Plated – Week 1

Dish 1: Thai Fish Curry with Kaffir Lime and Jasmine Rice

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Thai Fish Curry with Kaffir Lime and Jasmine Rice

March 21, 2017 – My first Plated box arrived today, and my first impression is very positive. The first dish is Thai Fish Curry with Kaffir Lime and Jasmine Rice. It reminded me a lot of a Thai Curry Shrimp Soup that I used to make. I usually don’t like tilapia, but I didn’t mind it here. The flavor of the tilapia was mild, but I could still taste it in the soup. The soup had a perfect balance of spices, and it was a very filling dish at only 690 calories per serving. I’d definitely like to make this again.

Plated, like Martha and Marley, gave the option for Tuesday delivery; however, they used a smaller regional delivery service that didn’t have a key to get into the mailroom so they had to call me to let them into the building. I was working from home, so it wasn’t a big deal, but I don’t know what would have happened if I wasn’t home. The box was smaller than the one for Martha and Marley, which made it easier to carry up the three flights of stairs to my apartment. Like Martha and Home Chef, most of the ingredients were bundled together, and thus far the ingredients seem to be high quality. The aforementioned tilapia didn’t taste too muddy and when cooked it didn’t have a mealy texture.

I did notice that one of the recipes calls for two eggs, but they weren’t included in the shipment, but they did send an email today letting me know that I’d need eggs. If I didn’t have eggs left from last week, I would be wicked annoyed, especially since this box is $12 more expensive than Blue Apron, and Blue Apron didn’t leave eggs out of the box when the recipe called for them.

One other thing that I liked about Plated is that they have 10-12 recipes to choose from every week and customization is very easy. This week, four recipes were “encore recipes,” highly rated recipes that are available for the whole month of March. The Fish Curry that I had for lunch was one of the encore recipes, and I can tell why. Next week, there are 12 recipes to choose from, and six of the recipes are encores. Another feature of Plated is that you can choose the number of servings and how many meals you want to receive each week. The minimum is 2 meals with 2 servings each, but you can go up to 4 meals and 4 servings. If you decide to order 4 meals, you will receive the meals in two deliveries to ensure freshness. They also have dessert recipes and ingredients that can be added to your box for $8. I’m going to be out of town next week, so I’m skipping a week, but I added a dessert to my box for the following week.

The only downside is the price of the box. For the 3 meal, 2 serving option, it’s $72. By comparison, the same plan with Blue Apron and Home Chef is $60.

Dish 2: Teriyaki Salmon Tacos with Seaweed Salad

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Teriyaki Salmon Tacos

March 24, 2017 – This is my second meal from Plated: Teriyaki Salmon Tacos with Seaweed Salad. This meal was great and it only took about 25 minutes to make. They sent enough tortillas for three tacos, but I decided to save the third tortilla for a future meal and save the extra 120 calories for cookies.

I loved this meal. The salmon was great quality, even though it languished in the refrigerator for a few days before I had time to cook it. I was surprised that the seaweed salad complemented the tacos so well. My only criticism was that it tasted like the cucumber had gotten a little too cold in transit. It didn’t have the tell-tale signs of frost-bite, but its color and texture had suffered a bit. The avocado, on the other hand, was in remarkably good shape.
The dish was 870 calories per serving, which is a bit higher than I would have liked. I trimmed back on the calories by only using a third of the avocado per serving, using two rather than three tortillas, and cutting back on the Sriracha mayonnaise. By my estimation, I got it down to about 650 calories per serving, and I’ll be able to repurpose the tortillas and avocado for future meals.

Dish 3: Shakshuka with Roasted Eggplant, Bell Peppers, and Feta

March 25, 2017 – The final meal in this Plated box was Shakshuka with Roasted Eggplant, Bell Peppers, and Feta, and I absolutely loved it. I tried to make something like it once before with only a vague understanding of what Shakshuka is, but mine paled in comparison. The eggs had a perfectly runny yolk, the eggplant picked up the flavor of the tomato sauce beautifully, it had a nice touch of spice, and it was fairly quick to make. I’ll definitely be making this again. My only issue was that the eggs were not included in the box, which is extra annoying because the eggs were the main protein for the dish. This service is also more expensive than most of the other services. I think it would have been a fine dish without the eggs, but I’m still of the mindset that if I’m using this as a service to keep me from having to shop, I don’t want to have to go out and buy a protein.
 
Some people have been asking about packaging so I’m including some pictures. With Plated, almost everything comes bundled together in a bag, but the bag is pretty high quality, so I have been reusing them for other things. The eggplant was in a separate zip-top bag (not pictured), which I was able to use to hold snacks for my trip. A lot of the containers are recyclable, but they did double package the tomato puree. They were pretty much on par with the other services.
 
I’m taking this week off to attend a conference in New Mexico, but I’ll be doing another Plated box in a week.
Food

Plated – Week 1 Summary

Ease/clarity of recipes: 9/10
Taste: 10/10
Variety: 10/10
Quality: 10/10

How many recipes would I make again? 3/3

Verdict:

Everything was delicious, easy to make, and for the most part, quite quick to prepare.  Plated makes it very easy to customize the box, and they have a pretty good selection to choose from.  The meals were much more globally inspired than the other services.  I could easily see myself incorporating these dishes into my regular rotation.  The fish was great quality, and they even made tilapia palatable to me, which is a bit of a feat.  The only gripe I have is that they did not supply the eggs for the Shakshuka.

I also appreciate that you can customize how many meals and dishes you can get in each box.  I’m going to take advantage of that and order only two dishes when I return from my trip.  Plated offers the option of including a dessert in box, so I’m going to get a dessert in the next box.

 

Overall rating: A

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