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Prep Dish Gluten Free + Paleo Meal Planning Service Review + Coupon Code

Thank you to Prep Dish for sponsoring this post!

Want to know something ironic? I’m a Registered Dietitian… but I suck at meal planning. I almost never come up with a specific plan for the week or prep anything over the weekend, instead generally doing the “buy healthy items and then wing it” approach. This usually works well for me and Matt, especially since I have a whole bunch of easy to throw together standard faves in the arsenal that we almost always have stuff on hand for. That said, it would be nice to feel a little more organized, especially when it comes to dinner on weeks when we aren’t doing Blue Apron.

So – when Allison, a fellow Registered Dietitian and owner of Prep Dish, a healthy meal planning company, reached out to me about reviewing her service, I was both terrified and intrigued. But up for a challenge, I accepted. :)

prep dish gluten free meal planning review

The way Prep Dish works is that at the beginning of each month, you receive an email that includes links to all 4 weekly meal plans for that month, plus some tips and tricks. The idea is that the plans will allow you to shop and prep once per week, and then be set for the whole week with minimal cooking time each night. Sounded good to me! Each week has its own grocery list, meal plans and instructions for making each dish, broken out into instructions for “prep day” and “dish day.” Each weekly plan includes 4 meals (4 servings each), 1 salad, 1 breakfast, 1 snack and 1 dessert. I like that it didn’t include all of your meals because I didn’t want to be stressed out about wasting food if an invitation to go out came up. I think that in particular is what usually scares me off of most meal planning services, because we definitely don’t eat every single meal at home.

The seasonal meal plans offered are either gluten-free or paleo – obviously I’m neither of these things, but I enjoy naturally gluten free and paleo meals, especially at dinnertime, so I had no problem with it. You can always add in extra things to the recipes to un-paleo-ify them – or subtract ingredients – the meal plans are also easily modifiable to be dairy-free.

I choose to review the gluten-free meal plans, and tried out two weeks worth just to get a good feel for them. The first one I tried was their week 1 June menu, and the second was their week 4 June menu (I got a sneak preview).

prep dish meal prep service review

Instead of making every single one of the meals each week, though, I picked and chose the ones I thought looked best to me. I also did this because I knew that we would have some leftovers from the meals (they all serve 4) and I didn’t have to waste any food – especially since we’ve had a lot of dinner dates and travel lately, and Matt likes eating lunch out (he’s not a leftover guy).

Each recipe is categorized by a number, and all the ingredients and instructions include a number after them so you know which meal they are for, which made it really easy to strike out things I wasn’t going to need/prep I didn’t have to do.

prep dish meal planning review

I found the instructions and the plans to be very easy to follow, and the recipes to be creative, healthy, balanced, and tasty. One of the things I especially loved was that a bunch of the recipes used the same ingredients, so you’d prep something once (like quinoa) and then use it twice. Cut down on time – and on waste, since often you’d use part of a veggie/fruit for one recipe and part for another. No food left behind. :)

I was also appreciative that the prep didn’t take a ton of time – max about 1 hour, I’d say, although it might take a little longer if you did all the recipes – they say you’ll spend no more than 2 hours per week, which is still pretty solid!

prep dish meal planning review

It was really amazing to have meals that were more or less ready to throw together once we got home in the evenings. Some of the dishes we especially enjoyed were:

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp with Black Bean, Tomato, and Avocado Quinoa Pilaf:

prep dish gluten free meal plan review

Loved the cilantro citrus sauce – so flavorful!

prep dish gluten free meal plan review

The other part of the quinoa from that week went towards a Gingered Beef and Veggie Stir Fry with Sesame Quinoa. This actually called for different veggies, but we had fresh broccoli and zucchini on hand that needed to be used so I used them instead of the peppers/onions the recipe called for. That’s another nice thing about these recipes/plans – you can easily modify/customize all of it if you need to.

prep dish gluten free meal plan review

Our favorite dinner of the meal plans was probably the Bison & Mushroom Lettuce Wraps from week 4. They were epic, and SO easy. Fun to eat, too! Definitely going to make this one again – the combinations are endless. Big thumbs up from both of us.

prep dish gluten free meal plan review

We also especially enjoyed one of the breakfast/snack recipes, the Peanut Butter Cherry Cookies. These were so good and really easy! Just dates, peanut butter, an egg, and some dried tart cherries. I actually already had all the ingredients on hand!

peanut butter cherry cookies

So, what was the verdict? Overall, I really liked Prep Dish and would highly recommend it to any of you looking to make the meal planning, grocery shopping, and prep/cooking process a lot easier! The instructions were easy to follow, the meals/snacks were delicious, healthy, and creative, and it was a nice way to take a lot of the stress out of the weeknight dinner situation (especially the planning phase). It was also nice that it encouraged us to try some new and different meals, too!

