Every time I visit New York, I’m exposed to some new fun product or service that I desperately want to try. Unfortunately, the majority of these “new fangled” indulgences are’t available in Smalltown.
Until now, that is.
On a recent trip to Brooklyn, I was introduced to the concept of a recipe delivery service. Essentially, the vendor delivers a perfectly portioned amount of fresh ingredients, and accompanying instructions for a gourmet meal. It seemed to be the best of both worlds — the convenience of avoiding the grocery store and the comforts of a home cooked dinner. But surely, such a service wouldn’t be available in my rural little corner of Minnesota, right?
A few weeks ago, a Facebook advertisement for Plated caught my eye. They claimed to deliver fresh ingredients to 80% of the Continental U.S. — could Smalltown possibly be part of that 80%?
I hastily entered my zip code, delighted to see that my address was eligible for delivery. I quickly signed up, ordered two different meals, and texted Scott with the exciting news.
“No. That’s sacrilegious.”
Apparently, this food snob skeptic was going to need some serious convincing in regards to my latest culinary endeavor. I crossed my fingers, hoping the recipes I’d selected would change his mind.
The meals were delivered a few days later, right on schedule.
The packaging was great, and the ingredients (which included fresh seafood) were in tact and perfectly chilled. I placed the goods in the refrigerator, anxious to prepare my first Plated meal with Scott later that evening.
The only problem? Scott was having no part of the prep work. I believe his exact words were, “This was you’re idea–you deal with it.”
My husband–who is practically a self-trained chef–cooks the vast majority of the meals in our household. My lack of experience (and fear of cooking fresh prawns) had me incredibly nervous. But my supper certainly wasn’t going to cook itself. I took a deep breath, turned on the stove, and pulled out my very best skillet. It was go time.
Forty minutes later, I was plating my finished Southwestern Gulf Shrimp with Leeks and Asparagus. The craziest part? It actually looked good.
The really crazy part? It tasted good, too! Even Scott complimented my efforts. I couldn’t believe it! Surely this was a fluke, and my next recipe would end in disaster.
But it didn’t! I’d say the Soy Glazed Pollock with Pea Shoots and Miso Mashed Potatoes was even tastier than the shrimp.
The moment Scott asked me, “So how much would it cost to do this on a regular basis?”, I knew I’d achieved success. I’ve since ordered two more meals, and can’t wait to give them a taste.
Thinking about trying Plated? Here why I’m loving it:
- A variety of meals to pick from on the menu each week. There are always meat, seafood and vegetarian options.
- Nutritional info is clearly posted.
- The food is tasty.
- Instructions are clear and easy to follow. I also feel like I’m learning new skills!
- Portions are great. Scott eats a little more than I do, and the both of us are always satisfied after we’re done. Sometime’s we even have leftovers.
- Saves SO MUCH TIME since you don’t have to plan and go to the grocery store. All you need from your own pantry is salt, pepper and olive oil. Plated handles the rest.
- Just the right amount of ingredients. I can’t tell you how many times we buy waaaay too much food and end up wasting it by not using or eating all of it. With Plated, nothing goes wasted or unused.
- You can pick your delivery date so you know exactly when stuff is coming.
- The packaging is recyclable and biodegradable.
- Food is seasonable, locally sourced and sustainable whenever possible. Plated purchases meats from family owned purveyors and partners with Sea to Table to ensure seafood is wild-caught whenever possible.
- Plated donates all extra ingredients to local food banks.
- There’s no monthly minimum.
- It’s a great way to try new foods and recipes.
- Preparing the food is actually…well…fun.
The only con? Plated is a tad bit pricey…but I honestly believe it’s worth the investment. You can purchase meals a la carte at $15 per plate, or sign up for an affordable monthly or yearly membership and score meals at just $12 a plate. They also have an awesome referral program where you can earn free plates by sharing Plated with others. (Full disclosure– all the links in this post are referral links, so if you order something, I get a little boost of credit.) I believe Scott and I are spending less with Plated due to fewer wasted ingredients, less trips to the supermarket and reduced urges to eat out as “we don’t have any food at home”.
Want to give Plated a whirl? You can learn more about it here.
Anyone else using Plated, or a similar service? Have you had your culinary ego inflated as much as I have?
(Here’s hoping it doesn’t deflate too much when I –gulp–make my first attempt at risotto this week.)
Note: This is not a sponsored post — Plated doesn’t even know I’m writing it. I’ve simply enjoyed their services and wanted to spread the word!