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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Plated

This past week, we tried out plated for the first time and we were not disappointed!


The idea behind plated is chef-driven recipes that you can cook at home. It's a meal delivery subscription service whereby you choose a certain number of meals per week (as well as how many plates of each you'd like) and the company will send you a box of ingredients, along with detailed recipes for you to follow to create your culinary masterpiece.

Being an avid recipe follower myself, I loved the concept as it meant I could make more complicated sounding meals using ingredients I wasn't accustomed to with easy-to-follow, tested recipes that would ensure the meal came out exactly as intended.

The box arrived on Tuesday, with all of the ingredients packed in ice in individual bags for each meal. They try their best to use recyclable content in their boxes and bags and all of the food is the good stuff - hormone and anti-biotic free poultry and meat, sustainable seafood and fresh produce.

I particularly liked how every ingredient was labeled with the meal it was meant for:



They publish the upcoming weeks' menus on their website a few weeks in advance and you can choose Tuesday or Friday, weekly or bi-weekly delivery and can skip a week anytime you'd like.

For our first plated experience, we tried the following:
Crispy Lemongrass Pork and Long Life Noodles in Sriracha Chicken Broth
A comforting bowl of ramen-type noodles, tender ground pork and crispy vegetables, this is one I'd re-order if I ever saw it on the plated menu again. The squeeze of lime over the dish before serving really brought out the flavors and added an extra element of tastiness (side note, I firmly believe that a generous squeeze of citrus, usually lemon, enhances basically any meal). Bonus points for being incredibly easy to pull together - I made this while the kids were still awake and all Grant had to do was throw the noodles into the pot for a couple minutes while I was finishing putting Hayes down.

Skate Wing Schnitzel, Caramelized Vegetables and Purple Potato Chips
 I've never cooked with skate wing or fennel before, nor had I ever attempted homemade potato chips (so easy!). The fish was delicate and flaky, the green sauce on top, consisting of olive oil, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, thyme and parsley was, as Grant put it, "the jam" and the purple potato chips, which I feared would be dry and tasteless were pretty amazing, their saltiness complementing the sweetness of the caramelized vegetables. I will definitely re-create this starchy side again and plan on using the same breading technique with other fish (can't say I've seen skate wing at the grocery store on too many occasions). And we will 100% make the delicious sauce again, which I imagine would be good on fish, chicken or steak. I think this was my favorite plated meal - although it was for-sure the most time consuming to make.

Baked Gnocchi with Tomato, Mozzarella and Spring Salad  
This one was surprisingly our least favorite of the three, even though it sounded so darn yummy. The gnocchi pillows were tasty, but there wasn't enough cheese and way too much tomato. The acidity of the sauce should have been cut a little with the addition of some brown sugar (one of the secrets to Mama Mailloux's bolognese sauce - shhh!) and the same went for the accompanying spring salad - the dressing was too tart and could have used some maple syrup (we even added sweet dates and it was still meh). Don't get me wrong, the two of us finished the entire pan of pasta, but it wasn't really anything to write home about.

Portions for two people were just enough for Grant and myself, but sadly didn't garner any leftovers for the boys, who usually eat whatever we've had the night before for dinner the next day.

I would definitely order another round of plated dishes and am keeping my eye on the menus for the upcoming weeks. I think it's a great way to be a little more experimental in the kitchen in a way that isn't expensive or time-consuming and can easily complement your week's menu for around the same price as your usual groceries.

If you're interested in trying it out, grab your first box through my link - you get two plates for free and so do I, so everyone wins!

https://www.plated.com/invites/a9222c

Bon Appetit!


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