Hi and welcome to SparkPeople. There are so many great tools and great people involved with this site. I'm sure that SP can help you along on your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Good luck reaching your goals!
In answer to your question.........you don't have to use the menus that SP suggests. There's a button that you can use to hide them. I am a lousy cook so I don't use their suggestions. I do track my nutrients, daily, and that's what I use to plan my meals.