Plated Meals Review | Fresh Easy Meals

I'll admit cooking isn't my greatest strength. I always seem to have great intentions and the meals may even look pretty but robust flavor isn't always what you'll find when I try to cook a meal at home. Add to this a schedule where both my husband and I own and run our own companies and how grabbing dinner out is so much easier than planning ahead, shopping and then preparing it to only discover it's not quite what you'd hoped it would be.

This year I've decided to try and simplify life, save some money (eating at home rather than dining out is a great place to start) while eating more clean and healthy foods/meals and rid the house of chemicals (more on this at a later date). It's almost March and I feel like I'm making some good progress.

There are three different companies that have a very similar concept of delivering ingredients to your home for gourmet fashioned meals that can be prepared and enjoyed in 60 minutes or less. I finally committed to trying these programs and this week I'm going to share with you our experience with Plated.

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I realized I should have taken more pictures when putting this post together. That will be rectified in the coming reviews for the other companies.

I loved being able to sign up, select the recipes we wanted to try and then schedule a date for the box to be delivered. It was SO much easier than pulling out a cookbook, figuring out what's in the pantry, making a list, going to the store and then hoping I didn't overlook anything when I'm ready to prepare it. Saving Time is Saving Money!

Our first meal was the Smoky Chickpea Butternut Squash Chili with Garlic Toast. If it's any indication of where my cooking skills typically lie... if anyone steps into the kitchen our poor Maggie darts upstairs. She's pretty terrified that though it doesn't happen as often now as before but there was a time that the fire alarm would go off. Pavlov's Law tried and true.

Thankfully nothing burned and the first recipe was a great success. I enjoyed the squash and chickpeas but it was a little spicy for my taste and my husband doesn't like most everything that was in this particular recipe so it was a one and done not to try this one again.

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The next one we tried was the Carrot Risotto with Fontina, Lemon and Thyme. I've heard getting the Risotto right can be tricky so I was a bit nervous about this meal but after carefully following the directions it came together perfectly and was much better than we anticipated- in fact this recipe card was saved and is one I'll be trying again! I missed lunch this day and was STARVING and failed to take a pic :(

Since I failed to take a picture this is by a fellow Instagram user. #platedpics

Our last meal this week was our favorite. The Ricotta Corn Empanadas with Spinach in Honey Vinaigrette. Delicious! I've never done Empanadas but the directions simply made it SO easy and paired with the Spinach salad everything was delicious!

Here's a typical spread of the ingredients.

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Finished meal:plated_meals_review_0057Not too shabby right?

Pros and Cons: 

Pros: 

  • All the ingredients were packaged together and clearly labeled making the preparation process efficient and easy.
  • We really enjoyed 2/3 meals with the 3rd being ok but just not a favorite.
  • Preparation to finished meals were all within 45 minutes .
  • Everything was fresh and stayed fresh even after the box had been delivered nearly a week prior to us finishing the last meal.
  • I've actually enjoyed cooking and the meals have been quite delicious with lots of flavor!

Cons:

  • Not having much selection on what meals were delivered (I think this was my fault for not ordering more in advance of our delivery).
  • Not having enough filling to actually fill all 6 empanada shells (I came up with 5).
  • Getting to excited about enjoying the meal and failing to take better pictures.

Lessons Learned:

  • Order more in advance of the delivery date for optimum options with meals
  • Prepare the meal with the most fragile produce first (some of the spinach was starting to look a little rough)
  • I was silly to not have tried this sooner

If you'd like to try Plated for yourself use this link and you'll receive your first 2 meals free! Make it a date night or mix up your typical dinner routine and enjoy the process (like me!)  

Disclosure:  No compensation was received and all opinions and feedback above is my own.  Also, This post contains referral links.