** UPDATE ** I was remiss when I did my review and forgot to inform you of a wonderful program Plated runs. Plated donates a pound of food to a local food bank for every week you subscribe! You get to enjoy amazing home-cooked, gourmet meals while also helping others. Win-Win!
Interested in trying Plated? Use this link to get 2 FREE PLATES :
(I apologize in advance that some of my photos seem to be skewed to the right. It has been happening quite a bit and I need to figure out why.)
Even though I did receive this free trial box from Plated, my opinions are not influenced by the free products and I would never recommend anything to anyone that I would not, myself, use or that I felt was not worth spending your money on.
On to the task at hand – discussing Plated!
I must admit when I was given the opportunity to review a box for Plated.com I was probably more excited than I’ve been for any other box I have either purchased for myself or received free for a blog review! This is somewhat odd because my idea of a gourmet meal DOES NOT involve cooking. It does involve hopping in our car and heading to a gourmet (or non gourmet) restaurant. In addition I don’t consider us to be foodies. That said we love to eat and love good food. Who doesn’t right? So, I have never been one of those folks who love to cook. I honestly wish I did and am sometimes jealous of those who seem to have been bitten by the “chef bug”. It’s not present in me and I’m not sure what it will take to bring it out, if even possible. I’m not really sure what it is about cooking that doesn’t appeal to me. I’m sure the trip to the grocery store is a huge part of it. It’s right up there with a trip to the dentist. Ok, a little exaggeration but, you get the idea. Then there’s chopping, dicing, measuring etc which is all a big pain in my rear end. And I hate buying those “odd” ingredients for a special recipe, ingredients I’m unlikely to use faster than the expiration date but are needed to prepare the meal.
So, a little bit about us. I guess since we are networking nerds, professionals and (somewhat) young we could be considered Yuppies. However, the urban part of the Yuppies term does not fit us. In fact, we are very happy in our smallish rural town and the 5 acres we call home. We both work for the same networking equipment company and most of the folks we work with are urban. We tell colleagues where we live and they look at us funny. The kind of look that says they think we might as well relocate to the moon! So part Yuppie, part rural does make for an interesting combination. It also means that accessibility to gourmet food is limited without a trip to some city. I was actually talking to a friend about that a few weeks ago. I love almost every ethnic food out there and enjoy going into a city because you can actually get a meal that will suit just about any mood you’re in. I wouldn’t change where we live for anything. I do prefer the quiet and don’t mind a trip into the city from time to time.
So enter Plated.com. I can prepare delicious gourmet foods without the hassle of grocery shopping, dicing, chopping, measuring or a trip to the city. I’m already liking the concept. I will admit it isn’t necessarily cheap. But, then again, what gourmet food is? Truthfully the per meal price is pretty on par with what I’d expect to spend at a local, non-gourmet restaurant. So, I’m good with their pricing model (Hoping to get a discount code I can pass on to my followers). All that said, I wouldn’t get every nightly meal through Plated. But it would sure be nice to prepare a delicious meal for me and my hubby every so often especially those nights when we’re hungry, don’t feel like going out and our only options are the 1 pizza house and 1 Chinese restaurant that actually deliver to us.
As I was writing this my box arrived! I truly felt like a kid at Christmas. My hubby did too. I get a lot of boxes and this is the 1st one he put down his work to come see :). I will show a few preview photos before jumping into the review. But I did want to tell you that, as soon as I opened the box, I smelled the most amazing aromas! My husband said “Wow, it smells so fresh!”. Believe me, IT DID! I wish my blog had smellvision so you all can smell what we did.
Here is what the box looks like when we got it. It arrived via overnight shipping and was well packed with cold packs – great given all the perishable food products. I put the 22oz. candle in the picture so you can see how HUGE this box is.
That was the outside. Here is how jam packed with goodness the inside was:
When I ordered my box, I chose Braised Chicken with Cardamon, Fennel and Orange over Pappardelle. They actually sent me a second recipe – quite the unexpected surprise and I’ll give details of that below.
They put all the items for each recipe in a separate bag so everything you need for that meal are easy to get to and use. They also send a durable recipe card with ingredients on the front and instructions on the back. This 8.5″ x 11″ (approx.) card stock isn’t your mothers recipe card 😉
And here is the food for this recipe. EVERYTHING except water, olive oil and salt & pepper are included right down to the fresh Fennel, fresh pasta and all spices (a lot of which are organic ingredients).
My surprise recipe was Spice Rubbed Steak with Baby Carrots and Israeli Couscous. EVERYTHING except olive oil, butter and salt & pepper are included.
Here are the recipe cards:
And lastly, here are all the ingredients for the 2nd recipe. Seriously, check out those fresh carrots. How cool is that?
Overall, I am WOW’d by this box. That is actually an understatement. I can’t wait to try the 1st recipe tonight. As we prepare and taste each recipe I will let you all know what both me, and my hubby, think of them.
Right now the only negative, if you can call it that, I have about Plated is they ship to a limited portion of the country right now. They are a fairly new company so I understand them rolling it out slowly. Too many subscription box companies grow faster than they can keep up with and that only leads to disappointed customers.
Plated is set to soon branch out to Massachusetts and beyond. I can’t wait for that as so many people will love getting this box, I just know it.