Plated: a review

Hey there blogosphere, it’s been awhile!

The past two months have been an interesting sort. It’s been a blend of long days at work, regrouping, and dreaming. And true confessions, there have many days that I haven’t felt captivated by cooking at all and take-out would be our go-to dinners. But, here I am, back and ready to post some fun things that have been going on!

At the end of February, I entered a contest to win a pretty hefty gift card to Williams-Sonoma and a year supply of Plated meals. Although I didn’t win, Plated made me an offer I couldn’t refuse – a chance to try their service for free and a free 3-month membership! All I had to do was pay for shipping and handling of the goods. It was too good of a deal to pass up!

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For those of you who don’t know about Plated, it’s a meal delivery website. The beautiful thing about it though is that they believe in the importance and significance of one preparing and plating one’s own food. So, after selecting from a weekly menu which meals you would like to prepare, they ship you just about every little ingredient you need to prepare it, complete with an illustrated recipe card for each meal. Fun, right?!? Since my free order came with 4 portions, I ordered 2 meals, 2 servings each.

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The first meal I tried was Berbere Salmon with a side of kale, red onion, and new potatoes. Berbere is a red-orange spice mixture found in many Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes. I had never had the combo before, and I really enjoyed the flavorful kick it gave to the salmon. The red onions were marinated in red wine vinegar as the new potatoes cooked. Then both veggies were tossed into a kale salad with fresh mustard and olive oil. Oh. my. goodness. I have been terrified to try kale – it has looked so menacing to me and I didn’t think I’d ever try it. But WOW – I loved it so much! It was a terrific meal and was served with lemon slices for adding a little citrusy flavor to everything.

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Meal number two was a vegetarian dish: mushroom and leek udon with tofu and spinach. I have been craving a soup like this for a while, and I have also been wanting to incorporate tofu into a meal. It was my first time using shiitake mushrooms and leeks, and I really enjoyed them. I also really liked the thick udon noodles, which were tossed in sesame oil before being served with the soup.

Earlier I had mentioned that Plated gives you almost all of the ingredients to make each meal. They are all labeled and pretty portioned out for the amount you’ll need. Aside from the fact that for this meal they gave me exactly one garlic clove and an inch of ginger root in a tiny baggie, the soy sauce was my favorite tiny portion:

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Aren’t they the cutest little soy sauce packets you’ve ever seen?!? I couldn’t get over it.

Okay, so now that you’ve seen all of this gorgeous food, it’s time to pull out the yellow legal pad and have a good ol’ pros and cons list:

Pros:
– The meals are flavorful and delicious!
– The recipes are easy to follow with step-by-step illustrations. They also provide additional little hints that may be helpful in preparing the dish.
– The things that you need to provide yourself for the meal are simple things like olive oil and kosher salt. The recipe card also specifies what types of pots and pans you’ll need to use.
– All of these important pieces of information are also available on their website before you even order, so you know in advance what you’re getting into.
– Ingredients are shipped in a box that is equipped with adequate ice packs to keep your food fresh.

Cons:
– The price (at least for me anyways!). Plates are $15 each, $12 each if you are a member. Membership is $10 a month, and there is a shipping and handling fee as well. Since I used this promotion to try things out, I just had to pay $20 for the shipping/handling. But if I hadn’t had any special deals, my total would be $98 for those two meals with two servings each. It’s a bit too steep for me.
– The lemon for the Berbere salmon was a bit bruised when I opened everything up. And although everything else was fresh, some ingredients were leaning towards the end of their freshness.

Really there was not much to complain about at all! I honestly wish this was more feasible for me, because I love the concept and the incredible combinations they create! Check out Plated.com for more information and lots more great recipes!

Note: Captivated by Cooking is not affiliated with Plated in any way and received no incentives to create this review.

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