Another big plus for us, as I already mentioned, was that it didn’t include ALL your meals for the week – basically, they are assuming that you’ll be eating out some or just winging it occasionally. This worked really well for us since we do like to eat out, and things sometimes come up. Since the meals weren’t for a specific night, it was easy to be flexible about when we ate them. I also liked that the meals made about 4 servings, so we had leftovers for the next night.

I only have two criticisms. One, I’d like to see photos of the recipes in the meal plans. Clearly I read too many blogs, but I love a good food photo! And second, I felt like once or twice there was something that didn’t really make sense time-wise in the plan. For example, for the quinoa dishes the first week, the plan said to make the quinoa ahead of time (great), and then divide it, using half for the first dish and half later that week (also great). But then for the beef dish you were supposed to reheat the quinoa in the oven for 30 minutes. That seemed unnecessary (both time-wise and dirty dishes-wise) to me, so I just threw the cold (cooked) quinoa into the stir fry when the beef and veggies were all cooked. After a couple stirs and it was hot and ready to go, too!

Again, though, overall I had a really positive experience with Prep Dish, and I hope that some of you will give it a shot, too! If you want to try Prep Dish yourself, they are offering an awesome intro offer – a mere $4 for your first month of meal plans. Just use this link to get the deal. So basically, for the price of a latte, you can see if this works for you. Nothing to lose! :) That deal ends on July 31, just FYI, so get on it soon if you want to try it!

prep dish

Plus – I have a giveaway for you guys! One lucky fANNEtastic food reader will win three free months of Prep Dish meal plans (your choice of gluten-free or paleo). All you need to do is enter using the Rafflecopter below. Open to everyone everywhere, too, for once! :) Good luck and happy prepping and eating!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. 1

    My current meal plan consists of frantically running through the grocery store an hour before dinner needs to be ready, trying to get inspired and find something fast! So not ideal.
    I like how laid out “Prep Dish” seems to be, and how healthy!

  2. 3
    Charlsie N says

    Actually been looking at meal planning more since my husband and I are stuck in the same thing every week it seems like

  3. 4

    I am okay at meal planning, but could always use something new to switch it up a bit!

  4. 5

    I don’t really have a plan. I want to be better about it!

  5. 6

    I’ve tried meal planning but since I’m gluten free and vegetarian and my husband loves meat, I find it really difficult. I end up just prepping fruits/veggies on the weekend and hope we can figure it out during the week. Not very effective!

  6. 7

    lol I’m totally the same when it comes to “meal planning”. I’m a pro at winging healthy meals! This sounds great to help me out of the food rut I’ve fallen into recently though- thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  7. 8

    I’m off and on with meal planning… some weeks I have it all ready to go, and some weeks I wing it. I like that Prep Dish doesn’t do 7 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners… I hate wasting food, and usually just plan 4 dinners and do leftovers for lunches.

  8. 9

    We make a big list, go grocery shopping on Saturday, and then make a whole bunch of stuff on Sunday to get us through the week. It works for us. I’d love to try this service!

  9. 10
    Jamie Bergstein says

    My current meal planning really varies – sometimes I’m a great planner and other times its wondering aimlessly down the grocery store aisles until something looks tasty, haha!

  10. 11

    I am one of those who meal preps one week and the next week not so much. This week is a meal prep week ha. I love how meal prep is GF!!

  11. 12

    It looks so organized and easy to follow. I don’t currently meal plan, but this would be helpful.

  12. 13

    I try to do as much meal prep as possible on Sundays, that way I only have to do minimal last minute prep during the week. With a toddler, I can never make dinner fast enough during the week!

  13. 14

    Currently, my meal planning is all over the place. I used to be a lot better. But, with a crazy new job and not a whole lot of time, I struggle. I would love the meal plan because I’m trying to go gluten free for health reasons. I need a little help in the creativity department!

  14. 15

    I’d love to try this! I make a meal plan on Sundays and grocery shop accordingly. However, in the summer we tend to grill many nights/week so my planning is very slack right now. I pretty much go to the grocery store blindly and grab the usuals…then often have to go out to pick up a thing or two if we decide to make something other than grilled deliciousness. For that reason, I’d jump all over PrepDish as it would make me get back into meal planning over the summer!

  15. 16
    Briana Lucas says

    Thanks for hosting, i would love to try a service like this, as I am a meal prepper by heart, but alwys run out of ideas!

