Last week I posted about how Marlboro Man and I were going to try out the dinner delivery service Plated, Saturday night when we got home from going to the casino this little box was at the door waiting for us. We left the house for the casino around 1:45-2 pm and didn’t return until around 8:30-9 pm, if you live in Southern California you know last week was hotter than it should be for Winter time. So needless to say I was paranoid when we left the house; the food had not arrived and it was hot all I could imagine coming home to was smelly, spoiled meat and veggies. But thankfully Plated had it under control they shipped the food in a recyclable box that was completely insulated and had two ice packs in the bottom of it.
They claim (which I would imagine to be true since they are in the business of shipping fresh foods) that the items in the box should last about 24 hours, I will totally take their word for it. Our food sat on the porch for probably about 4-5 hours in mid to high 80’s last Saturday and when I opened it up everything was still nice and fresh and cold. It appears that the sun is no match for the packaging job that Plated has prepared.
To be honest I don’t even know where to begin right now, I want to tell you my thoughts on the service and the products, as well as the end results. Let me start with the natural order in which this occurred. I opened the package and laid everything out because of course I needed to take pictures. I was a little surprised at the quantities of meats, veggies and spices that were packed. I must admit that I have a warped idea of portions, and I know I cannot be the only one even Marlboro Man commented asking how many people it was supposed to feed.. it sure didn’t look like it would feed the both of us.
Everything for one recipe was packaged and labeled individually, each recipe also came with a nice sturdy 8 1/2 x 11 recipe card/paper (a little larger than I would have liked it to be… whatever) Plated states they give you everything except for salt, pepper, oil and water; respectively this seems it should be a staple in every kitchen.
Moroccan Beef ingredients and recipe card
Moroccan Beef ingredients
I guess in my rush to get the raw meats into the fridge I forgot to take a picture of them; they are vacuumed sealed into portioned pouches (which I can dig)
Because it was already Saturday night and we had already eaten I figured that I would cook them both up on Sunday and that could be dinner for Sunday and Monday night. Both recipe cards tell you how many servings, calories and time it would take to prepare the meals. Oh and hashtags so you can share your Plated food… plated. #platedpics
So Sunday night I set out to make the meals, the recipes were simple enough each card said that a meal would take 30 to 40 minutes to prepare. I was a cooking machine and cooked both at the same time in about 40 minutes.
Let me take you on a picture journey of Moroccan Beef Tagine
Flank steak chopped and coated with a dry marinade of cinnamon, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes and other spices that I can’t remember (oops)
After marinating for about 3 hours (the recipe calls for 5 minutes room temperature or overnight in the fridge) I diced and added the shallots to the mix
Into the pan went some olive oil, next the steak, shallots and a few fresh, minced cloves of garlic. Cooked for about 8-10 minutes
Next I added the can of diced tomatoes and the fresh pre-diced butternut squash and let simmer for about 15 minutes
I also forgot to take a picture of the preparation of the couscous, probably because couscous cooks up so quickly; literally in 5 minutes. Once I made the couscous I divided the meal up into two semi-equal portions (Marlboro Man wasn’t digging the couscous; more for me) and of course took a pictures before we tried it out.
Moroccan Beef Tagine with couscous, shallots and butternut squash
Now onto dish two which was Rosemary-Thyme Chicken over Winter vegetables. I have to admit this one I was most excited about because I have been looking for new ways to add more veggies into our meals also this recipe introduced both of us to parsnips which neither Marlboro Man or myself can recall if we had before.. we would both purchase them and eat them again now.
Rosemary-Thyme Chicken ingredients
Once again no packaged pictures of the meat but I am sure everyone knows what raw chicken thighs looks like.
This recipe took me a little more effort that the beef dish, because I had to peel, slice and chop everything that came in the ingredient bag… Don’t get me wrong I am totally not complaining just simply stating this one took a bit longer.
Chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic and lemon zest to coat the chicken thighs
chopped carrot, parsnip, golden potatoes and broccoli
Chicken thighs coated with the herb mixture ready for the oven.. don’t mind the foil pouch in the middle. I don’t like to eat meat off the bones so Marlboro Man took the bones out of my portion and I cooked them up for the pup (don’t worry we didn’t give her the bones just the meat that was left on the bones)
So after the chicken went into the oven to braise at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes I cooked the veggies in a pan on the stove. Simple.. water, chicken base and veggies for about 15 minutes until they were tender, but not too tender.
Once the chicken was finished cooking, picture time! The herbs on my chicken look a little more done than the ones on the recipe card that Plated sent and I attribute that to having my rack placed to high in the oven. But thankfully there was no burnt taste to the food, it was just as delicious.
And now the finished product Rosemary-Thyme chicken with Winter vegetables
So the end result of both dishes were delicious, the meat was tender and not fatty, the combination of veggies and spices with each respective meat was the right match. Obviously Plated knows a little bit about what they are doing. They take intermediate recipes and make them simple enough so you can master them at home, I dig. But let me be honest, although I loved trying this experience out for $20 I more than likely would never use this service again, our meals came out to $5 a plate which is ridiculously reasonable for the amount and quality of food we got (by the way the ending result shut us both up about the portions that were supplied there was more than enough food for 2 people), but if I had not had the internet offer we were looking at $12-$15 dollars a plate PLUS $20 shipping and handling fees, so that’s upwards of 80 to 100 bucks for 2 meals for 2 people. I could easily go the grocery store and get food for the whole week at that price. So Plated is not genius nor is it lazy, it is a novelty for people who have extra money and want to learn how to cook. Plated gives you step by step instructions on how to do each and every step of the cooking process. I can see single women/men using this service for convenience or to learn to be a better cook or how to make food combinations but as an every day or every weekend service I do not see this as a practical solution. Not to say that both Marlboro Man and I didn’t enjoy it, there are just more cost efficient ways to get the same results.
Are you using Plated or another service that you dig? Or do you have another means of obtaining the same results like using a meal planning app or something of that nature.. do tell ?
For the record the internet offer I received for Plated was one of those ads on Facebook, I was not approached by anyone from Plated’s staff to try out and or review the services that they offer.