Over the years, I have tried many of the make at home meal boxes. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Dinnerly, etc.
While I have enjoyed some of the recipes, I ultimately felt that I could do it myself for cheaper, especially since grocery chains such as Aldi and Lidl have come around.
I recently saw a promo for EveryPlate which was $2.99/serving meal (regularly $4.99/serving) and figured it was worth another try. Here's how things turned out...
EveryPlate comes in either 2 or 4 serving sizes, and with a very handy app that allows you to choose from 9 different meals! All of the meals look good, with about 5-10 minutes of prep (which is what turned me off of other meal services...all of the prep!) and averages around 30-35 minutes of cooking. If you don't like what you see or have other plans, you can skip as many weeks as you'd like. Each week has something different, so it's seemingly impossible to get bored!
On the app it shows you everything that will be sent for the recipe (plus what extra staple items you'll need), allergens, nutritional facts and even the cooking steps to help make a solid decision on what to order. No surprises!
They do have a few "Premium" meals, such as steak that cost an extra $2.99/serving.
I made the mistake of assuming that we would not need to buy anything for our delivery day, which was on a Tuesday. If it were sent by UPS or FedEx, it might have been okay but it was through LaserShip. I'm not sure how LaserShip does in your area, but it's not the greatest in mine. In a delivery window of 8:00 a.m - 9:00 p.m., we got it at 8:00 p.m. (Note: You don't have to be home for delivery as they can leave it at your doorstep) 8:00 p.m. was way after dinnertime for us, so we spent additional dollars and time to eat out that Tuesday. Lesson learned!
Opening The Box
I apologize for not taking a picture as I didn't originally plan on writing a blog about this, but the box was what I expected from an inexpensive meal delivery service. I've read from others who were a bit disgruntled about the lack of rhyme or reason, and that makes sense as the ingredients for all three recipes were all thrown in a small box tray. I prefer that over excess and fancy packaging that one, would likely make the service cost more and two, is wasteful environmentally. Everything in the EveryPlate packaging I believe was 100% recyclable, which was nice. Not a lot of insulation though, so if it does get delivered and sits outside on the doorstep on a hot summer day, I would be a bit anxious about eating the proteins as they come fresh and not frozen. All of the produce and items looked fine and the recipe cards are user-friendly and looked easy to work with. They even include cooking tips to make it the best meal possible. You will usually need a few staple items not included, such as salt, pepper, butter, and oil.
Let's Get Cooking!
The food is, of course, the most important part, right?!
The first meal I made was Pork and Pineapple Rice Bowls, with pickled onion and jalapeno. I was surprised at how simple preparing the meal was, as I was used to more complex cooking with some of the other services. This only took six simple steps and one pan, which saved time on cleaning.
The tip on the recipe card was for the rice, and by leaving the cover on and letting it sit covered for an additional 10 minutes, it would make the rice much fluffier. It did!
Another good thing is how I am able to alter the meals according to taste. I'm blessed in that my five-year-old is a very adventurous eater and will eat most of the flavorful dinners we eat, but she isn't a big fan of heat. I was able to omit the pickled onion and jalapeno for her bowl.
It was definitely loved by the family. Lots of great flavors and very fulfilling! I LOVE lime crema in general and make it pretty often, so I was an immediate fan of this. I would definitely make this again!
The second meal was Super Smashed Burgers with caramelized onion, chipotle aioli, and potato wedges. Not my best picture, but don't let that discourage you from knowing how much my family loved this meal.
I've never thought to just cut up potatoes and make wedges without something like this to press me, but my daughter asked if I can make them every night now, haha. I did add some rosemary and thyme to mine which was not part of the recipe, but that's the fun of it all...you can make it your own, should you choose.
We like our burgers medium-rare to medium, so you'll see there's some pink there and didn't go full-on smash as we like our burgers thick. I went a bit easier on the chipotle powder than I should've, but it still tasted great. Just an all-around yummy burger night that again, was six simple steps and one pan. (Minus the baking sheet for the wedges but clean-up with that was easy peasy with Reynolds Wrap.)
The last meal was Easy, Cheesy Chicken and Pepper Fajitas. This was one good, but not favored as much as the other meals above. Very similar to the rice bowls with the pickled onion and lime crema (and that may just be my fault for loving lime crema so much and ordering similar dishes, haha), but this was still a good meal.
I added the pickled jalapeno and cilantro per our own pantry and preference. Staying true to form, these fajitas also were made in six simple steps with one pan.
Portion wise, we definitely had plenty (I ordered the 4 serving meals for my family of 3) in regards to food.
I did find that some items were not enough, such as mayo for the aioli and sour cream for the crema, but that may just be because we love our sauces here at home. Definitely was not enough cheese for the cheesy fajitas (you spread it on the tortilla and warm it to melt prior to loading it with the fillings)
Also, we were left with quite a bit of onion, garlic, potatoes, and jalapeno but that can certainly get used on a future meal.
A BIG thing to keep in mind is the shipping cost of $8.99. It immediately takes a $4.99/serving meal and turns it into a $7.99/serving meal. I went to Aldi after we ran through the meals and made a few delicious, flavorful meals in comparison (BBQ Turkey Burgers with Wedges; Shrimp Tacos with Pickled Curry Slaw, Chipotle Peppers/Onions, Cilantro Corn Salsa & Lime Crema) and it came out to around $5-6/serving, not factoring in my time and gas. The value and worth of EveryPlate will ultimately come down to convenience and personal preference.
If you're looking for super health-conscious I don't think this is for you. Meals could likely be altered to accommodate some popular diets, such as Keto. If you're looking for some flavorful new dishes with fresh ingredients shipped conveniently and saving you time at a decent price, you should give EveryPlate a try! It would be great for folks not used to cooking and kids could easily help on some of the six simple steps.
You can learn more and order yours at www.everyplate.com. I also have been given a few free boxes to gift, so if you're interested in trying it out for free, shoot me your e-mail and if one is still available, it's yours!
In love, peace, happiness, and good food,