  16. 17
    Allison D. says

    We are good planners but always love new ideas.

  17. 18

    I currently try to plan meals and grocery shop over the weekend, but sometimes I have a hard time coming up with ideas or I travel on weekends, making it difficult to fit it in!

  18. 19

    Sounds so awesome and simple, esp. for those of use that have a long commute home, it’d be so nice to have dinner prepped and ready to go!

  19. 20

    I honestly do no meal prep and I desperately need to start! This looks like a great way to get things done ahead of time.

  20. 21

    Lately my meal planning has been pretty nonexistent so I really need to get back on track. In the past I would check out the sales at the grocery store and plan my menu for the week around that.

  21. 22

    Looks like a neat meal planning service!

  22. 23

    I meal plan for the work week, but the weekends are usually just eating out, picking up something just for that night’s meal, or winging it. Balancing meal planning with a couple relaxed days keeps it from getting too stressful and allows for some fun!

  23. 24

    My current meal planning is good in the beginning of the week but lazy towards the end. I like that Prep Dish offers Paleo and GF plans!

  24. 25

    This sounds so interesting!! Loved the review.

  25. 26

    I currently meal plan on Sunday nights for the whole weeks dinners ahead – I’m a dietitian too so I try to fit in good healthy meals. :) Sometimes we go out or just wing it too and then I just shift those meals to the next week. I would love the try this service though – I’ve been feeling very uninspired in the kitchen! Some new recipes and not having to plan everything for myself I hope would help spark my love for cooking again.

  26. 27

    we try to meal plan but don’t always do so well! I like that it offers so many different options for eating styles

  27. 28
    chickie brewer says

    I usually don’t meal plan.. Especially since I really only have to cook a nice meal for company. The Gluten free plans would be great for my daughters family.

  28. 29
    Charlotte says

    I am really bad at meal planning. But this would be a great way to get more into it!

  29. 30

    I need to meal plan to stay on track with healthy eating.

  30. 31

    This looks like a fun and easy way to meal plan! I like that it offers many options and allows for flexibility.

  31. 32

    Um, meal planning…what is that?
    Ya, to say meal planning is nonexistent in my home would be an understatement. It just always feels so overwhelming, that even when i do try, I usually give up before I even make it to the store.
    Prep Dish seems like a smart idea. Actually, I feel like I should have thought of something like this before now that i am hearing about it.

  32. 33

    I’m trying to get better about meal planning but its hard! Right now I try to set aside 1-2 hours on Sunday evening to cook and prep breakfast and lunches for the week.

  33. 34
    Caitlin M says

    My meal planning consists of building around what’s on sale at the grocery store. Prep Dish appears to result in much tastier meals than I am used to!

  34. 35
    Victoria B says

    I try to meal plan, but we end up with the same dishes over and over again. The cilantro lime shrimp looks delicious! I woud love to try Prep Dish!

  35. 36

    i usually bookmark recipes and we choose a couple big ones we want to do for the week and then shop; i also have a running grocery list on my phone that you can add or remove items from/reorder the same stuff pretty easily. this appeals because i feel like i’m in a rut with meal ideas and could use some new ones!

  36. 37

    Lately I have just been buying healthy food and trying to wing it, which has led to a lot of really boring meals.

  37. 38

    I am not so great at meal planning, I’ll do it one week but then get busy the next weekend and have nothing for the next week. My problem is that I live alone and feel like when I meal prep I end up eating the same thing over and over in one week so I am not wasting any food. You mentioned that this service gave you meals w/4 servings, do you think it would be easy to cut it down and make it work for just one person…possibly 2 servings per meal since I like leftovers?

  38. 40
    Brenna Webster says

    Things I keep on hand: grains like rice, quinoa, pasta, Meats/fish, TONS of frozen vegetables, and various sauces: three different hot sauces, soy, teriyaki, etc. Change up the sauce and seasoning, and everything is great!

  39. 41

    I mix it up. Sometimes I do a bulk meal prep on the weekends or sometimes it’s just an hour or so at night around dinnertime. Usually it all just depends on my schedule.

  40. 42

    Meal planning is typically the last thing on my priority list these days (working on it!) so this seems GREAT! :)

  41. 43

    intypically meal plan every Sunday and try my best to prep for the week. It’s hard knowing how much leftovers we will have with only 2 people

  42. 44

    Sounds fun! You and I have very similar meal planning strategies (or lack thereof), so I’m curious to see how I might do with this type of service… :)

  43. 45
    Roadrunner says

    Looks very interesting, sensible, and efficient! Thanks –

  44. 46
    Johanna B says

    What I like most about the meal plans is it would get me to try new things. Also, I have Celiac so the GF aspect is great!! Right now I only half way think about what I’m going to eat before the next meal and that is all I do. I need the help.

