Have you ever bought an ingredient for a new recipe but didn’t get around to making that dish in a timely manner? One day, you look in your refrigerator or pantry and say, “I know I bought that to make something specific, but I can’t remember what.” I’ve done that on more than one occasion.

Right now there’s a pound of ground turkey in my freezer, and I don’t remember what recipe I bought it for. Sure, I could use my tried-and-true taco seasoning blend to turn it into taco meat, but I feel like finding a new recipe for it. Googling “ground turkey recipes” is certainly an option, or I could use the new Handpick app. Either would help me find useful recipes, but Handpick has a feature that’s particularly helpful if I’m looking for a recipe that uses the ground turkey plus other ingredients I already have on hand.

The Handpick app recommends ingredient pairings, and you can choose which of those ingredients you have in your kitchen already. Once you choose ingredients, the app suggest recipes that use those ingredients.

Take look at the screenshot on the left. I chose ground turkey in the app (which you can see as a little photo under the word “clear”), and the app gave me suggestions for common pairings – onion, spinach, tomato and garlic. Since I have onion, tomato and garlic in the house right now, I added them to my ingredients by clicking on them.

Once all the ingredients were selected, the app searched for recipes from all over the Internet. It provided suggestions from recipe sites I'm already familiar with such as Food Network, Martha Stewart, Epicurious, and Eating Well as well as food blogs that I may never have discovered without the app. Handpick chooses from 1.6 million content creators worldwide to find recipes. It came up with many recipes for my search, and I think my ground turkey is going to become Turkey Shepherd's Pie this weekend. I have everything I need to make it in my kitchen already.

The ingredient pairing recommendations are my favorite feature of the Handpick app, but the app has several key features:

  • Access to more than 10 million dish posts from around the world
  • The option to pick ingredients from a list of more than 10,000 items and see what they combine well with
  • Become a content creator and publish topics based on favorite dishes and foods
  • Save interesting dishes and categorize by diet, occasions, ingredients, cuisines and more
  • Find recipes ranging from simple meals to gourmet dishes
  • Browse a curated feed of the best dishes from Instagram and the Web, making it quick to find a dish or recipe
Handpick CEO and entrepreneur Payman Netaji created the app with the problem of food waste in mind. His mission is to make sure that people use up the food they have instead of throwing it out. I'm happy to have this new app in my arsenal of tools that help me combat my personal food waste

Handpick has had success around the world in countries such as South Africa, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore. It became available in the U.S. last week for iPhone, iPad and iPod devices. 

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.