Thursday, February 26, 2015

Plated Review

No new recipe this week, but that's because I've spent the week taking Plated for a test run. If you haven't heard of Plated, it's one of the food delivery services that have become so popular these days (similar to Blue Apron and Home Fresh).  After three meals, I must admit that my official review is a resounding "Meh…".  

There are many pros and cons to using a service like this.  

1) Pro: Pre portioned ingredients delivered right to your door. No guess work! And no grocery shopping. 
2) Con: Too much waste.  The food is delivered in a cooled box, and you can potentially reuse the ice packs.  There's no way I would be able to keep the ice packs if I used this as a weekly service though.  On top of that, the amount of trash that is produced when you have individual baggies for things like a garlic clove and a small piece of ginger is significant.  I probably threw out a grocery bag worth of packaging with each meal. 

Mushroom Pappardelle.  I ended up adding cream cheese to the sauce because I was under the impression that it was a creamy pasta - not so much!

3) Pro: You know what you're spending up front. 
4) Con: Cost. The standard fee for 3 meals for 2 is $75.  It seems that no matter what buy, I always spend $100 on my weekly grocery run.  That always includes breakfast and lunch, and typically one or two random household expense items, like shampoo, vitamins, or a cleaning product. 

Stir-Fry Quinoa - with Chicken! 

4) Pro: Opportunity to experiment with recipes or ingredients you wouldn't normally think to use. 
5) Con: Selection.  Most weeks have 6 to 7 options for recipes to choose from.   I really struggled with choosing because there were things I wanted from different weeks.  I settled for two vegetarian options, even though it's incredibly rare that we don't eat a protein for dinner.  I ended up supplementing our Quinoa Stir-Fry with grilled chicken.

Beef Rendang

6) Pro: Portion control
7) Con: No leftovers! Mike and I must be little piggies, because none of the recipes above were quite enough for us.  I ended up adding a salad and we usually had dessert as well. 

8) Pro: All of the ingredients arrived super fresh on Saturday, and remained fresh until I cooked my last recipe Thursday night.
9) Con: The ingredient's weren't prepped!  For weeknight cooking, I typically go for quick and easy recipes.  I understood that I would need to chop onions, sure, but I was under the assumption that the ingredients would be cleaned prior to being sent.  Let me tell you, cleaning 12 oz. of wild mushrooms on a Monday night was no fun.  And the Quinoa required so many vegetables be washed and chopped.

All in all, I'd say this is the first and last time i'll be trying one of these services.  Props to Plated for providing quality ingredients and creative recipes, but I'm not sure i'd be able to justify the cost.  If you're new to cooking, or like experimenting with unique and international recipes, this might be worth a try from time to time.  

I'll be back with a new recipe next week! 

Happy Weekend! 

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