Disclosure :: Plated sponsored this post. That said, we think all of our readers will agree that the chance to have dinner ingredients arrive at your doorstep is a luxury, and one that we are thrilled to give one of you the opportunity to win!
What 5 New Orleans Moms Thought of Plated
When we were asked to try and review Plated, we gladly agreed. Dinner made easy? Um, sign us up! Since we have a diverse readership, we thought it would be fun to give you all several perspectives into this service. Five of our team members had the opportunity to test Plated, and we share our honest thoughts below. You may be wondering what Plated is. Basically, Plated is an online service, based in New York, that delivers fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and chef-designed recipes directly to customers’ doors, allowing you to cook healthy, quick, and delicious meals without the hassles of menu planning and grocery shopping. The company recently announced its ‘Food With Thought’ pledge, an industry-first for ingredient standards. What it means is that all meats shipped to Plated customers contain no antibiotics and no added hormones, and all seafood choices are 100% domestic and sustainably sourced. Pretty great, right?
Amanda (Part-time Working Mom of 2)
I am a mom of two, age 3 and younger, and I work part-time from home. On the weeks my husband is on, he is usually not in the door until 7:30 pm which is bed time for the kids. As such, I do not cook much on those days. I typically cook 2-3 meals on the weekend that we re-heat throughout the week. Or, as my 3 year old told his entire class, his favorite meal mommy cooks is chicken nuggets. Yep, that’s me. Now, I do really enjoy cooking, but since time is a commodity, I often opt for quick and/or leftovers. So you can imagine my excitement when BOTH of my meals from plated took a total of 30 minutes to cook, start to finish. I ordered the Saag Paneer with Garlic Naan and Mushroom Crusted Flatiron Steak with Cauliflower Mash. Both were phenomenal and super easy to prepare, and the portions were filling. The ingredients, as promised, arrived fresh. My husband was seriously impressed, and I think slightly confused initially. I would absolutely recommend Plated to others and am looking forward to placing another order.
Jamie (Part-time Working Mom of 2)
I am a part-time working mom, with two crazy boys under 5, and I’m also nine months pregnant with my third child. My life has become so chaotic between two different schools on opposite sides of town and weekly doctor appointments that getting to the grocery store has become nearly impossible. Dinner is one of our few chances to restore a little bit of order, and I was excited for the chance to try something both healthy and convenient. So I ordered a family meal for 4; a new recipe I assumed (correctly) that my kids would also enjoy: turkey sausage over roasted butternut squash, with a side of broccoli rabe topped with Parmesan and garlic.
I enjoy cooking and was looking forward to trying my hand at putting all this together. But they say life is what happens when you’re making other plans, and wouldn’t you know it. The day before my meal was set to arrive, the doctor placed me on bed-rest, leaving the cooking to my already over-worked husband! He is fantastic on the grill but couldn’t tell you the difference between a casserole dish and a cookie sheet.
So when I called his number to actually cook something, he was nervous he’d mess things up and we’d end up eating takeout again. But the directions were simple, even for a meal with a 30 minute prep time. He read the directions and was able to execute the meal perfectly! The turkey sausage meat was cooked through but not overdone, the accompanying pan sauce was fantastic, none of the veggies were burned, and the garlic/Parmesan were perfect complements to all of the above. I couldn’t have been more thrilled! Here I sat on day one of bed-rest with a delicious, chef-inspired meal made by my love. Even the kids got in on the fun and ate most of what was on their plates. All in all, I consider our Plated meal a huge success!
Ashley (Mom of 3 Under 4; Cooks 1-2 times per week)
I was so excited to try Plated because these days my time is at an absolute premium. Between 3 small children, owning a small business, pediatrician appointments and life, I barely have time to grocery shop much less meal plan. And when I am grocery shopping I spend most of the trip corraling my kids and yelling “don’t touch that!” or “get off the floor!” … and inevitably I leave a key ingredient at the store. We eat Pho Orchid Express more than we probably should (but man is it good!), and there are many nights where frozen pizza is good enough. So any service that delivers all of the ingredients for meals to my home sounds like a dream come true to me. There’s no thinking on my part, and – better yet – it doesn’t require that I drag 3 overtired and wild children to the store in the late afternoon.
