Friends- When it comes to meal services, I can’t tell you how much you need these in your life! ¬†While there are times it feels more expensive, I have to convince you that the amount of time it saves you in selecting a recipe, creating the shopping list, shopping for those items, and figuring out how to get all the items inside the fridge AAANNNNDD let’s not forget all the time you now have to spend figuring out a way to use up all the extra or clean out the fridge after all the extra has gone bad ūüôĀ ¬† Whew- that’s a lot of energy that I simply don’t have most nights. ¬†So we converted to meal services a few years back, and we’ve tried Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Gobble, and recently even tried Freshly (a frozen meal service). And we keep on coming back to Plated. Why? ¬†Because it’s tastes good. ¬†We very rarely have a recipe that doesn’t taste good. ¬†I’ve even converted a friend who is a bit of a foodie, and her family also is enjoying the ease and the taste this service brings.

This service is different because, 1) there are several recipes (large variety) to choose from, 2) the ingredients are quality, fresh and taste great 3) the recipe card is quite detailed and easy for you to hand off to your spouse or kid if you need to step out of the kitchen for a minute 4) the options of skipping a week or more, or even increasing servings size is EASY – like – in an app that takes less than a minute. Also, I feel its important to say that every protein we’ve received from this service, specifically the chicken has come out tasting fresh and perfectly cooked. We’ve tried finding a local store brand that tastes as good, just not the same. ¬†(I think personally they need to sell their chicken in store and convert all of you!)

Why not the others? ¬†Blue Apron was just ok. ¬†We didn’t enjoy the recipe selection that much. ¬†Hello Fresh was great because it was fresh and we LOVED the fact that we didn’t have to throw away shipping materials, but again the recipes fell short. Gobble was great, and honestly I recommend this service sometimes too, as the time to cook is much shorter that Plated. ¬†The recipes are great and taste great (their soups & cookies are amazing!) but so much was pre-made, which granted is a total time saver, but we enjoy the actual cooking part.

The CONS: because I want to be real, there are some details you must know that I share with anyone I recommend this service to… 1) prep-cooking time is usually 45-60 minutes. ¬†I know some friends just cringed. ¬†For me it’s not as big of a deal because I learned to plan for those nights when we are at home and have the time. (I find quick food for those other nights, like meatballs and pasta) ¬†2) There are a LOT of steps. This is one of the reasons why it tastes so good, as each sauce, dip, seasoning is hand mixed from scratch. ¬†It’s one of the reasons why I love it so much, as I love the fresh taste of an aioli or dressing. ¬†Plus it’s easy for those that don’t have cooking skills, so they can learn these tricks, but again you might find it complicated if you are used to just a few steps. 3) The food is delivered fresh and must be eaten within the week. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but life gets chaotic and next thing you know – your “cooking” night is taken over by sports or your spouse suddenly has something to do; and then you either don’t have the time, or it doesn’t make sense to make a new recipe for your children who simply will eat Mac & cheese or tacos everyday. ¬†So this is why I sit down with my calendar and decide which weeks to skip.

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If you wanted to try the service to see what the freshness is all about, then check it out here.  Comment below with your thoughts on the service!    xo-klg

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