PlateJoy & Instacart Demo & Review

Pumpkin Chili with Diced Avocado

I like to cook, and I want to cook healthy meals, but that rarely seems to be aligned. I got home from work and I’m exhausted, so most of the meals I make are thrown together with little thought. PlateJoy asked if I wanted to do a trial of their meal planning service and I figured it couldn’t hurt.

PlateJoy personalized a weekly menu for you based on a number of factors: age and weight (trying to lose weight? maintain?), dietary restrictions (vegan? whole 30? gluten free?), taste preferences (no eggplant? no tofu?) and number of people, just to name a few.

I took their lengthy quiz and was incredibly pleased with my results. If you don’t love your results, you can either adjust your quiz responses or remove individual recipes from your queue.

I selected that I am trying to lose weight, and what I liked about it was they gave us calories count on all of our meals as well as percentages for what my portion should be compared to Xavier’s. Portion control is a huge issue for me, so that was pretty nifty.

While I was testing PlateJoy, I thought I would give their partner Instacart a test run as well. Instacart is a grocery delivery service (yes, please!). My experience was perfection on both counts.

So far I have done two weeks worth of meal planning with PlateJoy. Here are my thoughts on each menu item.

PlateJoy Menu: Week One

  • Pesto-Stuffed Chicken with Sauteed Spinach and Carrots – This was very good! Mine did not turn out like their picture at all, but it was tasty and made for good leftovers. I love finding new ways to prepare greens, so the carrot, spinach, almond salad was fantastic.
  • Pumpkin Chili with Diced Avocado – This was the first meal I tried, and I really liked it. The portion recommendation seemed off to me, in a good way. This recipe made a LOT of chili, so I split it up into even more portions than they recommended.

PlateJoy Menu: Week Two

  • Spicy Thai Noodles with Vegetables and Egg – This is the only meal so far I didn’t enjoy. I thought the recipe called for wayyy too much ginger. Xavier’s input was that the meal was not bad but it wasn’t good either. Also, for “Thai Noodles” you would think it would call for some sort of Asian noodle, but nope, it called for Linguine. Strange.
  • Penne with Peas and Bacon Parmesan Breadcrumbs – I have been ordered by my husband to add this to the must-make-again list. I thought this recipe was good, but he thought it was the best thing since Turkey Loaf.

Pesto Stuffed Chicken with Spinach and Carrots

A feature I like about PlateJoy is their digital pantry. When you load up your menu for the week you can also access your grocery list based on the recipes. You log what items you already have in your pantry, and the site keeps track of it.

I downloaded the PlateJoy app so I can use the grocery list at the store. You can add your own items to the list, so it can house your entire grocery list, not just your PlateJoy items.

A 6 month plan is $59 (less than $10 per month) and a 12 month plan is $89 (less than $8 per month). For me, this is absolutely, 100% worth it. I don’t have to plan my menus, the ingredients in my meals are designed to compliment each other (less waste, more savings), my grocery shopping list builds itself, and my menu is aligned with my dietary needs.

This week’s menu? Asian Salmon Noodles with Peanut Sauce, Sesame Chicken with Corn and Cucumber Salad, and Angel Hair Pasta with Corn, Feta and Tomato.

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