In a previous post I wrote about trying food delivery services. I started with Hello Fresh, then a friend recommended I tray Plated. Plated was a nice step up in quality and taste from Hello Fresh, but the meals are more involved, take a bit more time and are more expensive. That said, overall I enjoyed the variety, flavor, and portions and would recommend this option, though I’m unclear if meal options get redundant over time.
The ingredients are very fresh, last a few days in the refrigerator and are marked gf, non GMO, etc. as appropriate, even without my requests. For example, soy souce would come in a packet and it would say GF for gluten free. This was handy for sharing the meals with friends who have gluten sensitivities. I appreciated the high quality in all of the ingredients.
Additional ingredients are simple, often only an oil like olive oil, salt and pepper. Everything else is provided and all ingredients are well marked so they are not confused between recipes. I especially like that everything is kept separate so I can toss the onions (or give them to my friends) and I can omit the sugar (as in this pomodoro recipe where the sauce calls for sugar (see the white packet in the lower right corner?). I can easily fine tune the recipe to my liking while not disturbing the base and over all quality. I really appreciated this about each one of the meals thus far.
Making the meals requires a little more prep. Read all of the directions before jumping in and review the side bar for tips and additional requirements (like the need for olive oil, what size pan or pans are required). Usually not many additional things here, but useful for getting started.
The meals are a bit higher in calories, but the portions are much larger, too. I was easily able to feed 3 and with a little supplementing of my own, 4 people off of a 2 person portion. For instance, this gnocchi pomodoro easily fed me for 4 days!
The recipe steps are very clear and easy to follow. This meal was to take an estimated 40 minutes, but it ended up taking me an hour and a bit. It was slow going to read and follow but the steps are repetitive once you get the hang of it after the first few recipes. I still have not been able to produce these meals in the time they specify, but it’s not as bad as the first attempt.
What matters, outside of the time it takes to prepare, is the end result. I love the special touches, the flavors are awesome, the meals are creative and all in all very simple. I love that everything is included so I don’t have to worry about buying bay leaves, for example, using one and then discarding or holding on the rest for an unknown amount of time. There is always just enough soy sauce, just enough, white rice vinegar, etc. No need to stock these in the fridge any longer.
Ok, my photo didn’t quite turn out like the one on the recipe card, but the flavors, texture, and quantity surpassed my expectations. I have enjoyed the meals so much that I have ordered multiple weeks of them and am on my 3rd box now. The price is a little steep for me, but the fact that I can skip weeks, and that the meals last me a lot longer than they project, means I’m getting high value for my money. The meals are very healthy and their customization and variety makes them a great option. I would recommend this service. Let me know if you want to try a box and see what you think!
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