Random Recipe Generator

Fiction leading the way

Jo, the comic sidekick in Habitat Man, invents a random recipe generator to encourage people to eat seasonal, low carbon foods and experiment with new ingredients. If you were intrigued, please check it out yourself. This is just a draft version, and if it were to become an app we’d need to pretty it up and increase its functionality.

Random Recipe Generator (as inspired by Habitat Man)

This has columns of ingredients ordered by meat/fish, vegetables, starch etc. You press shift F9 and the random recipe generator randomly selects ingredients from each column (0-3 ingredients from each column + a joker ingredient that is especially challenging e.g. marmite). The challenge is to create a dish using these ingredients. The rules are that you are allowed to drop 1 item and add 1 item (only water and salt are included free).

You can download the most up to date RRG here.

If you only include seasonal low carbon foods it is also a great way to promote healthy sustainable food. The joker column is also an opportunity to introduce people to alternative high protein low carbon food sources such as insects – many cultures eat them across the world, and they’re gaining popularity here in the UK too. Or to ingredients that can be foraged in your neighbourhood, such as nettles. You can adapt yourself to create vegan and vegetarian versions too.

There is a ‘back of the cupboard’ column that you fill in yourself with foods that need eating and all the condiments that are rarely used such as spices and ingredients you (or your parents) already have in the cupboard and need using up.

Academic research has suggested that using technology such as random recipe generators is a great way to reduce our food waste, so why not give it a try and see what happens!

You can download the most up to date version of the RRG here.

We’d love to know how you get on! Feel free to send in any films/blogs of your efforts via email to greenstories@soton.ac.uk or using a free service such as WeTransfer. Even better, share them on social media and tag the Green Stories competitions or D.A. Baden on Twitter.


The RRG is currently being adapted by Mr Johnny Swierczynski.

Update [16/03/2022] the latest version available to download here now contains a seasonal veg column that will only generate vegetables that are in season, helping you to reduce your impact on the planet! Some of the ingredients aren’t very common, so it’s a great opportunity to try something new!