Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Plated Box Review

     Hey y'all, I'm back!!!  I've been away spending some time trying to decide what diet category I fit into.  I didn't feel good about writing a completely vegan blog when I had switched from eating a totally vegan diet.  Lately I've been eating a mainly pescetarian diet and have been really comfortable with that.  I still eat a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes, I just throw some fish in every once in a while.  

     So, lets get to it. I have I have recently signed up for a few subscriptions to home ingredient delivery services.  They include Plated, Home Chef and Hello Fresh.  What all of these services have in common is that they deliver fresh ingredients and recipes to your door every week with the option of how many servings per recipe and how many dishes you order.  All you need beyond cookware is a cooking oil & S&P.

   This week I received my fist box from Plated and was very impressed.  Every recipe I made was really tasty and I would totally make again.  From their menu selection I chose a miso rice bowl with roasted red fish and fried parsley (pescetarian), creamy orzo with roasted mushrooms and spinach (vegetarian), and tofu, cashew and snow pea stir-fry (vegan).  The ingredients come seperated by recipe and pre measured so there is very little prep work to do.  Also, the quality of ingredients was excellent. I appreciated that the fish came with a little card telling me where it came from and that the company uses sustainable practices, the tofu was gmo-free and organic.  Those are things that makes this lady happy.

The box comes well packaged, the fish was at a proper temperature, the vegetables as well.  I just transferred it all in the fridge until I was ready to cook.

     The first night I received my box I decided to go ahead and cook the fish dish because it was probably the most perishable of all the ingredients and I knew that the next night I wouldn't be cooking because of the SuperBowl.

The Miso Rice Bowl with Roasted Red Fish and Fried Parsley 

Let my start off by saying that I am in no way a fan of miso, miso soup, or miso related anything.  I wasn't sure about how I was going to receive the miso rice but surprisingly I couldn't get enough of it.  It was wonderfully paired with the roasted redfish and quick pickled cucumbers.   One of the things I liked best about the plated experience was learning new cooking techniques, life frying parsley.  I would have never thought that frying a herb could add so much flavor to a dish, but it really brought the entire dish together.  I will be experimenting more with fried herbs in the very near future.

The Creamy Orzo with Roasted Mushrooms and Spinach
(I wish I'd gotten a better picture of this dish, you can't tell how yummy it is by the photo below)

  The creamy orzo dish was really yummy, and reheated very well.  My only issue with it was there was way too much of it, I felt like the portion size was out of control.  

The Tofu, Cashew and Snow Pea Stir-Fry
(The tofu is missing from this pic, I had already started pressing it when I snapped this picture)

     My favorite dish was hands down the tofu stir-fry, it was heaviest on the veggies and the sauce was perfect....I just wish there was more of it(the sauce).  I did think the portion was too generous though, as with the creamy orzo.  I could have easily divided both of those meals into three portions.

     The people at Plated made the entire process super simple, grab the bag labeled for that recipe, the recipe card, read through the complete list of directions and then start cooking.  I found that the estimated cooking time was generally spot on. 
      I definitely saw more pros than cons with this service.  The pros being how easy it is to place your order, the convenience of the pre-measured ingredients being delivered right to your front door, the step by step (with pictures!!) detailed recipes that all ended by really good.  The few cons I noticed were the higher calories of some of the dishes, the distorted portion sizes and the amount of trash the box generated.  I threw away at minimum 15 plastic bags, plastic wrapped foam plus plastic bottles and plastic cups with lids.  I reused what I could and what I couldn't I composted, including the box and some packaging materials labeled compostable.    Overall I was more than satisfied with the quality and attention to detail that Plated served up.  I will definitely be ordering more boxes in the future, I just hope they find a way to be more environmentally conscious about their packaging.

Check back next week for my review on the Home Chef box I received this week!

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