  45. 47

    I usually do a mix of delivery services like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, and then dig into my pretty significant repository of recipes I’ve saved but never tried!

  46. 48

    I always have the best intentions when it comes to meal planning, but it usually ends up being “I’m gonna buy this chicken and do stuff to it this week.” I always love trying new things, which I would like most about Prep Dish.

  47. 49

    I would love to try this, I like to meal plan, looking for new receipts to try.

  48. 50

    i do what you do!! think about what i want, buy what fits that and whatever else is on sale/in season/looks good, prep what I can, and enjoy and/or make throughout the week :)

  49. 51

    I love having a meal plan for the week, I think it makes it easier to save money and be sure to have actual meals during busy weeks. This program sounds great, I think it would help to get out of the habit of making the same things all the time

  50. 52

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the paleo diet from an RD standpoint. Have you posted on this topic before?

    • 53

      I haven’t, but in general, my thoughts are that while I love paleo meals/snacks and find the diet overall to be very nutritious (I love the focus on real food, lots of veggies, etc.), I don’t think it’s necessary or healthy (mentally) to place limits on the types of food you can eat (unless you have to for medical reasons – or want to for ethical reasons, obviously). In general, I find that if foods are off limits people will want them more – and that can lead to disordered eating/binges in the long run. So, while I think the paleo diet can be healthy if done well (with enough variety), I think it’s best to make sure you are also listening to – and not denying – your cravings. I personally really like daily, legumes, and minimally processed grains, so while I enjoy paleo meals, especially at dinnertime, I feel my best if I’m mixing things up. :)

  51. 54

    Awesome giveaway! :)

  52. 55

    My current meal planning is pretty non-existent…I usually just make easy things like sandwiches. I’d love to try this service to learn some new recipes!

  53. 56
    Karen D. says

    I usually plan. But always forget to buy an important ingredient, whomp whomp…..

  54. 57

    Pretty much same as you. Buying healthy food an winging it. I like the idea of only shopping once a week and not going back to the grocery store for one or two items.

  55. 58

    My current meal plan is non existent! I only cook for myself and usually grab a sandwich and veggies or cereal after work…yes, pathetic!

  56. 59

    I find myself eating a lot of the same meals and prepping the same recipes like protein pancakes, salads, etc. I love that Prep Dish has paleo options as I try to follow a paleo diet!

  57. 60

    I don’t meal plan – and I end up at the store multiple times per week and waste too much food…this would help so much!

  58. 61

    Currently my meal planning consists of buying whatever looks good at the grocery store on the weekend and winging it through the week, usually running out of both food and ideas by Thurs! I used to be so much better at planning out the week and making more food to have leftovers for lunch-I always feel better when I do this and need to get that consistency back!

  59. 62

    I try to have some healthy basics on hand at all time for dinners. I try to get a bit organised for lunches, and make a big batch of something on a Sunday, to take to work for lunch for the week. I do have a bad habit of buying my breakfast at my favourite cafe each morning before work. It’s my 30 min of peace before the craziness of the day starts! Not good for my wallet though. I’d love to have some easy dinners planned each week!

  60. 63
    Stephanie says

    I find we make the same meals again and again, falling back on the easy favourites. Even though I read blogs and recipe books so many choices is sometimes overwhelming! Having a meal plan would offer variety without the need for decision :)

  61. 64

    My meal prep is pretty much whatever I have the energy to make when I get home in the evening!

  62. 65

    I don’t meal plan at all right now, but I’d like to start. For a number of reasons, my family’s about to get quite a bit busier and meal planning and prepping would help a lot. Prep Dish is appealing because it should help me save some time during the week, but also because of its flexibility.

  63. 66

    Prep Dish looks fun!

  64. 67
    Samantha says

    My current meal prep regimen is minimal at best – some weeks I make a big batch of a quinoa veggie salad or pasta and portion it for the week’s lunches, which always makes life so much easier. When I do cook, I make a lot so there are always tons of leftovers. I definitely want to get into more of a routine. I’m trying Blue Apron next week but it’s pricey, so I’d love to try this too and compare! I’d love to try that shrimp dish; I love cilantro anything!

  65. 68

    No plan, just healthy choices

  66. 69
    Stefanie says

    I would love to try Meal Plan! Maybe it would get me motivated to meal plan more often!

