Apps can make meal planning, cooking a snap

When it comes to getting a hot meal on the table, you might be surprised to find that the most useful tool in your kitchen is your smart phone.

No, we’re not talking about ordering take-out. We’re talking about apps for smart phones and tablets that make putting together wholesome meals a breeze.

Here are a few of our top suggestions.

Cooking Planit

This app offers over 800 chef tested recipes. The recipe database is set up so you can search it based on type of cuisine, the main ingredient or the amount of time the dish takes to prepare. You can save your favorites with the My Cookbook feature.

Cooking Planit also gives meal pairings and many featured menus include seasonal produce.

Once you’ve selected your recipes, you can generate a grocery list, set up a schedule for advance meal planning or tweak a meal to suit your personal tastes.

Finally, when it’s time to start cooking, the cook mode function takes you step-by-step through the recipe from prep to final product.

Feel like bragging a little bit? You can share your masterpieces through email, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

You can find out more at and at the App Store and Google Play.

Chef Tap

Love to collect recipes? Then this is the app for you.

Chef Tap allows you to easily grab recipes from favorite recipe websites like Epicurious and or from your favorite cooking blogs. You can also import your own recipes.

Sync your app with the Chef Tap website so you can manage recipes from your desktop as well.

This app also allows you to tweak and edit recipes and the display options allow you to adjust font size and view ingredients and cooking steps side-by-side.

You can access your recipes even without an internet connection and you can export to a text or HTML file so you can share when someone raves about your cooking.

Find out more at An iOS version is being planned but currently you can download the Android App from Amazon and Google Play.

EatingWell - Healthy In A Hurry

This app can be used in conjunction with EatingWell Magazine and the EatingWell website.

The app contains 200 preloaded, easy-to-prepare recipes with full-color photos from the EatingWell Test Kitchen.

You can search the recipe database by course category, individual ingredient, main ingredient and prep time.

The EatingWell website offers many more perks including meal plans with calorie levels, videos, a blog and additional articles on diet and health.

Find out more at The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android.