Plated Subscription Box Review + Coupon – February 2018
Plated is a weekly meal kit delivery subscription that delivers you pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to help you make chef-designed recipes at home. They offer different weekly menus and randomly pick recipes for you based on preferences you submit when you sign up. If you’d rather pick your own recipes from the weekly menu, it’s easy to hop in and change your order on their website or their handy-dandy app.
Plated is committed to using sustainably sourced seafood, seasonal produce, and meat that’s free from antibiotics and added hormones. Like most meal kits, Plated won’t include standard pantry items (think salt, pepper, olive oil). They will, however, email you to let you know what pantry items you should have on hand for that week’s box. Prep time and dietary details are listed in each recipe. And if you love a recipe, you can rate it and download a digital recipe card via your online account. (Highly rated recipes sometimes come back as “Encore” recipes for you to order again, so don’t forget to leave your star rating each week!)
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Each box comes insulated and filled with ice packs.
This review is for the 2 recipes (4 plates) plan, which cost $48.00 per week (+ $6.00 shipping). I chose the vegetarian option.
The Subscription Box: Plated
The Cost: Recipes begin at $12.00 per plate:
- 2 recipes (4 plates)= $47.80 per week (+ $6.00 shipping)
- 3 recipes (6 plates)= $59.70 per week (+ $6.00 shipping)
- 4 recipes (8 total plates)= $79.60 per week (with free shipping)
- Dessert costs $4.00 per serving (available after your first order)
LIMITED TIME DEAL: Now through 3/31, save 25% off your first 4 weeks of Plated with any subscription plan (up to a $159.20 value)
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 U.S. (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.)
Good to know: Plated was recently purchased by Albertsons.
Plated February 2018 Review
Plated sends each meal’s ingredients mostly packaged together in a singular plastic bag, but larger items (like the dinosaur kale, Swiss chard, and package of gnocchi) get their own plastic wrapping. Each individually wrapped item is marked with the meal it belongs to so you can organize them in your refrigerator upon unpacking. Super appreciated in keep an often chaotic fridge tidy!
Kale and Sweet Potato Salad with Glazed Walnuts and Tahini-Miso Dressing
Calories per Serving: 730
Total Prep and Cook Time (listed): 30-40 minutes
Actual Time to Cook: 35 minutes
Plated recipe cards come with a short description on the front and include the estimated prep and cook time and the calories per serving. On the opposite side, you’ll find an ingredients list, what you’ll need from your kitchen (additional staple ingredients, like olive oil, as well as tools), and recipe tips. Directions are straightforward and each step comes with an accompanying photo. After a quick glance-over, this recipe appeared to have several unique components to prepare that would be layered in the end.
After preheating my oven to 425 degrees, I began this recipe by rinsing and trimming my dinosaur kale. Its stems were thick, and the rough ends were discarded.
I also cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch “dice” and halved my lemons. The sweet potato and kale make up the bulk of this salad.
One can of chickpeas was included with this box. After draining and rinsing the can, I patted the chickpeas dry between two paper towels. The ‘recipe tips’ section of the recipe card informed me that in order for them to properly crisp in the oven, they must be extra dry. Otherwise, they’ll simply steam.
I added the small packet of dried cranberries to a bowl with the juice of 1/2 of a lemon in order to rehydrate them.
Next up, the roasting! I got out two baking sheets. On one of them, I and tossed the chickpeas with 1/2 of the spice blend packet, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
The other baking sheet was reserved for the sweet potatoes and the same seasoning (utilizing the other half of the spice blend). I needed a little more olive oil here than the called-for 1 1/2 tablespoons to coat both potatoes, though. Each sheet stayed in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the veggies were golden and crisp.
Meanwhile, while the roasting went down: dressing. Here’s where I ran into some trouble, so bear with me! Upon opening the bag with all of this recipe’s ingredients, I found that the small plastic container of tahini had been punctured in transit. It leaked all over my other ingredients, but it’s nothing that some quick rinsing and drying couldn’t fix. I did, however, send my husband to the grocery store for a $10 jar of tahini to replace the lost 2 tablespoons, and that was quite the ordeal. A little disappointed in the extra money spent, I decided to contact the Plated team. A customer service rep replied to my email almost immediately. He refunded me the cost of the replacement tahini, and then some! Very impressed.
Now, back to the dressing preparation in question. I whisked the tahini, miso paste, juice of the rest of the lemons, salt, pepper, and a little bit of warm water in a bowl. I wound up adding an extra tablespoon of water in order to loosen the consistency up even more.
This thick and tangy dressing was then tossed with the kale pieces and cabbage shreds to create the base of my salad. You can even massage it into the leaves a bit to aid in breaking down their fibers.
The final finishing touch: glazed walnuts for some sweetness! Over high heat, I added 1 teaspoon of olive oil to my pan. I then stirred in the small packet of brown sugar once the oil was simmering. It dissolved pretty quickly with the heat.
Next, I incorporated the walnut pieces and stirred for an additional minute. The mixture was removed from heat, and I then stirred in the sesame seeds and transferred the glazed nuts to a cool plate to set.
