Plan Your Meals with a New App from Joslin’s AADI

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R9QWkjwhGA&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]Drop chicken into the wok, listen as it sizzles and pops. Toss in a few snap peas, sprinkle on some spices, and stir. Watch as a dragon in chef’s garb rates the nutritional value of your dish.

Drag ’n Cook, a new iPhone app from Joslin’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI), lets you digitally prepare your own cuisine while monitoring the overall health of the ingredients involved.

“This is based on home cooking,” said Chihiro Hernandez. “It’s a good way to assess how you can make your food better or healthier.”

The app, available in iTunes today, comes with a Basic and a Chinese package—vegetables, meats and spices traditionally found in Chinese cuisines. From these 200+ ingredients, users can follow recipes or create their own dishes by dragging and dropping food icons into a frying pan.

The app provides trivia tidbits and full nutritional information about each food. If that doesn’t sate your curiosity you can tap on the Wikipedia icon to learn more.

Cookbooks don’t always list the nutrition value of each ingredient. Drag ‘n Cook is a good way to see if, when combined, the recommended foods have too many carbs, too much sodium, or too much fat.

In learning about the food, the creators in the AADI hope that users can figure out how to substitute healthier options into existing recipes, or come up with their own good-for-you concoctions.

Drag ‘n Cook is about empowering individuals to take control of what they eat,” said William Hsu, M.D., co-Director of the AADI. “It can help people reach their health goals by choosing what they like to eat, not by following someone else’s food list or recipes.”

And once users have made the recipe their own, they can save the ingredients, add a picture and instructions, and share their creation via email or on Facebook.

The end result is analyzed along three different guidelines – AADI’s traditional Asian diet, the percent Daily Value scale, and USDA’s. For anyone unfamiliar with these guidelines, the app provides a handy refresher for a full understanding of how your food is rated.

“There’s always a way to modify,” said Hernandez. “We want you to take control of it, and share your ideas and inspirations with other people.”

Drag’nCook will be released with the Chinese package, but the AADI has plans to create add-ons featuring more packages, such as Japanese, Indian, and eventually more broad non-Asian inspired cuisines. Each package comes with one healthy traditional recipe. Ingredients can be mixed together in various cookware–a frying pan, a wok, and an urli all come with the first release version.

“We hope people will start to eat healthy, cook healthy, enjoy eating, and hopefully learn about something new,” said Hernandez.

4 Responses to Plan Your Meals with a New App from Joslin’s AADI

  1. G.RENE TORRES says:

    I WAS REFERED TO YOUR SITE BY A DIETICIAN WHO WORKS W / DIABETICS, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY, AS I AM NOT AN APPLE OWNER AND YOU SEEM TO BE GEARED EXCLUSIVELY TO APPLE PRODUCTS AND AS SUCH THIS IS USELESS TO ME. ALSO I’VE NOTICED YOU ASK FOR DONATIONS FROM USERS WHEN ONE WOULD THINK IF YOU’RE PUSING APPLE PRODUCTS THAT THEY WOULD FUND YOU ! I’M AM ANGERED THAT I WAS REFERED HERE AND THAT YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD ONLY HELP DIABETICS WHO ARE SOLELY APPLE USERS.

  2. Marjorie Kagawa Singer says:

    What happened to the drag and drop to the Wok? That was REALLY helpful to our low education populations because they could tailor it to their own cooking style and we could work with them to modify some of the ingredients to make the meals more helpful.

    Please let us know if this is still available at another website.

    Thanks!
    Marjorie Kagawa Singer, PhD
    UCLA School of Public Health
    Acting Director, Asian American Studies Center

    • Hi Marjorie!

      Drag ‘n Cook(R) is still available on Joslin AADI’s website ( http://aadi.joslin.org/en/drag-n-cook ) as well as on mobile platforms (available on Google Play and App Store). We have expanded the variety of Asian Cuisines and you can now use ingredients that are common for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Currently, the web version has English and Traditional Chinese language options and mobile apps are available in English. Today, we are excited to let you know that there will be more Asian language options coming soon! We will have Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese along with English for all of the platforms. Please stay tuned for these Asian language options and we hope you enjoy cooking with our Drag ‘n Cook(R)!

      As always, we appreciate your feedback and suggestions so please feel free to contact us directly at aadi@joslin.harvard.edu

      Thanks again for using Drag ‘n Cook(R) and enjoy healthy cooking!

      Kind regards,
      Chihiro Sato Hernandez
      Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI)

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