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Food & Drink

New free app from Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, UPMC features simple, healthy recipes

| Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
The Recipe Rainbow app is the result of a team effort between the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and UPMC Health Plan
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
The Recipe Rainbow app is the result of a team effort between the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and UPMC Health Plan

Having a good supply of healthy ingredients doesn't always lead to a healthy meal. People have to know how to prepare and cook the food.

That is the point of the Recipe Rainbow app, the result of a team effort between the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and UPMC Health Plan. The free app — available on Apple and Android devices — provides more than 300 recipes that are simple and healthy.

“It's really easy to use, and the recipes in it are fantastic,” says Jesse Sharrard, food-safety and nutrition manager for the food bank.

Recipe Rainbow includes recipes for dishes ranging from Chicken Peanut Stir Fry to Peach Cinnamon Crisp, with nothing too complicated, he says.

“We want people to look at a recipe and say, ‘Yes, I can do that, and I will do that,' ” says Sharrard, a classically trained chef.

Type in an ingredient, and the app will display recipes that use it. More than 200 ingredients are in the database, says Sharrard, who wrote many of the recipes himself, along with nutrition professionals.

Several years ago, he says, food-bank officials noticed that some clients were throwing away salmon steaks they got there because they didn't know how to cook salmon. Good food was going to waste because people didn't know what do to with it, and this led eventually to the creation of Recipe Rainbow.

“We're not doing anyone any favors if we send food home with somebody who's going to end up throwing it away,” Sharrard says. “We really want to do everything we can to help the families we serve be healthier.”

Details: pittsburghfoodbank.org

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly@tribweb.com or 412-320-7824.

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