Once cooled, the sugar formed a hard coating around the nuts. Candied walnut clusters!
Here’s what my chickpeas looked like after 20 minutes or so of roasting. Honestly, I should have kept them in longer for a crisper outer shell, but they were already mixed into the salad by the time I realized my mistake.
The potato pieces, on the other hand, were totally perfect!
The end result was a beautifully composed salad that hit on all the right flavors: salty, sweet, zesty, nutty, and fresh. The dressed kale was the base of each plate, and it was topped with the roasted sweet potato, crispy chickpeas, and glazed walnuts. The sour, juicy cranberries were sprinkled on top. With the crunch of the nuts and chickpeas and the earthy, chewiness of the roasted veggies, this dish’s textural elements were on point as well!
So pretty! With a few minor tweaks (more time in the oven for the chickpeas and bit more lemon in the dressing), I’d create this easy dish again and again. I’d imagine that it would also be great with veggie alternatives like brussels sprouts or cauliflower. Really, the tahini and miso are what make it such a standout.
Creamy Beet Gnocchi with Swiss Chard and Sage-Toasted Walnuts
Calories per Serving: 770
Total Prep and Cook Time (listed): 30-40 minutes
Actual Time to Cook: 40 minutes
When I selected this meal, I have to admit that I sort of immediately regretted it. Why’s that? I am obsessed with beets, but I was scared that the gnocchi would require, like… actual pasta-making technique. VERY thrilled to have found that the gnocchi came pre-made. I should have known! Pasta-making now strikes me as being much too advanced for most meal subscription boxes, but, hey, you never know.
I should also note that I photographed the ingredients above inaccurately! The dinosaur kale belonged with the kale salad that I just went over. It should have been Swiss chard instead. I just accidentally swapped in the wrong package of greens for the photo.
I prepared the ingredients by peeling the beets and cutting them into 1/4 inch dice. I had never worked with raw beets before this recipe, but it actually wasn’t difficult. Jut very… red and juicy. After putting a large pot of water over high heat to boil, I cut my Swiss chard into ribbons, roughly chopped the sage leaves and walnuts, and minced the shallot and garlic.
Once boiling, I added the diced beet to the water pot. This is where things get a little weird, but more on that later.
I then sautéed the aromatics in a bit of simmering olive oil. The shallot and garlic were added first, and then the sage and walnuts were stirred in to toast. Sage has such a wonderful scent when it’s heated — ahh, like Thanksgiving!
The Swiss chard stems (those are kept separate from the leaves) are then added to a hot pan with the walnuts and cooked for a few minutes. You want to tenderize the stems here, so I’d suggest taking your time with this step. My chard stems wound up being a bit tough for my taste. The leaves were then added along with salt and pepper to season. Much like spinach or kale, the Swiss chard cooks down quickly. I added it to the pan one handful at a time so that the pan could accommodate the volume of greens as they wilted.
Next up: gnocchi! This is where I was a bit thrown off. The recipe states “leaving beets in pot, season boiling water generously with salt. Add gnocchi and peas and gently stir to keep gnocchi from sticking together.” After allowing the gnocchi to cook in the same pot of water that cooked the beets, as noted, the pasta was pretty red. Okay, really red. Which wouldn’t be an issue, but the featured photo of the final dish on the recipe card as well as the thumbnail images on the step-by-step side show the gnocchi as pretty standard-colored and definitely not tinted red. I’m not sure if I misunderstood something here, but, the way that I followed the instructions, I’m not sure how you could not end up with red gnocchi.
I reserved one cup of the cooking water (it’s definitely beet-tinged in the recipe card photo!) to finish the dish with, after draining the pot’s contents.
The gnocchi, beets, and peas were added to the pan with the Swiss chard.
To finish the dish, I stirred in butter and half the parmesan. The beet/pasta cooking water was added gradually and created a creamy sauce that clung to the crevices of the gnocchi. I seasoned with salt and pepper, and began to plate my very pink dish!
I think that the bright gnocchi ended up looking quite beautiful against this blue plate! It was garnished with pea shoots and more cheese for even more pretty, colorful contrast.
Even though the pink hue was slightly alarming, this dish was SUPER tasty. The freshness of the pea shoots cut through the richness of the sauce — a sauce that was incredibly earthy (sage and root veggies, for the win!). Delicious.
Verdict: I’m adoring Plated so far! Compared to my experience with other meal subscription boxes, this one seems to be slightly more involved in its steps. But… SO worth it! These dishes are consistently top-notch. The extra few ingredients really create a more complex and balanced dish in the end, and it’s fun to tag team each meal’s prep with my husband. Added bonus: I was impressed with Plated’s customer service, and I love that they handled the tahini mishap so seamlessly.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. The Plated menus change weekly and you need to lock in orders before shipments go out.
Coupon – Now through 3/31, save 25% off your first 4 weeks of Plated with any subscription plan (up to a $159.20 value)
Value Breakdown: This box cost $48.00 + $6.00 shipping, which is $13.50 per meal.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Would you eat the meals I cooked from Plated this week?