Cooking, Plating, Review of Plated.com SUBSCRIPTION BOX Recipes : Two dinners for two people plus a yummy dessert for us two!
Plated.com offers a weekly subscription service in which you select recipes (from a weekly choice of seven new recipes, plus four encore “top-rated favorite” recipes) and then receive a box filled with all the ingredients you need to create these recipes at home, as well as a glossy recipe card to accompany each of your selected dinners/desserts. The box arrives on your porch, well packed in ice to keep meats and produce fresh. Everything is labelled so you know what goes in what dish.
What I like about the Plated subscription service: First and best reason is that the recipes that I have tried so far (and I have ordered a box about four or five times now) are almost all really good. And not just good, but different from what I normally make at home – a way to try new ideas, ways of cooking, and different flavors. Now that’s really cool – and rather fun too! Another good reason is that the ingredients sent are fresh and natural, giving the meals you prepare a healthy, homemade quality that makes me feel good about what I have prepared and what I am eating.
Reasons why I often skip a week: As a subscriber, you can skip any week you like and my main reason to skip is simply the cost. While I just about always find there to be several interesting recipes to choose from each week, the cost of two dinners and an add-on sweet treat dessert (ordered to make the cost above $50 to get free shipping) is closer to restaurant level than grocery store – and, well, you still have to cook! A smaller reason why I sometimes skip a week is that these recipes are often pretty labor intensive with lots of steps before serving (though the desserts are all quite easy) and I don’t always feel like doing all that right before eating (think that’s why I love my slow cooker so much – cook early in the day, dinner’s all ready to go at dinnertime!). I have also had small worries about ordering a box during the very hot days of summer, when it get above 90 degrees here in La La Land — but I think this box is so well packed in ice packs that it probably would not be a problem.
What We Cooked – PLATED BOX REPORT with honest opinions for the dinners and dessert we made, the first week of December, 2016:
Ratings: 4 stars = Super Yummy; 3 stars = Yummy; 2 stars = Meh; 1 star = Yucky
LAMB KOFTA with HERB SALAD over CHARRED NAAN
— I think this was the easiest to make dish I have made for a subscription box recipe. I made the yogurt sauce and washed and prepped the greens a bit ahead of time. Then the preparation of the dish itself was a simple process of forming the Kofta, cooking, finishing up the salad (very easy), and charring the Naan bread on stovetop. I thought this tasted great – my only complaint is that this tasted best when there was only one Kofta left (after having gobbled up the first one) and it could be wrapped in the Naan with all the fixin’s and eaten sandwich style. I think there should have been one (perhaps slightly smaller) piece of Naan for each Kofta piece. That being said, this was still super yummy – and so very easy to prepare that I have to give this 4 stars. – ****
BEEF BIBIMBAP with CRISPY RICE and SRIRACHA
— This Korean dish is composed of five elements placed together in one bowl. I pre-made the carrot and cucumber salad part of this dish, then the other four parts – sliced seared steak, crispy Sushi rice, sautéed spinach, and a fried egg – had to be done last-minute. Our bowls of Bibimbap came out nice looking, the flavors were pretty good too – though because of all the last-minute prep needed, some parts of this dish were just too cold. So the dish seemed rather lukewarm (and the cold salad doesn’t help there), it was just not possible to keep all the different parts of the dish totally hot. I did put the spinach and the steak in a foil-covered dish to try to keep warm while making the fried eggs, but it didn’t help much. There were two packet of Sriracha hot sauce included with this (one for each bowl) to drizzle over the top of the Bibimbap, as desired. Plated warns on the recipe card that this is “spicy!” – however, I drizzled the whole packet over my bowl and could barely taste any spice at all. I think this was a mild version of Sriracha, if there is such a thing. – ***
CARAMELIZED APPLE TARTLETS with PECAN CRUMBLE
— This was very easy to prepare and even came with two little graham cracker crusts in aluminum tins, already prepared and waiting to be filled with caramelized apples. The instructions for this recipe said to “roughly chop the pecans” – oops, the pecans came already chopped, and in pretty small pieces (a bit smaller than I would call “roughly chopped”). Oh well, all the easier to get this prepped! Anyway, these tartlets came out great and really hit the spot as a tasty treat after dinner. This was my favorite of the desserts I have made from Plated.com (so far anyway!). Yummy yum. – ****
You know you want to know! : Subscription and pricing information:
The cost of a Plated meal is $12 a plate — the most inexpensive plan available is 2 dinners (recipe + ingredients) for 2 people (which is $48). They have add-on desserts that are $8 and shipping is free for orders over $50 (so a good idea to save on shipping costs is to be sure to order a dessert to bring your cost above $50). The plan with 3 dinners for 2 people costs $72 and includes free shipping. Each week Plated offers a choice of seven recipes, some with meat, a seafood dish, and a few Vegetarian choices. A new thing they now offer is an additional four “Encore” recipes. There are also two weekly desserts to choose from (optional). You get a choice of delivery date (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday) and can hit the “SKIP WEEK” tab (you can skip as often as you like) via your online Plated account. There is a button to click to cancel your subscription, if you need to.
Happy cooking to all, happy eating even more! #platedpics