Plated Review

Back in June, I gave my husband Mark a gift card to Plated for Father’s Day. We had so much fun with it! Enjoying food rather than being scared of it is one of the best things about leaving binge eating behind, and Plated was definitely a fun way for me to truly enjoy food and eating. For this week’s post, I thought I’d do a little review of Plated and share some pictures of the gorgeous culinary creations Mark and I put together with Plated this past month. 🙂

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What Is Plated?

Awesome. That’s what Plated is: awesome. No, but really. Plated is what you could call a “meal subscription service.” Essentially, it’s a website that allows you to order boxes full of fresh, delicious ingredients that are then mailed straight to your home. Each box contains the ingredients and instructions for you to make a complete, beautiful meal right in your own kitchen. No grocery shopping required!

While I do most of the cooking at our house due to my husband’s full-time job and part-time student status, Mark really does like to cook. I thought Plated would make for some fun date nights in for my closet-chef husband and me.

How Does Plated Work?

To start up a Plated subscription, you hit Plated’s website and create an account. From there you can decide how often you want a box to come to your home as well as choose the particular meals you want delivered. The smallest plan (what we did) allows you to choose a box containing two meals per week, with each meal serving 2 people apiece. However, you can skip as many weeks in a row as you want, and you don’t pay for skipped weeks.

On your designated date, you’ll find a big ol’ box on your doorstep packed with ice and padding so that all your ingredients arrive fresh and cool. I’m not going to lie—it was really fun and excited to have those boxes arrive! The boxes include not just the ingredients but also detailed, step-by-step directions for how to make your meals.

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Here’s everything included, exactly as it arrived, for the Steak Tostadas.

Since it was Mark’s gift, he did all the choosing of the meals. Our first box contained ingredients for Steak Tostadas and Maple-Glazed Pork Chops with Peach & Arugula Salad. Our next box, which we scheduled for two weekends later, contained Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps and Chicken Enchiladas Suizas. There are vegetarian options to choose from as well.

How Much Does Plated Cost?

The simplest, cheapest Plated plan gets you two meals, which serve 2 people apiece, for $54. That’s $12 a plate with $6 for shipping. You can customize your plan to give you more meals each week or feed more people per meal, but $12 a plate is the basic cost for Plated meals.  Optional fancier “Chef’s Table” meals cost a bit more (depending on what the meal is). You can also add on desserts for a few bucks apiece as well.

 

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Mark opted for Peach Shortcakes with our first box. I didn’t try them because I was stuffed after our meal, but he said they were killer.

Are Plated’s Meals Healthy?

Overall, I’d say yes, but it depends. You can look at the nutrition data on each meal and see for yourself what the numbers are. Our pork chop dinner rang in pretty low at about 350 calories a plate whereas our chicken enchiladas (which I could barely finish—the portions were huge!) came in at about 700 calories a plate. All nutritional data for the meals is listed right on the website where you choose which recipes to have sent in your box, so you can scope them out beforehand if you’re at all concerned about those numbers.

Mark grilling up some peaches and pork chops.
Mark grilling up some peaches and pork chops.

 

It’s also worth mentioning that Plated makes a real effort to give your organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free, locally sourced ingredients. So the food you get is wholesome, quality stuff.

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Chopped tomatoes, garlic, spinach, and tomatillos for our Enchiladas Suizas. All of the produce arrived fresh, tasty, and beautiful.

What Did I Think of Plated Overall?

If I had the budget, I’d keep Plated rolling indefinitely. Cooking a fabulous meal at home is really, really fun! Plus, the cost per plate isn’t more than you’d pay at a restaurant. And honestly, these meals tasted better than most restaurant meals I’ve eaten lately. Plated was a ton of fun for Mark and me, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

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The finished Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps. They were absolutely delicious.

I’ll also add a note about Plated’s stellar customer service. I had a little misunderstanding about the gift card terms of use: there was a good promotion going on for the month of June that I hoped Mark could take advantage of so we could get even more bang out of our buck. However, it turns out you can’t apply promos when using Plated gift cards.

