Plated Subscription Box Review – October 6, 2015
Plated delivers a weekly box of pre-portioned fresh and seasonal ingredients, everything you need to cook their chef-designed recipes at home in your own kitchen. Each week, they offer a different menu, and you can select which dishes you’d like to make, how many plates of each dish you’d like to serve, and when you’d like to receive your delivery.
Three of the dishes offered on every menu are vegetarian. Plated also regularly rotates in vegan and dairy-free options. They’re committed to using sustainably sourced seafood, seasonal produce, and meat that’s free from antibiotics or added hormones.
Plated also makes it easy to pick recipes that best suit your culinary skill level and lifestyle. Each recipe is tagged with a difficulty level and clearly lists calorie content and prep time.
Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!
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The Subscription Box: Plated
The Cost: Recipes begin at $12 per plate. 2 recipes (4 plates)= $48 per week (+ $6 shipping). 3 recipes (6 plates)= $72 per week (with free shipping). 4 recipes (8 total plates)= $96 per week (with free shipping).
COUPON: Get 2 plates free when you buy 4, just use this link
The Products: All of the pre-portioned fresh and seasonal ingredients you need to make chef-designed recipes at home in your own kitchen.
Ships to: 95% of the US. (Currently, Plated does not ship to Hawaii and Alaska, and there are also a few cities in Texas, including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Midland, where they don’t yet ship.)
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Each week, Plated offers a different menu with at least 7 dishes to choose from. I selected Meatball Sliders, Hoisin Chicken Buns, and Truffle Poussin. I also added Chocolate Peppermint Patties for dessert!
When my box shipped, I received an email letting me know that I would need to have the following “pantry items” on hand: olive oil, black pepper, kosher salt, and an egg. The email also clearly listed the difficulty level, cooking time, and calorie information of my selected dishes.
As always, the box was packed with extreme care. Ingredients were bundled by recipe, and each item was in its own container.
The meats were sealed and packed at the bottom of the box, safely away from the produce and surrounded by cool packs.
Recipe #1- Saucy Meatball Sliders with Classic Caesar Salad
Calories Per Serving: 680
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
I started out my week of Plated meals with meatball sliders and Caesar salad.
When I unpacked my ingredients from the box, I was struck by the size of the buns Plated sent!
At over 4” in diameter, I think it’s safe to say that they’re bigger than traditional slider buns. (These from Williams Sonoma clock in at 2.5”.) Looking at the meat to bun ratio, I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough meat for all 6 sandwiches. So, I decided to make 4 sandwiches instead of the recommended 6 and save the extra buns.
To begin, I cleaned and prepared my ingredients.
I began by making the meatballs. I set a little bit of the meat aside for the sauce and combined the rest with ricotta, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of marinara, and an egg. I then divided it into 4 small-ish patties
Plated provided a jar of Nello’s Sauce for this recipe. Nello’s is new to me, so I had a look on their website and discovered that a 14 oz. jar of their marinara sauce retails for $10! Giant buns and expensive sauce? I’m reaping Plated’s bounty with this meal!
I broiled the meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet until they were cooked through, and then set them aside.
In a large pan, I cooked the remaining ground beef with the marinara sauce and then added the meatballs.
While the meatballs cooked for a bit longer in the sauce, I prepared the Caesar salad. I made the dressing by whisking together anchovy paste, mayonnaise, pecorino, lemon juice, and garlic paste.
I tossed the salad and assembled each sandwich on a toasted bun.
Despite my decision to only use 4 of the 6 buns, the sandwiches were still huge! Luckily, they were delicious, too. The sauce was rich, the meatballs were tender, and I loved the homemade Caesar dressing. It was delightfully tangy!
Meal #2- Hoisin Chicken Buns with Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Calories per Serving: 750
Cook Time: 30-40
The following day, I made Hoisin Chicken Buns.
I began by cleaning and chopping my produce.
I arranged the Brussels sprouts on a foil-lined baking sheet and put them in the oven to roast at 450. The recipe suggested cooking them for 15-18 minutes, but I figured they might take a bit longer since Plated sent the BIGGEST BRUSSELS SPROUTS I’VE EVER SEEN.