I signed up to receive two recipes that I wouldn’t otherwise usually cook :: Asian Duck Tacos and Chicken with Kale and Slaw. Both of the recipes sounded good, but they aren’t things I’d usually try on the average weeknight. My Plated box arrived exactly as scheduled on a Saturday afternoon, and everything was clearly labeled. If you’re curious (I know I was), the meat was still completely cold and the produce was fresh. I had no concerns with using the food inside for our family. I loved how everything was right there for me; I simply had to follow the recipe card inserts and complete some chopping. The Asian Duck Tacos made an ample dinner for one night for my husband and I, and they were truly delicious. I would say that the price point is higher than we usually spend ($30 for one meal), so for us this would be a special occasion meal at home versus a weekly subscription.
Overall, we were thrilled with the service. The food was fresh and delicious, and the instructions were fairly easy to follow. Realistically, this wouldn’t be a long-term solution for my family because we thrive on leftovers (we didn’t have leftovers from either meal … about those jeans not fitting postpartum … hmmm), and the price point is a tad high for us to sustain. That said, I would absolutely order via Plated on a one-off basis, especially for special occasions. This is PERFECT for at home date night or special birthday meal for any member of your family.
Elizabeth (Full-time Working Mom of 1)
Each week, I have every intention to meal plan before heading to the grocery store on Saturday morning. But what inevitably happens, instead, is that I jot down a couple of meals off the top of my head that I know we all enjoy and that won’t take too terribly long to make right before running out the door to the store. And even though it’s on the list, the chance that I actually remember to get all the ingredients from the store is pretty slim. And come on, let’s face it. If it takes longer than 30 minutes to have dinner ready, it’s probably not going to happen. There are only two short hours between the time we get home from work and preschool before bedtime, and I don’t want to spend the majority of those hours standing over the stove cooking dinner.
When I got the chance to try Plated, I was so excited! I ordered the Mushroom Crusted Flatiron Steak with Cauliflower Mash and the Pan Roasted Chicken with Butternut Squash Panzanella. My delivery arrived right on schedule with fresh ingredients and clear instructions on how to prep the ingredients for cooking, along with an easy to follow, step by step guide to preparing the meal. Both meals were delicious and satisfying and on the table in 30 minutes or less. I love the concept, and I would definitely use Plated again in the future, although probably more for a special occasion or at-home date night instead of on a regular basis.
Myndee (Mom of 3)
I’m not sure about everyone else, but in my house, getting food on the table that didn’t come from the freezer section or the drive-thru requires several steps of planning and preparation.
Step 1: Scour Pinterest to find recipes
Step 2: Search the house to see what ingredients I have on hand
Step 3: Make grocery list
Step 4: Shop for groceries
Step 5: Prep and cook meal.
Plated pretty much removes steps 1-4 with their convenient online ordering and fast delivery of fresh, ready to cook ingredients. I was so excited to get to try this, and they did not disapopoint. It is easy to order from their website. We had a choice of several, mouth watering options; in the end we chose chicken because I wanted it to be something my picky children would at least taste. Everything arrived as scheduled, and all the cold ingredients were nice and, you guessed it, COLD! The directions were simple.
Now let’s get down to it – the taste! First off, I was not expecting to like the celery root slaw, and I didn’t think my kids would either. I was wrong, kind of. I really enjoyed it, and one of my 3 agreed to try it (thanks to the apples), and he liked it too! Unsurprisingly, my other two wouldn’t touch it. The kale was so easy to prepare and really good, though in retrospect, I think it would’ve been even better had I served the chicken on a bed of kale, rather than have it as a side item. And the chicken. You’d think it’s just chicken, and chicken just tastes like chicken, but it was so.much.better. I don’t know if it is the quality of the meat, the ingredients or what, but it was fantastic! So much so, that my 6 year old ate all of hers and nearly half of mine! Overall, I loved the chance to try it and would definitely recommend it to a friend. We will order again, but this time, I might leave the kids out of it altogether, send them to grandma’s for the night and have an at home date with my husband! I wonder if they deliver wine too…