AI, it’s everywhere! Even in your fridge. So, with AI-powered recipe generators claiming to stop you from ever wasting leftover ingredients again, Kayleigh Fish and Megan Evans gave them a whirl – with mixed results…
By now, the fear that AI is going to take over the world is at the forefront of public thought. In the months since Open AI’s ChatGPT was released, AI has become a controversial topic across numerous industries – and rightly so, if you ask me.
Putting aside these concerns, the whole point of AI is to improve our quality of life. That’s especially true in the workplace where automation is supposed to make things easier by getting the jobs we don’t want to do done, thus alleviating pressure from human workers. But forget about work for a second. Does AI have the ability to improve our personal lives as well? I put this to the test in my kitchen.
You know how it is: you’re trying to be good and not order a takeaway but haven’t the foggiest what to cook. Enter AI. If you type ‘AI recipe generator’ into any search engine, a whole load of options pop up now. What’s great about the generator I selected is that it gives you the option to input ingredients you already have in your fridge, freezer or cupboards (a win in terms of reducing our food waste), and even some dietary requirements. I’m on a plant-based diet, and much to my dismay, each recipe that came up initially included a lot of ingredients I didn’t have, couldn’t get easy access to or would probably never use again.
Finally, I hit upon a rice-based side dish that included ingredients readily available to me. Being a side dish, it didn’t exactly satisfy me as fully as I needed, but it was good all the same.
Ultimately, I can’t say using the AI saved me much decision-making time, but it did present me with recipes I may not have thought of previously. The thought of never having to come up with another meal idea or scour through websites and books is also a plus, even if it’s hard to shake off the ethics of snubbing those who pour their hearts and souls into doing this for you already.
AI systems are remarkably intelligent and can be taught to perform a wide range of tasks, including writing lengthy recipes with the help of user interaction.
The process of inputting information into the system is fairly straightforward. You fill out a form that asks for the type of meal you want the AI to prepare a recipe for, such as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Then, you list five ingredients that you’d like to be included in the recipe.
These ingredients can be anything, from meat and dairy products to vegetables. In my first attempt at using the system, I decided to choose a combination of ingredients that I personally enjoy on a daily basis: cheese, chicken, bacon, asparagus, and red onion.
The generative AI processed the information I provided and generated a recipe for a chicken, bacon, and asparagus skillet, which is primarily used for frying food. This cooking method is quite popular because it allows you to cook everything in a single pan, adding in the desired ingredients one at a time.
The AI provided a list of ingredients with precise measurements, along with recommendations for side dishes to complement the meal and suggestions for customizing the dish, such as adding extra spice if desired.
Curious to test the intelligence of this AI generator further, I decided to make my next attempt more challenging. I mentioned that I had a dairy allergy but still wanted a pancake recipe with chocolate, strawberries, biscoff, and bananas.
I wasn’t sure if the AI would be able to handle this request, but once again, it came up with a beautiful recipe that could be enjoyed by a group of friends or family. The AI even included alternatives like almond milk and dairy-free chocolate to accommodate my dietary restriction.
Here’s the recipe:
While some people may feel hesitant about experimenting with AI, I found this experience quite amusing. You can have fun and create unique and unusual recipes, or you can use the form as a source of inspiration when you have a bunch of random items in your fridge that need to be used up the next day, without the hassle of searching through a recipe book. It’s perfect for those on the go!
As someone who usually stresses about cooking due to my irregular work hours throughout the week, but who also enjoys trying new foods and finding inspiration for new recipes, I believe AI can be a helpful tool.
5 AI recipe generators to try out at home
From the most common of questions to the most out there, Let’s Foodie claims to have the answers. Whether you’ve got a leftover cauliflower stem or a bottle of prosecco, this is your guide to transforming almost any ingredient into any dish.
A zero-waste recipe generator, this online tool lets you search by your ingredients. The more you add, the more you unlock, thanks to the website’s ability to analyse 11 million recipes in record time.
From spicy Brazilian cheese balls to cheesy beef empanadas (cue salivating), DishGen takes into account ingredients, ideas and dietary preferences to serve up recipes from scratch for mains, desserts and more.
Specialising in healthy, easy and sustainable recipes, Plant Jammer aims to minimise food waste at home, while also taking dietary needs, nutrition goals and tastes into consideration.
Yes, it’s ChatGPT with a chef’s hat on. Think of ChefGPT as a virtual cooking companion who’s on hand to save you time and money in the kitchen. Features like PairPerfect even suggests beverages to go with meals.
words KAYLEIGH FISH, MEGAN EVANS + EMMA WAY