  67. 70

    I meal plan on Thursdays for the following week so I can schedule Peapod (grocery delivery) delivery for the weekend. I usually plan for 4 dinners per week, Sunday and 3 meals to use between M-Th (one weekday night is usually take out). It works but it would be SO NICE to have a break! It gets tedious, especially since I have to plan so far in advance that I really don’t care what meals I pick!

  68. 71

    I find I eat the same meals every week but then I recall an older recipe that I haven’t used in a while and I’ll throw that into the mix for some variety. Typically what we have for supper is what we have for lunch the next day but that doesn’t always work out. I’ve started making snack-packs for lunch at work that consist of fruits, cheese, peanut butter, melba toast and a boiled egg. I find that the variety keeps me satisfied and I can switch it up a bit or add a small side to it if I am doing a higher cardio workout that day.

  69. 72

    Awesome idea! I like meal planning but sometimes I run out of ideas. Although I wish there were other options other than gluten free and paleo. How about just a normal, healthy non-fad plan?

    • 73

      I found the gluten free one to be totally normal, healthy and non-fad diet ish. It’s all naturally gluten free recipes (aka not using gluten free fad products or anything) – utilizing stuff like quinoa, potatoes, beans, etc. as the carb. It was meals anyone would enjoy, whether gluten free or not. :)

  70. 74

    I love that this is a flexible meal planning service. I hate feeling like I’m wasting food! This would be a great option for me. Thanks for the giveaway!

  71. 75

    meal planning, ha wish I could say I do this.
    I make a bunch of meat and sweet potatoes each weekend and then add a veggie or each meal. It works for me.
    Love the idea of meal planning service, especially a paleo one!

  72. 76

    I am usually a pretty decent menu planner, but since getting pregnant a few months ago, it has gone out the window and I am finding myself frantically trying to coordinate what we’re having for dinner on my way home from work. Yikes. I just need some help for awhile since my brain has checked out from this responsibility. Plus I’m trying to keep eating healthy foods for me and the baby.

  73. 77

    Meal planning can be so daunting. Looking forward to trying this!

  74. 78

    I prep nearly all of my lunches for the week and dinners that I need to eat on the go or on a tight time frame (I take MBA classes after work). That said, I usually end up doing what I am most comfortable with which is salad/sandwiches and dinner staples. I’d love to try Prep Dish to help me challenge myself and try some dishes that won’t take hours to make!

  75. 79

    I enjoy meal planning to a certain degree, but I try to be flexible if other things come up. Sometimes I get into food ruts so a meal plan created by someone else would be nice!!

  76. 80

    I normally have a pretty structured meal planning and prep schedule: order my CSA box Wednesday, put together a plan Thursday and Friday, shop & prep on Sunday but I’ve been traveling for work for 2 months and think this would be a great way to get back into the habit and give me some new ideas since I do the same stuff every week.

  77. 81
    Meredith Chambers says

    I look at the grocery store specials and try to see what will work for healthy meals. I usually prep meals on Sundays to make weekday nights go easier.

  78. 82

    I am also horrible at meal planning. It is hit or miss for me. Prep Dish sounds great I and would love to try it!

  79. 83

    I typically sit down on Monday with paper and pen and look thru magazines, my favorite blogs and Pinterest for inspiration. I am gluten free so it can be challenging

  80. 84

    This is really interesting…I do meal plan every week (using a combo of simple or tried and true dishes + 1 or 2 new to me recipes), but it is time consuming! It would be nice to have the work done :)

  81. 85

    It looks interesting and doable. I wouldn’t mind trying it. :)

  82. 86
    Stephanie says

    I’ve been in a meal planning rut lately, and this would really help me spice things up!

  83. 87
    Jillian Forsey says

    I’m not a meal planner but I think I would save a lot of money that way!

  84. 88

    The shrimp dish looks delicious! I’d love to try this out :)

  85. 89

    This looks awesome! I would love the paleo plan!

  86. 90
    Michelle says

    My meal planning consists of thinking of what evenings I will be home and attempting to have food in the house to eat! It’s usually somewhat successful!

  87. 91

    Usually I try to pre-make lunch for the week Monday-Thursday and treat myself to a healthy lunch on Fridays. I always eat breakfast at the office, so I bring all of my supplies in on Monday morning, along with healthy snacks (cut up vegetables, or fruit). Then I just have dinner to take care of!

  88. 92

    My meal planning is usually doing it all the main dishes on a Sunday afternoon and freezing them
    to last for the whole week, for me and hubby. Then just add side dishes each night. It would be nice to get a break from this chore and enjoy this meal planning from experts. Thanks Anne, I really enjoy reading your blog first before everybody else.

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