Meals Made Easy: Plated.com

Meals Made Easy: Plated.com

Meal Service Name: Plated.com

Description: Each week Plated comes up with five different recipes/menu options to choose from created by featured chefs. Plated provides all the ingredients and ships them directly to your door. Ingredients are portioned out, but aren’t chopped or prepared; you do all the prep work. Every meal includes one form of protein, a generous amount of fruits and veggies, and usually some sort of carbohydrate.

Experience: I choose two different meals to try out for my plated experience: salmon with lentils and citrus-soy chicken. I really enjoyed both of these dishes, and they got me cooking a little bit outside of my comfort zone which I really liked. The chicken dish used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, normally a part of the chicken I don’t cook with.  I liked that I was able to learn how to cook a different part of the chicken correctly and flavorfully. Both the marinade on the chicken and the spice-rub on the salmon were very unique and I loved that the dishes had completely different flavor profiles.

The spice mixture of the salmon consisted of ginger, garlic, garam masala, coriander, and cumin. While I use a lot of cumin and garlic in my cooking, the other three ingredients I don’t use that often and I’m not even sure where to find garam masala. Grocery shopping for unique spices can be daunting for some people so it’s nice that Plated provides them straight to your doorstep.  One thing that could have speed up the process a bit more was having the spice mixture already prepared. While I don’t mind getting my hands dirty in the kitchen, I have several less-experienced friends who would be turned off by having to peel the ginger and chop up the garlic for the mixture.

The lentils were super easy to cook and the raita (Greek yogurt, cilantro, green onion and cucumber) was absolutely delicious on top of the salmon. I’ve made salmon about 15 different ways, and this was something I hadn’t tried before!

My favorite part of the chicken dish was probably the marinade; it gave the chicken a lot of flavor and helped the skin char up nicely. Preparing the marinade required using a microplane (which some home cooks don’t have-I used the smallest side of a grater) to zest both a full lime and orange, squeeze the juices from both fruits, add soy sauce, chop up cilantro and garlic, and add vegetable oil. I felt the same way about the preparation for the marinade as I did about the salmon’s spice rub...from an ease of use perspective it would be considered a little difficult for not-so-experienced home cooks. The rest of the dishes’ preparation was fairly easily, cutting up the peppers and cucumber, boiling the noodles, and tossing them with a bit of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.

Overall I really enjoyed my Plated experience. I think this is a great service for anyone looking to cook some new recipes, but you must have some knowledge about kitchen gadgets and be prepared to do some prep work. Some parts of the service were very convenient, like having the exact amount of each ingredient in the bag and supplying hard to find ingredients. But for the cost of ordering Plated, it would have been nice if everything was already chopped and ready to go. At times it felt like all that was done was grocery shopping for a specific recipe which I could do easily on my own. And for some home cooks putting together a spice rub or a marinade can be a little intimidating.

Meal Plan:
Monthly membership costs $10 and saves you $2 for every plate you order.
Monthly Membership prices: $12/plate, must order 4 plates
Non-membership prices: $15/plate, must order 4 plates

Founder/Location: New York City

Menu Examples:

  • Moroccan-Spiced Steak with Shallot Yogurt and Raisin-Carrot Couscous
  • Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Mexican Corn
  • Tea-Poached Salmon with Edamame and Snap Pea Soba Noodles
  • Pan-Seared Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
  • Herb-Roasted Chicken with Tomato-Zucchini Gratin
  • Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Peaches and Quinoa and Arugula Salad
  • Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

Delivery: Yep delivered with plenty of ice to keep it cold right to your door, for free with your order.

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Tags: food shopping, Fresh, groceries, healthy

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