I shared on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago that dinner is usually one of the first things to “go” when I’m busy. I actually like cooking, but planning is my downfall. I like to be “in the mood” for what I make and eat, so I don’t like to plan out a menu. This becomes problematic at the grocery store when I buy things that I think I might be in the mood for, but then again, maybe I won’t.
I’ve learned that if I can get a little help with the planning, I can make a good dinner happen, even on a busy day.
So, when Plated asked if I would like to work with them, try out a couple of their meals and share it on my blog, I loved the idea. This sounds like a service that I would like.
Here’s what Plated is…
For our first meal, I selected the chicken avocado burgers with sweet potato fries. ( Apparently, I’m one of the last people who knew that you could mix an avocado into ground chicken or I would’ve been all over that when I did Whole30.)
It comes with a large recipe card, showing what the completed recipe looks like…
…as well as step-by-step instructions and tips.
All of the ingredients for each meal come in bags that are clearly labeled, so you can just pop them in the fridge and pull them out when you’re ready to cook.
Everything is included to make the dishes, except olive oil, salt and pepper. Plated sends you all of the fresh produce, meat, spices, herbs, etc. Everything you need to complete the dish as well as a list of the cooking tools and utensils you need.
One thing that I really liked is that the recipe pushed me to take dinner up a notch. Instead of just using mayo, they had me make garlic lemon aioli to top the burgers. If I was following a recipe, I probably would’ve just skipped that, but since I had all of the ingredients, perfectly portioned, I made it and it really added a lot to the dish.
The portions were very generous…similar to restaurant portions, I would say. After making the first dish, I realized that the ingredients meant to make two burgers could’ve made 3-4. They gave me three potatoes to make fries for two servings, but I ended up just using two and we still had some leftover. I liked that the portions were on the generous side, so we had leftovers and it was a better value.
I also loved tips they had for preparation. They suggested toasting the buns in the pan right after cooking the chicken avocado burgers and that was so much better than just warming them up or toasting them in the oven.
Believe it or not, I am still recovering from having my wisdom teeth removed over a month ago, so I had to eat mine with a fork and knife, cutting it up into tiny bites. (I still can’t open my jaw all the way and some of my gum on the left side is numb.)
Both Jeff and I loved the dinner so much, I followed the recipe a second time with my own ingredients, just reusing the recipe card.
The other meal we chose was an Italian stir fry with chicken sausage and veggies. That one was delicious, too, and again, we had enough to have for lunch the next day. I supplemented the dish with angel hair pasta to stretch it out even further.
After cooking two meals with them, here’s what I loved about Plated.
- The meals were simple, but really tasty and felt “special”. I even pulled out the cloth napkins.
- Everything is perfectly portioned, so you’re not left with a half-used container of something you bought specifically for one recipe. Stuff like that usually turns into a science experiment and eventually goes to waste in my house.
- I felt like I was learning chef secrets as I was preparing the food.
- The calorie information is provided for each service.
- They have a wide variety of meals to choose from including vegan, vegetarian, beef, chicken, seafood and even dessert.
- The produce and meat were all top-quality ingredients. Even the avocado was perfectly ripe.
- I loved that I didn’t have to think about what to make for dinner. The pressure was off.
The meals average $12/plate, which I felt like was a pretty good price once you start adding up all of the ingredients and, as a bonus, you can reuse the recipe cards for the ones you really loved. In that way, it has a lot more value than a restaurant meal that can be tough to copy in your own kitchen.
I wouldn’t personally get a meal for every night of the week, but I love the idea of picking one or two plates each week, just to spice things up. I could also see ordering these if I have company coming or if I know a busy week is on the horizon.
Disclosure: I was sent four plates (two meals, a $48 value) in order to write this review. I did not receive additional compensation, but the links in this post are affiliate links. I honestly love the idea of this service and plan to be a repeat Plated customer. They definitely won me over and I’m happy to be able to spread the word about their service.