Spinning Meals


Posted 12 years ago by Ryan

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Spinning Meals work?

Spinning Meals is the only iPhone app which automatically creates a meal plan and shopping list, based on your own recipes and preferences. For the best overall explanation of how it does this, please see our tutorial / trailer video at http://trailer.spinningmeals.com

Is an iPad version available?

The app currently runs on iPad (“iPad compatible”) but it is not yet optimized for iPad. Look for an iPad version coming soon which will take full advantage of the larger screen, and be a pleasure to cook from in your kitchen.

Is an Android version available?

We are also working on an Android version. In the meantime, you can help us by spreading the word about the iPhone version, as its success will determine how quickly we can enable it for Android.

What if I have multiple phones or devices?

We are developing the capability to synchronize your recipes, meals, shopping lists, and meal plans, across multiple supported devices. This service will be provided free, so we encourage you to “take the plunge” and begin setting up your recipes in the app, knowing that device synchronization (and backup) is coming.

I don’t like cooking from my small iPhone screen, is there a better way?

Spinning Meals can send recipes to your AirPrint-compatible printer. AirPrint uses WiFi to print without wires or a computer. If your printer is not AirPrint-compatible, here are two ideas:

1. Consider that many inexpensive printers today provide AirPrint yet cost little more than the face value of the included ink cartridges (this is because manufacturers want to convert you to their ink brand), so upgrading to a wireless printer may cost you very little.

2. While not officially supported by Apple, we understand there is a way to set up your wireless Mac or PC to allow your iPhone to print through it. You can read about it for Mac or PC.

I prefer metric measurements. Can I switch to metric?

The app can handle recipes of both imperial and metric measurements. However, there is no “switch” which can be flipped to convert recipes from one format to another. We plan to look into it, to see how difficult it would be to make this conversion automatic.

The best way to capture recipes in metric right now, is to use Add from URL (from the Recipes tab, after tapping +), then type in Food.com in the address bar, then navigate to a recipe you like, at which point you can select Metric near the top. Now tap the Capture button, and it will be saved to the app in metric units.

Finally, if you have some favorite metric recipe websites, please send them our way. We have been looking for some metric recipe sites, to try to enable the “Add from Web” recipe capture. It would still depend on whether we can get the technical pieces to work properly with the site(s), as all websites are formatted a little differently, but I would love to try to make some of your favorite sites work if you can suggest some to us.

I added recipes and they’re not appearing in my meal plans, what’s wrong?

Recipes need to be grouped into Meals, and associated to one or more Seasons, to appear in a meal plan. Go to the Meals tab, tap +, then choose one or more Recipes which you will eat together as a Meal. You should also check to make sure your Meals have one or more Seasons assigned, and that their frequency is not set to Never.

I like the concept but why aren’t there more recipes included?

Included recipes are intended to get you started immediately, but we recognize that each family’s needs are different. So rather than try to provide recipes that will work for everyone (impossible) we’ve built the app to allow you to capture the right mix of recipes for you. What do you consider healthy, tasty, affordable, easy? Use Internet recipe capture and Meal groupings to build your perfect rotation.

Internet recipe capture is not capturing all of the information correctly, is something wrong?

With the original implementation of the internet recipe capture, we have found some inconsistencies in the recipe formatting “tags” we use to place recipe components into the right fields in Spinning Meals.

Update: Version 1.3 introduced a new approach to internet recipe capture, designed to overcome these challenges, while also providing a much easier user experience. Please advise us of any issues you continue to see. We are also considering bringing back the original search function as an alternative for those who still want it.

How are the Seasons defined?

  • Spring Meals appear on your Meal Plan in March, April, and May.
  • Summer Meals appear on your Meal Plan in June, July, and August.
  • Fall Meals appear on your Meal Plan in September, October, and November.
  • Winter Meals appear on your Meal Plan in December, January, and February.

NOTE: If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, we realize that this is backwards for you, and are developing a new setting to enable reverse seasonality. At that point the months listed above will be offset by six months. Since this feature is coming soon (target release date is January 26, Australia Day), we recommend designating your Fall recipes (March-May) as Fall, even though they won’t plan properly until this feature is available.

Would it be possible to group repeating ingredients together?

Yes, we agree that lines like “2 tablespoons olive oil” and “1 tablespoon olive oil” should be grouped together as simply “Olive Oil.” This is a bit challenging to do properly but we are working on it and will provide this in a future release.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

Please send us an email at wecare@spinningmeals.com. We will respond promptly, and will expand this list to reflect new common questions and application updates.

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