As a working person and being somewhat health conscious, we all know we can’t live off of fast food on busy work nights. This is where we tried out the meal kits from Plated.com.
For two weeks, we ordered meal kits for 4 nights for 2 people each week. I had them delivered on Friday so that I can cook them on Sunday to meal prep for the week as we get home late and really don’t have time to cook.
Let me rewind a bit first. It wasn’t too long ago that I discovered I had Gluten intolerance, which would explain all the issues I’ve had since I was young and new issues as time went on.
No matter how many doctors or specialists I went to, none of them thought to check for food allergies. I discovered this on my own after watching a special on TV called “No Grain, No Pain”. After that, I went Gluten Free and all my issues slowly went away.
So, because of this, I couldn’t eat out as easily as I did before as it’s difficult to find places that had gluten free dishes and were safe from cross contamination. Therefore, I started meal prepping on Sunday for the work week. Which is why I had Plated deliver on Friday so I can cook them on Sunday. Actually, I could have had them deliver on Saturday but that’s beside the point.
This past Christmas, I got a gift for one week of meal kits from Plated and finally tried it out last month.
At Plated, and at almost all food establishments, they don’t make it easy to order for people with food allergies. They had a filter for Gluten free dishes but no other food allergy.
Ever since I was young, I knew I was lactose intolerant. It wasn’t particularly strong as I was able to eat pizza and whatnot. However, since I went gluten free and my digestive system started to heal, my sensitivities to both gluten and dairy went straight up. Any tiny bit of gluten or dairy affects me harder now.
While searching for dishes on Plated, I can filter for gluten free dishes but not for dairy or any other food allergy. I would have to review the ingredients list of each dish to see if it included dairy and after all of that, I maybe had only four dishes I could choose from.
There’s definitely plenty of room for improvement here.
Delivery and Packaging
The packaging of the meal kits is the best part of all of this and that’s sad to say. It is very convenient that all ingredients are already proportioned for the meal.
As for the delivery, my first kit was thrown down to the ground by the delivery personnel. My Ring Video Doorbell captured the entire incident and I sent it over to Plated, which they then compensated me for that week’s meal kits.
I understand that this is not Plated’s fault and it was extremely considerate of them to compensate me for it. I sent the video so that they can forward it to the delivery service they used to improve their service.
Recipes and Cooking
So, this is the worst part of my experience with Plated. I’m not sure how it is with other meal kit services and I don’t care to try any other one right now as well.
Almost all of these meal kit companies promote their services to busy people who don’t have time to shop for ingredients and cook them. Well, my experience with the two weeks I tried Plated, they under estimated the time needed to prepare, cook and clean.
In one article posted on Greatist.com about Plated, they stated that each recipe takes 30 minutes or less. I don’t know how they measured the time, but from beginning to end it was much longer than 30 minutes for me and I’m not an amateur cook. By the way, that post was actually sponsored by Plated so it’s marketing babble.
My first week’s meal kit with four different dishes took me 5 hours to cook on one Sunday. 5 hours! If I ordered 4 dishes at a restaurant, there’s no way I’ll wait over an hour for each dish.
I had to clean and cut the ingredients. And, almost all recipes required multiple pots and pans and/or cooking methods. Many of the recipes required 3 different pots just for one dish. For recipes that required the oven, they also required cooking on the stove-top part of the recipe. So you also have to factor in cleaning the various pots and pats and whatnot into the time it takes for these recipes.
My biggest issue with many recipes is that we have to make our own sauce or dressing. They provided the ingredients, of course, but why can’t they just provide the dressing that we can pour over the dish and be done with it?
Why do I need to make the dressing from scratch? That’s time wasted and this is supposed to be for busy people???
For example, one of the dishes I cooked this weekend required me to make a honey-balsamic glaze and salad dressing from scratch! They provided honey packets, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and mustard to make these items. That’s time wasted!
I had to combine the honey and balsamic vinegar in a pot and reduce it down. That took some time and then that’s another pot I had to wash.
This past weekend, I cooked my second delivery from Plated since they compensated me for the first delivery mishap. It was for 4 nights for 2 people again. But, this time, I only chose 2 different types of dishes so that I don’t have to cook 4 separate dishes. I combined 2 nights of the same dish and cooked them together, basically.
Even then, cooking these 2 dishes took me 3 hours! One of them even listed it as quick prep.
My Final Thoughts
Based on the time it took me to prep, cook and clean for each dish, I couldn’t even imagine trying to do this on a working night.
I didn’t even discuss on how the recipes tasted but just my experience cooking these meal kits was horrible. They probably do have quick cooking recipes but because I had to filter out dishes that had gluten and dairy, I wouldn’t be able to try.
As of now, I’ve cancelled my subscription to Plated and I don’t plan on trying any other meal kit service.