While the Brussels sprouts were cooking, I seared chicken breasts over medium-high heat until they were cooked through.
I then chopped it (the recipe called for it to be pulled, but I was feeling impatient and didn’t want to wait for the chicken to cool) and tossed it in a sauce made from hoisin, soy sauce, and rice wine.
I warmed the buns in foil pouch in the oven and then filled them with chicken and cucumbers. I tossed the Brussels sprouts in a dressing of fish sauce, sugar, grapeseed oil, and lime juice and plated them alongside the buns.
I’ve never made bao buns at home before, and I’m thrilled with how they turned out! The hoisin sauce was delicious, and I loved the addition of raw cucumber. (I already have plans to make a similar dish with hoisin duck and pickled cucumber.) The sprouts were a tasty and healthy side dish, though they were a little on the tough side (probably because of their large size).
Meal #3- Truffled Poussin with Celery Root-Apple Mash
Cook Time: 40-50
If you regularly read my food reviews, you probably know that I can never say no to truffles. So, when I saw that Plated was offering this dish as part of their Chef’s Table series, I couldn’t resist!
“Chef’s Table” dishes are more expensive than Plated’s regular offerings, and the dishes feature specialty cuts of meat and market priced seafood. So far, I’ve seen these recipes contain proteins like ribeye steak, scallops, shrimp, and short ribs and the prices range from $18 up to $26 per plate.
Unfortunately, I neglected to make a note of this dish’s price when I ordered (and I can’t find it listed anywhere in my account or email), but I believe it was $18 per plate. (Plated’s regular offerings are $12 per plate.)
I began by butchering the poussin. This dish carried a “challenging” rating, and I believe it’s mostly because of this step. Breaking down poultry isn’t hard, but it can be confusing without clear instructions. Just to make sure I was doing it properly, I looked up a YouTube tutorial.
After I finished halving the poussin, I rubbed truffle butter under the skin and seasoned the bird with pepper and truffle salt.
I then prepared my vegetables.
I arranged the poussin on a baking sheet with onions and mushroom, seasoned the vegetables, drizzled over some olive oil, and roasted everything in the oven at 425 for approximately 20 minutes.
While the poussin was in the oven, I prepared the mash.
I began by boiling celery root, potato, and apple slices in a mixture of stock and water until they softened.
I then strained the veggies, added milk and butter, and mashed them with a fork.
When the chicken was cooked through, I broiled it for a few minutes to crisp the skin and then plated it on top of the mash.
This dish was incredible. The truffle butter and salt provided a nice, subtle earthiness that paired really well with the roasted mushrooms, and the poussin was tender and flavorful. I’ve never made a mash from multiple vegetables before, but I loved the combination of flavors. In particular, the addition of apple added a lovely touch of sweetness. I really loved this dish, and I appreciate how it incorporated seasonal ingredients. Also, I should mention that the recipe yielded a lot of food. We filled our bellies and still had plenty of leftovers for the following day.
Dessert- Chocolate Peppermint Patties
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
It’s been awhile since I added on a Plated dessert, so I thought I’d give the Chocolate Peppermint Patties a try.
I began my making the peppermint filling. I melted butter in the microwave and then stirred in powdered sugar, heavy cream, and peppermint extract. I rolled the filling into a log, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and let it chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
While the filling set up in the freezer, I melted the chocolate couverture and set it aside.
When the filling was ready, I sliced it into discs and dipped each one in the chocolate.
I placed them on a baking sheet and let them set up in the fridge for another 5 minutes.
We enjoyed these with a cup of coffee after our poussin, and it was a nice, light way to finish the meal.
Plated desserts cost $4 per serving, and, while I’m not sure this particular dessert offers a great value, I had a lot of fun making the peppermint patties. They were tasty, too, with just the right level of peppermint flavor.
Verdict: Plated has been on a roll lately, and this box was another standout. All of the meals I picked were delicious, and the Truffled Poussin was outstanding. The cost per dish is about what I’d spend if I went shopping for ingredients at Whole Foods, and, considering the recipes and convenience factor, I’m happy with the value Plated offers. If you enjoy cooking at home, I would definitely recommend giving Plated a try.
Do you subscribe to Plated? If so, which Plated meals did you choose?