Review: Plated – Dinner Delivery Service

Plated and other meal kit delivery services are gaining some traction right now.  Takeout used to be the solution for busy people.  Now, Foodler is for lazy people and Plated is for busy people.  For the record, I am of both ilks.   The concept is that they deliver all of the ingredients for dinner, pre-measured, to your door, along with illustrated, step-by-step cooking directions.  It completely removes any planning that goes into dinner.  No recipe finding, no grocery shopping.  Life – simplified.

They also boast local ingredients, biodegradable boxes, and a whole bunch of green, sustainable, crunchy, save the earth marketing crap.  Obviously, I’m no environmentalist and that is not my motivation for purchasing.

My co-worker gifted me 4 free meals and, when I signed up, I gifted my boyfriend 4 free meals. Normally each meal is $12 per person and free S&H, with a 4 plate minimum per order.  I had to pay $20 S&H  on the free meals – still a pretty good deal.  You choose from ~10 recipes for the week and each lets you know what kind of equipment (frying pan, saucepan) and extra ingredients (salt, pepper, oil) you’ll need to have on hand.

A few misconceptions I had and what actually happened:

  • I’d have to be home to accept the delivery.
    • Just give Plated permission to leave the delivery on your porch in the Notes section of your delivery address. Everything is packed in a “custom-made, 100% recyclable & biodegradable box to keep your food cool” including ice packs.  It will be fine on the porch for a few hours.
  • They also prepared the ingredients – chopped the onions, peeled the potatoes, etc.
    • They don’t.  You still have to do that.  It makes sense, seeing as these are sitting in a truck and then on your porch.  A diced apple would be brown mush, by the time you used it.  I still wish I didn’t have to chop onions.  :’-(
  • The meals are good when your dieting and trying to be healthy.
    • This is a double barreled statement.  The meals are healthy.  They are not low calorie.  This week’s menu items range from 640 -780 calories per serving.  On my diet, that leaves me with 320 – 560 calories for breakfast and lunch combined.  Which means I better hit the gym on Plated delivery nights.

I forgot to take pictures of any of our meals, so I’m going to use the ones from their website.  I don’t think they’ll mind, since I’m telling you the food was pretty good.  Although they no longer have pictures from last weeks menu.

Plate 1: We had red fish harissa with polenta and kale the first night.  While I was delighted with the oven-baked cumin kale, the polenta was so bland.  It was like eating boiled potatoes.  It had honey, salt, and pepper in it, but to no avail.  The only good thing about that is that the harissa spices were spicy (I can barely eat mild salsa), so the bland polenta tempered that.  However, we had so much polenta left that I suffered through it at work for lunch the next day.  People keep asking me what redfish is.  I have no idea.  That’s what they called it.  Wikipedia tells me it’s a common name for several types of fish, so that’s not helpful at all.

Plate 2: Pork Burgers with Brussel Sprout Salad.  AMAZING!  The ground pork and whatever else went into it (the BF made these) was the most interesting delicious burger ever.  And it was topped with sauteed apples and onions.  The brussel sprouts were diced and dressed with apply cider.  Brussel sprouts are my new favorite vegetable (it took me 27 years to figure out how good they are), but the BF hates them and he said the salad wasn’t bad.  Win.

Plate 3: Pecorino-Crusted Chicken Fingers with Kale Quinoa Pilaf.  The chicken fingers were good.  The homemade dijon honey mustard was OUT OF THIS WORLD.  They should bottle it and sell it.  I didn’t know what to expect from the “pilaf,” but I got lemony kale with quinoa and almonds.  Quite tasty.

Pecorino-Crusted Chicken Fingers with Kale Quinoa Pilaf

Plate 4: Patty Melts with Baked Sweet Potato Fries.  This is the meal I’m looking forward to the most.  I don’t see how it could possibly be bad, so just go ahead and assume it’s delicious.  I’ll update the post if it’s anything but.

Patty Melts with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

**A note on Blue Apron.  I haven’t used it, but my coworker tried it and all of the produce was rotten.  They are refunding her and giving her free meals.  But she’s home with a 6 month old and had to scramble for dinner that night when the Blue Apron box fell through.