Wildtree Primal Plates Review – Part 1

primal plates (1)My students get to hear me blather on about food quite often. Last week, I was on a jag talking about Thanksgiving desserts. (I’m looking forward to Apple crisp + vanilla ice cream. AND I’m planning on making my famous Trixie’s Kickass Rum Cake over the Thanksgiving break.) Treats aside, we generally eat pretty healthy at our house.

Sometimes, it feels overwhelming to plan it all out. (Booooo) But, I recently found a great company that makes it easy. (YAY!) So here’s a review of the Primal Plates meal kit from Wildtree.

I’ve tried 2 or 3 meal prep delivery companies in the past via Groupon or a coupon deal. For me, the annoying part was that the cook times for each of the meals was looooong. Like, 60+ minutes. Which is SO not what I want on a weeknight. My Pilates studio closes at 6:30pm, I get home just before 7pm and I wanna eat dinner pronto! And, um, I’m a generous eater. Sometimes the meal kits weren’t enough food for us!

For the month of October, my husband and I used the Wildtree Primal Plates kit, which gave us 10 recipes that we split in half to create 20 freezer meals — enough to cover us for a month of weeknights. (Regular Wildtree recipes make 4-6 portions – we were shooting for the “almost no leftovers.”) Each night’s dinner took about 20 minutes to cook.  Each meal was supposed to be enough for 2-3 servings. I found that accurate — 2-3 generous servings!

Spoiler alert: I’m giving this meal prep system: FIVE STARS. It’s perfect for anyone wanting less stress about dinner prep. This specific kit is also perfect for: gluten free, grain free, paleo, primal and Whole30 diners. 

Each Wildtree Freezer Meal kit comes with:

  • 10 main dish recipes with suggestions on simple side dishes. Each recipe makes 4-6 servings. If you’re a household of 2, you can split these so that you have 20 dinners covered by one Kit.
  • All of the Seasonings for all 10 recipes. I love this part. Many of the recipes have a bunch of seasonings, which imparts a ton of flavor. Wildtree creates seasoning mixes, so you end up getting about 6-7 jars in your kit. You’ll use all of the seasonings in your 10 recipes, so no endless jars hanging around your house. If you love a specific seasoning, of course you can buy more outside of the kit.
  • A grocery list for all 10 recipes. You won’t need to make the list or combine how many onions or carrots or pounds of meat to buy. The list is GOLD!
  • Freezer bag instructions. Listen UP: assembling all of the freezer bags takes 60 minutes. For my house, with just me and Frank, I created 20 freezer meals in ONE HOUR. Holy smokes! Total. Game. Changer.
  • Cooking Instructions. Sunday night, I grab a couple bags out of the freezer and pop em in the fridge. Monday night, I grab a bag out of the fridge and dinner is ready in 20 minutes. Repeat on Tuesday and grab a couple more bags to pop in the fridge for the next couple days. Most meals are either sautee for about 20 mine, or pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes. A few are slow cooker recipes.

For more on the Wildtree method for freezer meals, read this.  I’ll give you the short version: this is so organized, that you can pack up a month’s worth of meals in one hour. Although this makes me feel like a genius, I’m really not a genius. You can do this too.

Lol – this review got so loooong, that I broke into 2 parts. Here are the first 5 meals we ate in October, each one got eaten again 2 weeks later:

Tuscan Sheet Pan Pork Chops

Tuscan+Sheetpan+Pork+Chops

Verdict: Nom, pork chops! They go SO WELL with root veggies. Check my tips to upgrade this a smidge.

Cooking Method: Love me a sheet-pan meal. Throw it on the pan, walk away. Come back, eat dinner. It took about 20 minutes to roast.

Tip: I roasted some broccoli at the same time, on another sheet pan. Or, you could steam up some green veggies while the rest is in the oven. A must add: core a couple honey crisp apples and throw those on the same pan as the pork chops. HEAVEN!

Portion size: we ate everything in one meal! Plenty, but no extras for 2 active adults.

Dill Chicken

Dill+Chicken

Well, this one was a surprise — the combo of cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatos and fresh asparagus with the dill seasoning was quite refreshing. I didn’t know if I’d like a “dill recipe” — this was goooo-od.

Cooking method: sautee in a fry pan, 15 minutes and you’re done.

Tip: I popped some cauliflower rice in the microwave while this was doing its thing in the fry pan.

Portion size: perfect for 2 hearty-eating adults.

Verdict: Yasssssss, give me more Dill Chicken!

Ethiopian Brisket Stew

Ethiopian+Brisket+Stew

This was kind of a wildcard — I didn’t know what to expect with “Ethiopian” in the name. In case you’re curious, Wildtree’s Ethiopian spice blend has a LOT in it: organic paprika, sea salt, organic cayenne pepper, organic cinnamon, organic coriander, organic cardamom, organic cumin, organic ground mustard, organic ginger, organic allspice, organic cloves, organic fennel, organic nutmeg, organic garlic, organic onion.

I totally appreciated NOT having to buy 16 individual spices to make this dish! In fact, with the 10-meal kit, I used every bit of the spices purchased. Zero waste. Love it.

This dish has some kick to it! I’m not a fan of “spicy hot,” but I liked this — it wasn’t super-spicy. I wouldn’t turn down a little dish of cashew milk vanilla ice cream afterward to help cut the spice breath. Or, for those who eat dairy, maybe a little sour cream?

BTW: what IS the difference between “pot roast” and “brisket”? Mrs Maisel referred to pot roast as “the Episcopal version of brisket….”

Cooking method: slow cooker. Easy. Peasy.

Portion size: we had a little leftover — enough for a 1-person lunch.

Verdict: great change of pace. We’d eat this again!

Pistachio Dill Salmon

Pistachio+Dill+Salmon

We ran into a little problem-o on this one: Christine doesn’t eat Salmon. Nope. So, we made this with chicken breast. It was…..meh. I think the flavors were just too subtle, nothing stood out. It happens — might have been great if I’d….followed the directions and used salmon!

Cooking method: baked in the over for 20 minutes.

Tip: I think this one needs a heartier side dish than the recommended squash noodles. Potatoes with butter, maybe.

Portion size: good for 2 people. (remember, we split all the recipes in half)

Verdict: nope, don’t make this with chicken breast.  For our second round of this recipe, we subbed in some ingredients to make the Dill Chicken recipe, which we LOVED. We just changed the meal rotation around so that it wasn’t Dill Chicken every other night.

One-Pan Shrimp & Sausage

One+Pan+Shrimp+&+Sausage.jpg

If you haven’t caught on, these photos are not our actual food, they’re from Wildtree. Our meals looked pretty darned close, but you know…professional photography. I don’t eat seafood of any kind, so we subbed in ground turkey for the shrimp, along side of the Andouille sausage.

Verdict: subbing in the turkey worked great and we’d definitely eat this again!

Cooking Method: This was a quick one — 10-15 min to sautee up the whole thing. I popped some cauliflower rice in the microwave to make a bed for it. It just seemed to want a bed. Whole30 peeps: glom some ghee on that rice for a fat boost.

Tip: yep, go ahead and use frozen peppers, string beans and onions in your meal prep. Imm’a stop telling you that now — you’re smart….if you’re freezing everything anyway, it’s ok to start with a frozen veggie.

Portion Size: This meal was pretty hearty — we had leftovers, which I happily ate for lunch the next day.

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