Weekend Cooking: Creative Meal-Planning from CookThink

Lacking inspiration this weekend?

Is everyone in your family begging for something different?

Trying to use up the remnants of your CSA before the next box arrives?

Whatever our conundrum, CookThink has a tool that can help us out! Type in any combination of ingredient, type of dish, particular cuisine, or even your mood, and CookThink will find a selection of corresponding recipes for you to choose from.

CookThink operates using something they call the "Recipe Mapping Project," which finds correlations between recipes and creates searchable cross references. The recipes are all original to the site and cover a wide range of tastes, cuisines, and ingredients.

"Lettuce + Egg + Mushrooms + Fresh" (leftovers from our fridge) gave us several recipes for pasta combinations, unusual salads, and spring veggie tarts.

"Spicy + Latin + Black Bean + Pumpkin" (sparked by their keyword clouds) gave us a wide range of salsas, braised chicken recipes, and burrito suggestions.

Another quick search for "Cranberries + Sweet + Home" found several basic recipes for breakfast foods, sauces, and a few savory dishes--including one for ravioli with sweet potato and marscapone that we're thinking of trying tonight!

We really like the "ingredients first" approach. It makes cooking less about following a recipe to the letter and more about getting creative with flavors and new ingredients.

What do you think--is this a useful tool?

Related: What's in Season in Your State?

(Image Credit: CookThink.com)