I was pretty bugged once I found out the problem, but when I emailed Plated and explained my frustration they apologized and allowed us to combine the promo and gift card anyway. How cool is that?  Online businesses can be pretty cold and impersonal, but Plated treated me like a real person.

I’ll admit it: we did cancel our subscription after the two meal boxes covered by the gift card. But the only reason for that was the price. With Mark in school and a baby on the way, we stick pretty closely to our conservative budget. And while our budget does allow us to spend money on each other on special occasions, it doesn’t allow for us to regularly spend as much on food per meal as Plated costs. Down the line, though, I’d absolutely start up our subscription again.

Everything about Plated was spectacular. The ingredients arrived fresh and beautiful, the finished meals were delicious as well as simple to prepare, and the overall experience was a blast. I give Plated five stars!

Sarah enjoying Plated

Crockpot Curry – Freezer Meal Friday

This is one of my favorite slow cooker freezer meals. It’s super healthy AND super yummy. You might remember my rave review of Trader Joe’s Thai Red Curry Sauce back on my 20 Best Things at Trader Joe’s post. That super-tasty sauce is the starring ingredient in this delicious meal.

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This isn’t a very spicy dish—my kids, age 2 and 5, eat it happily. But even so, the curry gives it a distinctive taste that makes this a nice change of pace from other chicken freezer meals, which can sometimes get bland and ho-hum. Note as well that I’ve simply used some of my favorite veggies but that there are many other combinations you could try and love.

Ingredients

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4 lbs chicken breast

2 jars Trader Joe’s Thai Red Curry Sauce (or other curry sauce of your choice)

2–3 large russet potatoes

4 cups baby carrots

1 container frozen green peas

2 cans light coconut milk

*If you’re going purely for taste,  full-fat coconut milk or cream is delicious, but the light also tastes great and slashes the calories and fat by a substantial amount. Also, if you want a spicier curry, go ahead and use just one can of coconut milk with the full two jars of curry sauce. 

 

Directions

  1. First, prep your veggies. Rinse, peel, and chop the potatoes into chunks. Chop the baby carrots into little circles.

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2. Dump the chicken breasts, chopped potatoes, chopped carrots, and frozen peas into your crockpot. (NOTE: this will be a very tight fit, but it does all fit in my standard-size slow cooker. Once everything cooks down a little there will be plenty of room, but at first you may have to really jam everything in.) Pour both bottles of curry sauce over it all and cook on low for 6–8 hours, or until veggies are soft and chicken shreds easily.

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3. Once cooked to desired tenderness, dump the entire crockpot into a very large bowl. Shred the chicken (you’ll know you’ve cooked it long enough if this is easily done with a fork). Add the two cans of coconut milk and mix well.

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4. At this point, you can either serve it over hot rice OR let it cool and bag it up for the freezer. This recipe yields 12 generous adult servings (or 24 kid servings, based on how my 2-year-old and 5-year-old eat). You could bag this up individually or divvy it into 3 or 4 or 6 larger bags (depending on how many people you need to feed each night).

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Here it is, all ready to eat! It’s not the prettiest of the freezer meals I make, but it is tasty.

 

On the Side

I always serve this over steamed jasmine rice. You could opt for a more nutrient-dense grain like quinoa, but this is one of the few dishes where I think white rice is far-and-away the yummiest option. Since the overall calories for this dish are pretty low (see nutrition data below) you can serve up a pretty hefty scoop of rice with this curry and still clock in at 500–600 calories a plate, which is what I shoot for at dinnertime.

Nutritional Info

This data comes from divvying up this big batch into 12 individual servings (or for my family, 4 big bags. I then serve up about 1/3 a bag apiece for my husband and I and split the remaining 1/3 between my 5-year-old and 2-year-old). This is just the info for the curry, though. Don’t forget to add in the numbers for any rice, quinoa, or other grains or sides you serve this over if you’re counting calories or macros.

Calories: 342 | Fat: 12g | Carbs: 25g | Protein: 38g

Ta-da! That’s it. This tasty, high-protein slow cooker freezer meal is a keeper. Let me know in the comments if you tried it and liked it!