Monday, April 20, 2015

Cooking for One

I truly enjoy cooking and baking.  But there are a few things about those enjoyments that keep it from being a regular occurance in my life.  I'm single, so cooking solo is difficult.  I end up with leftovers for days.  Days!  And although I enjoy good leftovers, day five of something that I've had for lunch and dinner makes me want to never cook that recipe again for a while. Then there is my work schedule, church involvement and school...along with some semblance of a social life and doing all of this while planning meals is futile.  Add to that making it healthy and I throw up my hands and end up eating cereal, peanut butter and crackers, or scrambled eggs.

My company began a wellness campaign last year.  We were invited to multiple webinars on maintaining wellness from eating healthy to getting enough rest.  Some were interesting and some were painful to sit through, but the end result was a bonus.  Everyone that attended a webinar was in a drawing for multiple prizes after the year ended.  I was in a drawing for an Apple Watch since I attended all six.  But, I didn't win the Apple Watch, but I did win something even better - a gift certificate to Plated

Plated is a subscription service where you can order "plates" each week that make two servings each.  Everything is sent in an insulated bag - all meat, fish, vegetables, seasonings - and all in the exact measurements you need.  You can have Plated choose your plates, or you can choose the recipes you would prefer.  They list the cooking difficulty and calories, plus what you'll need to have.  Most of the supplies you need are already in your pantry - salt, pepper, olive oil, canola oil, milk, eggs - and various pots and pans.  They even offer desserts for two if you'd like to add that to your weekly shipment.  

My first dish was Ginger Trout with snap peas and roasted sweet potatoes.  I was hooked!  I've never cooked fish at home and this turned out beautifully.  Plated even sent the parchment paper I cooked the trout in along with all the various aromatic seasonings to make it taste just right!  I was sent just enough snow peas and other seasonings.  Even the sesame oil came in it's pre-measured bottle.  When I cooked the dish, I plated both plates up and wrapped one up to put in the fridge I would warm up for a second dinner that week.  

I have to admit I'm in love.  Eating these meals has helped me eat a more balanced diet and the more healthy I eat, the less non-healthy food is a craving.  Most days I work past 6pm so getting home at 7 or later and knowing I have a meal to cook that could take 45 minutes wouldn't have thrilled me before, but knowing I can just pull out the items labeled for the dish and jump in makes it much easier.

If you are living solo, or even a couple that have no kids or are empty nesters and you you have an adventurous streak to try new things, I'd highly recommend Plated.  As I'm burning through my gift card, I'm monitoring my grocery budget and if I save money on groceries that equal the cost of Plated, I'm going to keep doing it.  Oh, and did I mention you can skip any week you want with no penalty?  Another plus!  Here is a way to join Plated and get $24 off your first box:  It can't hurt to try! 

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