As the cook of the household, I often have a hard time trying to figure out who is coming back for dinner, how much to cook for dinner and what to cook for dinner. This resulted in food wastage, or unsatisfied house mates when you don't cook enough or cook something that they would prefer. This is a problem which all housewives, party/event organizers, and even overseas students staying with housemates (like me) always face!

What it does

This app solves all the mentioned problems. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Log in to Sahara using your Facebook account
  2. Choose from a set of recommended recipes, which is based on your current ingredient list. Ingredients closer to expiration will have priority.
  3. Include the chosen recipe into a meal plan - set a time for the meal and send a message to your house mates through Facebook
  4. Check the RSVP list for your meal plan at the end of the day, and have an EASY time cooking your next meal!

How Sahara is built

Sahara was built using the following packages:

  1. meteor-base
  2. mobile-experience
  3. mongo
  4. blaze-html-templates
  5. session
  6. jquery
  7. tracker
  8. standard-minifiers
  9. es5-shim
  10. ecmascript
  11. autopublish
  12. insecure
  13. fourseven:scss
  14. reywood:bootstrap3-sass
  15. iron:router
  16. accounts-facebook
  17. service-configuration
  18. webtempest:animate
  19. semantic:ui-css

And also using the food2fork API.


  1. It was hard to find a free and suitable recipe API to retrieve the recipes data. Most of them has a limit to the amount of API calls we can make. We exceeded the limit for one of them, and are forced to find alternatives.
  2. Time. If we had more time, we would have implemented a lot more features and make Sahara more awesome than it is now.
  3. Trying to integrate our app into mobile. There are a lot of features that do not work even in mobile browsers, such as opening up Facebook dialog and etc technical issues.

Accomplishments that the team are proud of

  1. That we built a pretty prototype for Sahara.
  2. We learnt a lot about Meteor, and probably will not go back to using other web development tools again (LOL)
  3. We used the app to plan for our meals today and tomorrow. Our app has proven to be really useful!

What I learned

  1. Meteor.js development is made much easier with the iron:router package. And other packages that exist to ease development on both front-end and back (i.e. Semantics:UI, webtempest:animate, and many others).
  2. Do not judge packages by its install rates. Just try everything that fits your needs.
  3. Set up stubs for both front-end and back-end development. To standardise template names, one person should set up the iron:router page routes as soon as possible.

What's next for Sahara

We will continue developing it. We will share this good stuff with our mums, all the housewives out there and the cooks of every household. We may also put it up on the app stores. Share the joy!

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