The following post is sponsored by PlateJoy. I hope you enjoy the healthy recipes and service if you decide to give it a try. Also, make sure to scroll through to the bottom for the promo code!
I can’t describe how great it feels to get back to cooking in the kitchen again.
Actually, I can. It feels fantastic.
After months of preparing for a move, moving, staying in temporary housing, and then finally moving into our apartment in New York, it had been a hot minute since I had been able to plan a meal and follow a recipe from start to finish.
This week had me back in my happy place of listening to music while chopping vegetables, thanks to an opportunity with PlateJoy.
PlateJoy is a meal planning service that not only helps you plan healthy meals, but also provides you with personalized recipes and weekly grocery lists. This sounded like the perfect service for me, considering I have an issue with meal planning. (Check out the tips I’ve acquired as well as suggestions from you guys, if you’re interested!)
While I was originally stressing over the timing of this service, it turned out to be huge blessing to start just after a week or so of living in our new apartment. If you are in need of some assistance with healthy meal planning, or simply don’t have the time to do it yourself, you should definitely check this out!
Here’s how it works:
- Users answer a personalization quiz about their likes and dislikes, nutrition needs, allergies, schedule and more.
- PlateJoy‘s algorithms use 50 different data points about you to create an ultra-personalized menu (rather than a one-size-fits-all plan).
- Users receive tailor-made meal plans whenever they’re ready to cook.
It only took me a few minutes to fill out the personalization quiz which plans for a specific amount of people, asks for any special dietary restrictions or needs, and notes likes and dislikes along the way.
The first week of meal plans I received included two recipes using salmon, so I quickly updated my preferences to formulate a plan that sounded more appealing to both Scott and I. Since I am preparing for an event where I need to be in a two-piece uniform for a week (I am going to be dancing at the Invictus Games!), I selected Gluten Free and Low Fat as my meal preferences.
The end of the quiz surveyed which ingredients I already had at home in order to help me form a shopping list that I actually needed everything of, along with space at the bottom to include other odds and ends that I might need for the week. I loved that.
(This screenshot of my grocery list was taken before I changed my menu to exclude salmon.)
PlateJoy is unlike other food delivery service I have tried in the past. While it doesn’t deliver groceries to your home, it offers personalized meal plans, shopping lists, and nutritional information to make cooking for special dietary needs (or goals, like weight-loss) much easier.
My favorite part about it is the personalization factor, and that all of the recipes reuse similar ingredients.
If you don’t like a particular recipe, you can skip it, and you can go back to update your likes and dislikes at any time. You can also choose how many meals you plan on making for the week, which makes it more realistic and less overwhelming.
The price to become a member is $8 a month, and if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, be sure to scroll down to the bottom for a $10 off promo code!
Now let’s get to the eats …
I have made three out of the four recipes given to me. Each one had me cooking with ingredients I had never used before or don’t use very often (hey, polenta … I like you!), so I thought you might appreciate it if I included them on my review.
(All recipes were given to me, courtesy of PlateJoy!)
Polenta Bowls With Apricots & Pecans
Prep time: 10 minutes, serves 2 (I had plenty leftover!)
- ¾ cup polenta corn meal
- 2 oz dried apricots
- ¼ cup pecans
- 2 ½ tbsp agave
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Prepare polenta with water according to package instructions. (I used a 5:1 water to polenta ratio – example: 3 3/4 cups water to 3/4 cup polenta)
- Meanwhile, coarsely chop dried apricots and pecans.
- When polenta is done cooking, transfer to a bowl and stir in dried apricots, pecans and agave. Dust with cinnamon and enjoy!
Mixed Greens and Chickpeas With Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep time: 10 minutes, serves 2
- 1 ¼ cucumbers
- 1 ¼ tomatoes
- 2 ½ tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp dill
- 7 oz chickpeas
- 3 ⅓ cups mixed greens
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- 2 ½ tbsp feta
- ¼ cup balsamic dressing
- Coarsely chop cucumber, tomato, parsley and dill. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Add to a large bowl with mixed greens, sunflower seeds, carrot and feta.
- Pour balsamic dressing over salad and toss to coat.
Tip: If you’re packing this lunch, pack the dressing separately in a small sealed container. You can also pack your salad in a sealed jar, with the dressing at the bottom. Just shake when you’re ready for lunch!
Chicken Tagine with Tomatoes, Apricots and Chickpeas
Prep time: 35 minutes, serves 4 (or two with enough for leftovers)
(Note: This recipe is pictured without chickpeas … I accidentally brought home dried chickpeas and didn’t have time to soak and cook them before making this dish!)
- 1 ¼ cups dry quinoa
- 1 ⅔ lbs chicken breast
- 2 oz dried apricots
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne
- 1 ½ cups diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 9 oz chickpeas
- Bring quinoa and twice as much liquid to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Pound chicken breast in plastic wrap to 1-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roughly chop dried apricots and finely chop parsley.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin and cayenne; cook 1 min, stirring to release aromas. Add chicken breast. Cook until golden brown underneath, 3 min, then flip and cook an additional 3 min. Transfer to a plate.
- Add diced tomatoes, dried apricots, honey and garlic to the same pan. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Return chicken breast to pan and cook, covered, until no longer pink inside, 8 to 10 min.
- Stir in chickpeas (drained and rinsed) and chopped parsley and cook until heated through. Serve meat and sauce over quinoa.
I always love cooking with bright ingredients! #eattherainbow
My overall experience with PlateJoy was a positive one. It was very easy to create a meal plan and use the shopping list to effortlessly plan meals with my goals in mind. The majority of the recipes used similar ingredients in different ways, and I liked that there wasn’t much going to waste afterwards.
Since all of my reviews are honest, I do have to note that there was originally a typo in my ingredients list. The Mixed Greens recipe originally called for over 50 cups of shredded carrots, which made my ingredients list call for over 100 cups. Clearly, that wasn’t correct … so I improvised and used 1 cup of shredded carrots. I brought this to the attention of PlateJoy, and they have since fixed it to read 1/2 cup.
Also, I should have checked that I don’t want to see recipes that include produce that isn’t in-season. One breakfast and the desserts called for cherries, and I couldn’t find them anywhere. I literally walked to six different grocery stores without luck, so I ended up substituting them with strawberries.
I have only been using this service for a week so far, but I find it very helpful. Looking at hundreds of recipes online and sorting through everything to find a handful that meets your needs (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, etc.) can be exhausting. If you’re like me and actually dread putting a meal plan together for the week, PlateJoy may be for you!
If you’re looking to speed up the meal planning process with quick access to plenty of healthy, easy recipes that provide you with a shopping list, receive $10 off your first order by using the promo code EATWELL4L.
If you end up using this service, please come back and let me know how you liked it in the comments section. I would love to read about your experience as well.
While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions remain my own. Any review that pops up on the blog is an honest one, and I hope that you liked reading about the PlateJoy service. Thank you for your support regarding sponsored posts. I really appreciate it!