Anyone tried the Epicurious "What to Cook This Week" meal plans?

The meals build beautifully on one another and the food is gorgeous but it seems insanely unhealthy by today's standards. Lots of red meat, white rice, white bread, and little veg. (and it's supposed to be "kid-friendly") You would think a weekly meal plan for daily eating would be more health conscious. I don't get it. Any thoughts?

  • Posted by: Pilar
  • June 1, 2019


Zara F. May 19, 2020
I agree the Epicurious's food and other meal plans can be a little tricky and outdated.

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- Zara
Stephanie B. June 1, 2019
I haven't gone on there for a long time because the last time I did, they started autoplaying videos pinned to the top of whatever page I went on. This was really annoying because if I wanted to look up a recipe for say, caramel pumpkin pie, the page would autoplay a video of something random like mac and cheese. Had to scroll through a lot of unrelated content and ads to find what I was looking for.

Anyway, I just skimmed some of the past weekly meal plans. It's more meat than I eat, but it looks like they try to do a good job of making balanced meals that don't look particularly hard. I agree with Lori: I think they're trying to make a crowd pleasing, general sort of meal plan. Epicurious is a food business, not the NIH, but I think they could do a lot worse. If you are making an effort to increase your veggie and fiber intake and cut down on meat/animal products, you're going to have take a minute to tweak their suggestions, and this is true of most meal plans unless they are specifically intended to be vegetarian and/or very health conscious.

I don't know how much time you have to source your meal plans from multiple places but I liked Real Simple when I was learning how to cook for myself, and balance a hectic course schedule and two jobs in undergrad. If you like some of the things on epicurious but want to supplement healthier meals, try mix and matching their meal plan with recipes from a favorite vegetarian/vegan blog, or the regular plant based recipe contributors for newspapers like NYT Cooking or the Guardian.
Lori T. June 1, 2019
I don't know. I had briefly looked over it a few months ago- just for idea inspiration. I just had another peek, and though I don't think it was necessarily entirely "kid friendly", it didn't look so bad. For folks who want to eat at home, feed the family a decent meal, and don't have a lot of time to spend working up a menu- it's not a bad place to start. Anyone with half an imagination and some cooking experience can swap out white rice for brown- or another grain, some other sort of bread for white bread, and up the veggies serving. It wasn't all red meat, either. There were plenty of fish and chicken ideas, plus vegetarian meals, and meals low on meat. They aren't keepers of the diet, or nutritional police. I think of their site, like this one, as a place to start and to get ideas. Tailoring that information to the needs of me and my family is my business. But if you are not sure where to even get started, at least they do give you a jumping off spot to gain that confidence and experience. A lot of folks fall back on the meal kits and prepared foods because they don't know what else to do, or how to do it. So I'm all for anything that offers some help.
Smaug June 1, 2019
Epicurious or Serious Eats? Epicurious used to be a pretty good recipe site, but a while back they went heavily into product promotion, particularly Amazon- I get emails but usually skim them pretty fast. Serious Eats regularly promotes meal plans- they mostly seem to be based on restaurant style cooking- i.e. all the fat you can possibly stuff into the dish, excess salt and a general lack of interest in nutrition, but I tend to gloss over them pretty fast, maybe some are better. There is a widening dichotomy in the food press between two schools of food thought, both of which it seems to me should be more concerned with getting people fed. I get email plugs from several of these sites regularly; the best you can hope for is something of some interest occasionally.
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