A Sophisticated, albeit Lazy (Wom)Man’s Guide to Dinner: Plated

Recipes

 

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Full disclosure: I’m obsessed with Shark Tank. So when I saw the gourmet delivery service, Plated on my favorite entrepreneurial show, I was instantly into it. While some of my favorite billionaires may have disagreed, Plated presented a fun, scrumptious activity. And really, anything involving food automatically inspires my heart.

Plated targets single professionals and dual income households by delivering gourmet, fresh food directly to your door. The meals come perfectly portioned, with super fresh ingredients on either Saturdays or Wednesdays and allow you to whip up gourmet dinner entrees in under 30 minutes.

The Clicking

Initially, I was drawn to Plated because of the fun ingredients. While I cook, I don’t venture as far out of my realm as dandelion greens and short ribs on a Tuesday night after a beyond busy day. Signing up was easy; I opted for the membership at $10 a month, with $12 per plate meals. They’re $15 a-la-carte and come in minimums of two.

There are vegetarian options, fish, and meat – adoringly titled Land, Sea, and Veggie. I opted for the swordfish with mango salsa and the short rib and fingerling potatoes.

The Unveiling, Chopping, Reading

It’s 100*+ outside. And ya, everything I read online said this box of food comes fully insulated but like, it’s 110. I did not think this box was going to last until I made it home from work. But alas, it did.

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Everything was individually labeled, portioned and cold! It sort-of felt like when I’d find my Hanukkah presents in the dryer when I was a kid.

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The menu was equally impressive. We were so delighted by the design that we forgot to read it. I like to think our dinner didn’t suffer from this minor mishap.

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Our excitement over the ease of which our dinner arrived at our doorstep, caused me to forget one arguably major detail: I hate swordfish. And fruit does not belong under the category of dinner… and omg fruit on fish. I can’t. I won’t. But, I ordered it. All in the name of my-boyfriend-likes-swordfish-and-I’m-trying-to-be-nice…

The End Result (Pt. 1)

I immediately gathered the bf into the kitchen and assigned him sous-chef duties. He was responding with, “yes chef!” and relecutantly, “no chef!” in a matter of minutes. The process itself was super easy, although to be honest  I didn’t love the end result, although the bf did. My reasoning is simple, and very fat-kid-ish: most (read: all) of my favorite meals involve like, carbs. The bf did assure me that the swordfish was awesome and that my hesitation lied heavily in the fact that there was no trace of butter or bread anywhere on my plate. Nonetheless, the very experience of cooking something I would have never cooked, with fresh ingredients was definitely a fun activity.

And, I still had the SHORT RIBS and POTATOES to look forward too!!

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I must admit, it did look pretty.

 

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… And then there were braised short ribs.  And, potatoes.

A few days later, we were ready to give Plated another go. This time I handed my (invisible) chef hat over to the bf, while I took over wine duty. And by wine duty, I mean I drank wine and watched him cook. All was well in the world.

Things got even better when short ribs with gremolata and crispy potatoes were set in front of my eager eyes.


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According to the bf and my over-zealous comments, “Babeee, something is burning!” “Babe, your gravy isn’t thickening” (hint: we added flour) everything was easy and delicious.

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Seriously, I’ve cooked shortribs before and they took days. I was admittedly doubting that we would be able to reproduce the melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness that comes from the traditional cooking of short ribs, but these were delicious. Like, super awesome. Oh and,  the herbs de provence that came with the potatoes took everything to the next level. New pantry staple!

Lesson Learned

While Plated can’t change your taste buds, it can provide a delightful meal and super fun experience. As two non-stop working professionals, Plated definitely granted a sigh of relief in knowing that dinner was already at home and ready-to-go. While it didn’t come with anyone to do the dishes (next gen edition? eh?) I would definitely recommend Plated as a twice a week option.

Why not daily? While it’s definitely cheaper than going out to eat, it is a bit more expensive than cooking from home for most, and is undoubtedly more complicated that just like, microwaving.  There was a tiny bit of complexity only due to unfamiliarity, but the deliciousness and unusual ingredients make it a must experience.

Oh and bonus: there are tons of deals available for discounted or free plates, so check out their site and you’ll be prompted by an offer for 2 free plates!

 

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