Plated.com SUBSCRIPTION BOX FOR MARCH 2016 (3 RECIPES / Dinners for Two) : Prepped, Cooked, Eaten, Reviewed
I love to cook and decided to try a food subscription box that I have been hearing a lot about. It’s called Plated and they offer weekly menus of gourmet-style dinners that you prepare yourself using their recipes. They mail you a box that is basically a kit filled with all the ingredients you need (with the exception of a few very basic items: mainly salt, pepper, oil, and/or eggs) to prepare the recipes for the dinners you have selected for that week. The Plated box arrives fully packed with ice to keep your foods fresh and includes full color recipe cards with complete instructions to help you prep and cook a great home meal that features fresh, high-quality ingredients – yay!
Each week offers a weekly menu from which you can select your recipes – there are seven to choose from, normally a selection of three meat dishes, one seafood, and three vegetarian dishes. They also offer two “Chef’s Table” plates which cost more but are very gourmet and include specialty cuts of meat and/or seafood. There are also two dessert choices each week that you can add-on to your order. You also get to choose the day of the week you would like delivery (either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday) and, once you join, you can easily “skip a week” by clicking a button in your Plated.com account.
My Plated meal box was promptly delivered on my selected day and left on my porch – it was very, very well packed up with lots of padding and three big ice packs. I ordered 3 dinners for two people and all the food needed for the three meals was clearly labeled so there was no worries over which ingredient was for which recipe.
What We Cooked – PLATED BOX REPORT with honest opinions for the meals we made, the last week in March, 2016:
Ratings: 4 stars = Super Yummy; 3 stars = Yummy; 2 stars = Meh; 1 star = Yucky
- FRENCH ONION SOUP BURGERS WITH GRUYERE AND ARUGULA — This was a very tasty meal: the quality of the meat for the burger was very high, very organic and fresh tasting – the muffins tasted real good. The flavors of the burger blended together really well. The arugula salad on the side was good, but a bit plain (needed a few toppings, perhaps some chopped heirloom tomatoes or something). Minor complaints: 1. the onion sent was pretty small and was dented on one end. I didn’t feel like the onion gravy had enough actual “onion” in it (though it did taste very good – the photo of the onion being cooked in step 2 of the recipe card looked like a lot more onion in the pan than the amount I received). 2. The tiny packets of Dijon mustard (2 packets were sent) didn’t seem like enough mustard to top the burger buns (and was difficult to get out of the packets – perhaps they should send the mustard in a little plastic container so you can get it out with a knife or spoon). THE COOKING PROCESS — well described on the recipe card, this took about 45 minutes to prepare (including stopping briefly to take a few photos) – this was easy to prepare for me (I am an experienced cook), but had several things going at once so kept me on my toes and moving! I think this particular recipe could be difficult for a very inexperienced cook. I would enjoy having this again. – *** ½
- BEEF NOODLE BOWLS WITH DINOSAUR KALE AND MUSHROOMS – Hubby prepared this dish (he is also an experienced cook). He had to use six damp paper towels (as instructed) to get those very dirty Cremini mushrooms clean. This dish was similar to the Burgers yesterday in that it was easy preparation but did have a lot of steps. We thought the final dish was quite tasty – I love the “long-life noodles” – we both agreed that the dish is good, but more an Americanized version of an Asian noodle dish than authentic. We used half the packet of Siracha hot sauce and it came out a perfect level of spiciness for us. One little complaint: this was a big plate of noodles (I couldn’t finish mine and saved the rest for a lunch) and I would have actually liked a little less of this and a small side dish to make with it (such as little Asian-style salad, or other side that would match the flavors of the Noodle Bowl). ***
- CHICKEN MARSALA WITH ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES – Of the three dishes we cooked this week, I found this one to be the most difficult and time-consuming (it took almost an hour and a half to prepare this – and it wasn’t like I was dawdling, I was moving myself fast around that kitchen!). This dish had a lot of steps involved in the preparation (including cleaning off more Cremini mushrooms with lots of paper towels), some of which required “setting aside” something just cooked in order to prep something else and I ended up using a whole lot of bowls and pans! The end result of all this was an excellent dish that tasted like something you might get in a restaurant – I was very pleased that this was so yummy, especially after all the work! We found the dish to be a wee bit too salty (that probably contributed to it tasting like a restaurant plate as most restaurants seem to serve food saltier than what we normally prepare at home). Hubby liked this, but liked the Onion Soup Burgers better – but I think this Chicken Marsala was just slightly better, so I am giving them a similar rating. Oh, a minor complaint in regards to the recipe instructions: when I put the roasted potatoes onto the foil-lined baking sheet, per instructions, and tried to toss with the Dijon-rosemary sauce it started to rip the foil – I quickly transferred the potatoes to a bowl and mixed with the sauce there. A better instruction would have been to mix the sauce in a larger bowl, then add the potatoes to mix with the sauce, then place the potatoes onto the baking sheet. *** ½
All in all, I thought this was a lot of fun and enjoyed having dinners at home that were different from what we normally eat – not to mention NOT having to go grocery shopping for the needed ingredients. I was very happy with the Plated.com meals/recipes and plan to continue my subscription – and I definitely love that I can easily skip a week when I don’t feel like, or have the time to do Plated recipes that week.
By the way, 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 shipping 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.
Happy cooking to all, happy eating even more! #platedpics