My interest in Plated started when I saw a review by a fellow subscription box blogger. I was super sad that Plated wasn’t shipping to my area. But, then I found out Plated was doing a Beta Test in the midwest and offered to send me two plates to try it out. Needless to say, I was beyond excited!
(Learn more about how plated works here. Want to get Plated? Want to receive two plates free? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll hook you up with the information you need to be a part of the Midwest Beta test!)
I ordered four plates total, two of the Skirt Steak and two of the Chicken and Chorizo Paella. My box arrived on time, which I was a little surprised about. When a company says, “Yes we will have your box to you on such a such date…” I’m always a little wary. Especially, when a company is shipping to a new area. But, lo and behold, the box showed up on my doorstep right on time.
Overall, I was happy with the packaging. Everything was protected in separate bags, and I was happy to see the meat and other refrigerated items in their own separate bag completely. And, they had a ton of those Coolit Refrigerants in it, so I felt confident everything was kept nice and cold. I also appreciated the meat being vacuum sealed, so I didn’t have to worry about cross contamination. The fresh ingredients for each meal were also in their own green bag, and I just put everything in the fridge like that.
Plated says the ingredients are good for up to a week. And, while I was so excited to use the recipes, it was a BUSY week. I actually didn’t get to make this first recipe until days later.
So, I started with the Skirt Steak. When I opened up the ingredients, I was really impressed with the produce quality. Everything seemed fresh and ready to go.
I did some improvising with the ingredients and instructions. The recipe said to use an entire small onion for the salsa, and I felt the onion included was a little too big for that, so I only used half. Also, the skirt steak came in a really long single piece. I wasn’t sure how to cook it that way, so I cut it in half. I didn’t have the suggested pan needed to cook it either. So, instead I broiled it to get those grill-like lines. The instructions also said to use chipotle chile powder, but it wasn’t on the “What You Need At Home” list or inside the box. I had regular chile powder in the house, so I used that instead. I probably should have looked at that list ahead of time… I got halfway through the recipe when I realized I needed olive oil and I didn’t have any. No vegetable oil either. I used water instead. Woops.
Preparing the meal, I thought the instructions were very easy to follow and were set up in a way that made timing the meal easy. My hubby had to leave the house at 6:00 and didn’t get home from work until 5:30. I was so scared I wasn’t going to have it ready in time for him to eat, but I actually had it done ahead of time and ended up digging into the meal without him!
My favorite part was the salsa! This is a recipe I’ll definitely use again, because I really enjoyed the flavor. I ate it up with the skirt steak and some tortilla chips. The potatoes were good too, and I gotta say… I’ve never tossed potatoes in a lime-chile powder dressing before. I didn’t think there was anything special about the skirt steak, though I’ve never made it before and am not really familiar with it.
I was worried my hubby wouldn’t like the salsa, because he’s not big on raw onion. But, he said it was all really tasty, and he particularly enjoyed the skirt steak. Even the animals seemed interested. Edgar and Charly were really hoping we wouldn’t like it.
The portions were spot on. We had enough skirt steak and potatoes for two people and only had leftovers of the salsa, which I am definitely okay with! I still have plenty of tortilla chips.
In terms of the value… While you could probably buy these ingredients in bulk for cheaper, there’s something to be said about having exactly what you need to create a meal without waste. I know when there’s a recipe I want to try, I inevitably end up with leftover ingredients I don’t know what to do with.But let’s look at some numbers, shall we?
The following is a list of items included in the box for this meal and the average food cost for each
- 3/4 lb red potatoes ($0.90)
- 10 oz. skirt steak ($3.74)
- 2 limes ($1.00)
- poblano pepper ($0.89)
- small red onion ($1.20)
- 1 cup corn ($1.25)
- 1/2 cup of black beans ($0.65)
So, in terms of ingredients you’re getting $9.63 in food. Sure, that’s not the $28-30 you spent for the meal, but what about the cost of gas? Time at the store? The recipes? Premeasured quantities? Food showing up on your doorstep with free shipping? How much is all that convenience worth to you? Really, it depends on who you are. My mom who lives in a third-floor apartment loves the idea of not having to carry up groceries or worry about going to the store after a long day. To her, it’s worth it. But, if you like grocery shopping and getting the most meals out of what you spend at the store, you may not think it’s worth it. For me, I think it’s a great option for special occasions, Sunday dinners or even a diner party.
I’ve got another set of meals to prepare from this week’s menu. Plated says their ingredients are good for a week, and I’m really pushing it. I may not be able to cook the next one until Monday.
Anyone else try Plated this week? Want to receive two plates free? Email me at email@example.com and I’ll hook you up with the information you need to be a part of the Midwest Beta test! Give it a go and let me know what you think.
Disclosure: This product was received in exchange for a review as part of the Midwest Beta Test. All views in this post are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.