.20, to find that it was only HALF FULL OF CHIPS!!!!!! I love AR's ingredient search, because say I want to make some cookies, and have no eggs, easy! Just type in that you don't want any eggs in it, and there you go!
 
Aug. 19, 2010 10:04 am
LOVE this feature! I just made italian chicken sausage risotto the other night because of it and now have a new favorite staple recipe!
 
happywife&mama 
Aug. 20, 2010 2:11 pm
Yes, I LOVE it and use it often! However, I've noticed that sometimes I put in certain ingredients that I KNOW a recipe calls for on AR, but it won't show up. It's frustrating when that happens. Has that happened to anyone else?
 
 
 
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My4NonBlondes

Home Town
Astoria, Oregon, USA
Living In
Leesburg, Georgia, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2003

Cooking Level
Intermediate

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Vegetarian

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