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I’m writing a 4-Part Blog Series on our experiences and reviews of three (3) Meal Delivery Services : Reviews and Pictures of each service, in order in which we used them. We attempted to use each service for two weeks.
Blue Apron    :    Plated    :    HelloFresh
I will complete the series with a recommendation of our preferred service!! Basically, the Winner!

Thanks for joining me and my family on this culinary journey!



The Back Story
I saw the ‘Sponsored’ offer floating around Facebook and decided to try Plated next! The Offer was for $40 off a week’s delivery!

Now, I can offer YOU two (2) Free Plates with your first week.
Just Click Here!

The Details
Plated offers a minimum of four (4) ‘plates’ per week…in other words, 2 meals for 2 people. This can be increased all the way to six (6) plates per meal/recipe.
We used our plates for either Lunch or Dinner depending on the meal and our interests for the day.
This is a gourmet delivery service, there is no presumption of time to prepare, as it’s about the experience.
Plates range from $12-$24 per plate, depending on how fancy and ingredient heavy the recipe is! Shipping is included, however that’s a range of $24-$96 for the minimum of four (4) plates.
To compare apples to apples, I’ll use the base price, so six (6) total plates will be…$72.00 per week!

The Pros
~ Fresh ingredients, including hormone free meat and sustainable seafood.
~ Beautiful Recipe cards with pictures of completed dishes. Includes a little history of the dish and are reusable!
~ One can choose Vegetarian plates, which are typically always base price.
~ True to listed prep time…within about 10mins. So I knew what to expect.
~ Can edit your ‘Taste Profile’ to include or exclude plates containing :
Beef, Poultry, Vegetarian, Lamb, Pork, Fish, Seafood.
~ Delivery options allow for weekly or every other week/fortnightly shipments.
~ Delivery was on Wednesday! (earlier in the week than Blue Apron offered.)
~ Nutritional Facts, including allergen ingredients, on each meal’s ingredient bag.
~ I enjoyed that each ingredient was label with the meal title it joins with!
~ Leftovers! (we had a large meal and were able to eat leftover next day for lunch.)

The Cons
~ Packaging Waste…sorry but this makes me cringe. Though I was able to pass along the cold packs and foiled bubble wrap to local fisherman and such.
~ Ingredient waste…in our first recipe (Ribollita) directions actually read, “Peel red onion and thinly slice 1/2, discarding remainder.” (Discard remainder!? Surely, there are other uses for a whole half of a red onion!)
~ The ‘Taste Profile’ is limited and only offers the opportunity to select main entree types : Poultry, Fish, Vegetarian, Lamb, Beef, Shellfish, Pork.
We do have a few restrictions…some Gluten-Free, some Spices, and some Seafood.
~ Ordering! UGH! Really!? It was not as straight forward at BlueApron, in which they simply picked 3 meals for you and if you made no modifications then they would send those 3 meals! At Plated, you have to go in and pick your meals (they do not auto-select for you) and then you must ‘check out’ in order for those meals to be delivered. Of course, my first week I didn’t understand this and upon calling on ‘drop day’ to ask if it was going to ship or not, they simply told me that I wouldn’t be getting my box that week (2nd week). UGH! I was left in a lurch, because BlueApron couldn’t pick up the slack that late in the week…so, I just went to the market myself! HA! No big deal, of course! But, of course, it was annoying.

The Goods
Week 1, First Meal :
Tuscan Ribollita Stew with White Beans and Toast
40 Minutes
Not Gluten-Free

Plated Ribolitta StewThis was a nice way to make a gourmet soup. I loved the white bean and kale ingredients. I enjoyed the final preparation of broiling with sliced red onion and added cheese.
This was yummy and offered us leftovers!

Plated Soup Spoons

Miso Hungry…Indeed! Soup Nazi…because…Seinfeld fan here!

Modifications : Added Mozzarella atop.

PLUS…I was stoked we got to use our custom Soup Spoons, created by my friends at Colette’s Lemon Tree!
I’m mean these soup spoons are too funny…and I love the juxtaposition of having these sayings on Granny’s Silverware. 🙂

Week 1, Second Meal :
Sesame Ginger Wild Salmon and Tatsoi in Miso Broth
35 Minutes

Plated Wild Salmon MisoI’d never prepared miso before and was stoked to use this as an ingredient. It turned out lovely, fun to have potatoes and tatsoi (greens) in this dish.
This made me unafraid to begin using miso on my own…in my own soup creations!
I’ve recently learned, that since Miso has great probiotic benefits, to add it last so as to retain most of that benefit and not heat up the probiotics too much, too long. (Wanted to pass that little nugget of info on to you!)

Modifications : Added Garlic and extra Sesame Oil

Week 1, Third Meal :
Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken with Carrots and Dates
Minutes (and marinate time)

Plated Chicken RoastFor some reason, I kept putting off making this third meal.
I liked what Plated was offering, but it wasn’t super duper overly wow’ed by the the supposed gourmet-ness of it all. So, I lost interest with a simple roast chicken dish…by the time I went to it a few days later, chicken when bad, of course, that was, actually, my bad to begin with!
So, we brought home some Chicken Thighs instead and set out to prepare the dish. I liked the marinade, it was yummy, and the addition of dates was a novel approach.

Modifications : Bought Chicken Thighs to use.

Week 2, First Meal :
…No second week!
I just couldn’t get motivated enough to move forward with Plated.
(Couldn’t be bothered!)

I guess this mean you’ll figure out that Plated was not the winner, but stay tuned there is one more service! And then a Winner will be announced!
Hello Fresh
If you don’t want to wait around for posts…
You can get $40 off your first order with Code : YVHN87
If you do, let me know what YOU think! 🙂

Overall Impression
Good, I can see the potential for lovely, gourmet meals. But the cost compared to other services and the pain of ordering squelch my interest in using Plated.

I love how they have the nutrition facts for each meal presented on the bag that contains each meals ingredients!

Plated Nutrition Facts

Be sure to check back this week…I’ll be posting parts 3, and 4 every couple days! Next up…Hello Fresh review!

Oh my gosh...could soy sauce get any cuter!? :)

Oh my gosh…could soy sauce get any cuter!? 🙂

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