Put a Healthy Meal on the Table with Cooking Planit HD — iPad App Review

Cooking Planit HD was born from a husband and wife’s need to find recipes to accommodate their daughter’s soy and dairy allergies. It’s a challenge for all busy families to get dinner on the table, but anyone who has food allergies or other restrictions, or cooks for someone who does, knows how hard it is to find appealing, healthy recipes that take out everything you don’t want and include all the ingredients that you do.

From planning, to shopping, to prepping, and cooking, Cooking Planit HD helps the user get a full, complete meal (you know, with three things on the plate, and at least one of them is a vegetable) on the table at the same time.

Cooking Planit is also sold separately for iPhone/iPod touch, and it offers users a free web service, so it’s there when you need it. But more importantly, its sample menus are full of dishes such as Sloppy Joes or Eggplant and Feta Roulade that most users will actually want to eat.

Cooking Planit HD is also flexible, users aren’t tied to cooking an entire menu. Users can search for individual recipes, as well as customizing recipes and menus. It’s even possible to add your own favorites to the app. It’s also easy to save favorite recipes and menus to My Cookbook.

When it’s time to cook, Cooking Planit HD breaks down the steps in each recipe, complete with built-in timers. The app tells you what time dinner will be ready to serve (a time estimate that changes as you work, so it’s always accurate) and even lets you know when you have a few minutes to take a break between steps, and maybe grab a glass of wine.

Users who want to save recipes they’ve tweaked or search their grocery lists will need to register for a Cooking Planit account. Relax. It’s free and users can sign up right from within the app.

Co-founder Tripp Wiggins sums up Cooking Planit HD succinctly:

We hired a chef to write and curate the content so that when you search, you not only get tested recipes, but we have recommended meal pairings that you can modify to your tastes. The grocery list organizes and aggregates all of the ingredients from the recipes to make the shopping easier. Plus, you can add all of your other regular shopping items into make this the only list you need. When you get ready to cook, the system organizes all of the steps of the multiple recipes and guides you through the entire meal so that everything is ready at the same time.

Download Cooking Planit HD from the App Store for $4.99. The iPhone version is available for $2.99.

What I liked: Cooking Planit HD is thoughtfully constructed and fills a void in the world of mobile cookery. The app helps keep the cook on track while making a recipe.

What I didn’t like: The app’s UI was a bit convoluted at times, but that is largely because it does so many things that it takes an investment from the user to learn how to harness the app’s power. Also, after testing how different restrictions change the range of recipes the user can choose from I found it difficult to convince the app that I no longer needed to avoid soy. I removed the “no soy” restriction from my account several times only to find that it returned each time I opened the app.

To buy or not to buy: Even though Cooking Planit HD has a bit of learning curve for new users, anyone who needs to work around allergies, intolerances, or dietary preferences will appreciate the app’s creative, nutritious recipes. Since Cooking Planit HD breaks down each step in the cooking process, it is also a boon for new or inexperienced cooks. Users who are unsure if they’ll like Cooking Planit can peruse and use the website for free before deciding to purchase the app.

  • App Name: Cooking Planit HD
  • Version Reviewed: 1.0
  • Category: Food & Drink
  • Developer: Caelo Media
  • Price: $4.99
  • Score:

About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite