I cook most nights of the week and have a roster of meals that I regularly rotate depending on the season. I tend to make alot of Asian food because it's easiest and what hubster and I find most comforting. Lately I've been looking to expand my repertoire and I was curious to try out one of the new build your own meal delivery services that seem to be so popular lately. I found a promo for Plated and gave it a go. I went to their site and made my selections for two meals and a delivery date. I chose Shepherd's Pie and Chicken Tostadas with Avocado Dressing which were two things I've never attempted to make before. On the designated day, a box arrived by courier with the ingredients for my meals. Everything was clearly labeled and packed well in an insulated bubble wrap pouch with ice packs so it could stay cool for an extended period of time if necessary. Two detailed recipe cards were also included.
The recipe instructions were easy to follow and it was nice that all the ingredients were pre-measured. You do need to provide a few basic ingredients at times but it would be pantry staples you should probably have at home already anyway. I did have to make some adjustments to the seasonings as I went along but both meals turned out quite tasty and delicious. The preparation/assembly of the chicken tostadas was more involved than I expected and the shepherd's pie was easier than I imagined. Anyway I can now revisit these since I learned how to make them.
How It Works: You browse and make a selection from a menu of 7 chef designed recipes which include 4 healthy meat and fish options and 3 vegetarian options. Most of the options are gluten-free as well. Then you choose a date on which you want your ingredients delivered.
Costs: Members are charged $12/plate with a $10/month membership fee or you can pay $8/month for one year upfront. If you don't want to commit, you can go à la carte for $15 per plate. There is a minimum of 4 plates per order but there is no monthly minimum and you can skip as many weeks as you choose. Shipping is free.
Delivery Zones: They currently deliver to 80% of the continental US. You can find out if they deliver to your area by entering your zip code here.
The Ingredients: Local and seasonal produce and organic, free-range and hormone-free meat, fish and poultry. When you sign up, you can create a taste profile to let them know your food preferences and allergies which they take into account when making recommendations.
So what I liked is that the ingredients are fresh and the recipes are pretty healthy and simple to make. It's also great because it allows you to plan ahead and really convenient that everything just shows up at your door. At $24/meal it's a little pricey considering I spend that much for 4 meals most weeks but I am saving in terms of convenience and time and it's still more affordable and better than eating out. I know I could've made both of these dishes for less but it was fun to try something new. I probably wouldn't use Plated regularly but could see ordering from them occasionally if I don't have the time to shop or to try out some new recipes. I could see this being ideal for busy people who don't have time to shop for food yet still want to be able to put something healthy on the table or for people who are learning how to cook.
If you're interested in trying Plated for yourself, you can use this link and we both get two plates for free.
Tip: If you sign up, the default sets you up for automatic deliveries so be sure to opt out.
Have you tried any of these meal kit delivery services? What was your experience? If not, is this something you would try?