Thursday, February 18, 2016

We're Trying Plated!

Hoisin Pork Buns topped with Pickled Onions and Peanuts

Earlier this month, we joined the legions of millennials who truly can't be bothered with going to the grocery store or meal planning. We're trying Plated, one of many meal delivery services that pledge to give you restaurant-quality meals you can cook at home. My reasons for trying a meal service like this were:
  • I was in a complete cooking rut and lacking inspiration. Meal planning was taking a lot of energy out of me, and we were subsisting on variations of pasta, tacos and stir fry.
  • I want to do whatever I can to cut down on food waste that happens when a recipe calls for ingredients I will truly  not need/use again.
  • I thought it might nudge us toward eating a little bit healthier and better portion sizes.
  • I figured I could pick up a few tips/skills/ideas along the way
 Root Vegetable Chili with cornbread on the side

We chose Plated over the other options because its menu seemed like the best bet for our nearly incompatible picky eating tendencies. So far, it's been a pretty good experience! We've had a couple snafus where the broccoli arrived without any broccoli heads — just leaves — and when the ground chicken for tacos tasted like it might already be bad and we tossed the whole meal in fear. In both instances, Plated credited our account (something I noted the grocery store definitely wouldn't do).

Although we definitely have loved some meals more than others, everything has been good and I have to say I look forward every night to trying something new. It's also REALLY good for side dish inspiration, which was always my eternal struggle. 

 Feta-stuffed lamb burgers wrapped in lettuce with a Greek yogurt cucumber and pepper salad

The big cons I see to a service like Plated are:
  • It's a lot of packaging. It's mostly recyclable, but the volume of boxes/baggies/mini bottles is pretty high. 
  • I do wish I could individually remove ingredients that I just know neither of us will want (various condiments or toppings). 
  • I do wish some of the ingredients were more prepped (like garlic already minced), although I know that would take away from the freshness. It would just make it a little bit faster, which would be awesome.
 Ricotta Meatballs and Spaghetti

But honestly, I can get over the cons because I'm having so much fun picking out our meals for the upcoming weeks! We're not super adventurous yet, but it's been fun to incorporate more Asian cuisine since that's something I never cook at home (too many ingredients to buy!). Some of our other meals have included salmon burgers and Korean beef tacos.

This post is most definitely not sponsored, by the way. Just wanted to share my honest opinion of this service. My girlfriends rave about Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, too; we just went with Plated because it's menus seemed more "us," but if you're considering trying a service like this, check those out, too.

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