Tuesday, September 25, 2018

We Tried Plated : Round Two

Our first meal kit delivery from Plated covered all the bases - delicious, meh, and toss that in the garbage right now! Full of hope and memories of curried lamb tacos, we tried again. This time with Honey Soy Pork with noodles and Lamb Kofta with tzatziki. Both sounded fantastic, and were things I didn't think my family would try if it didn't come from a service.

The final meals tasted great, but there were some hiccups along the way. Before the ingredients were completely unboxed we had a rotten cucumber, moldy garlic (which I didn't know could be a thing), and putrid red cabbage. Fun times. There was also a bag of random pine nuts that didn't belong to either recipe.

I had garlic and cucumber on hand, so easily replaced those. I didn't have cabbage, so the red pepper slaw to accompany the kofta was just red peppers. Even with the challenges, both dinners were a hit. Doubly so for the kofta because my kids tried bulgur!

Honey Soy Pork with peanut noodles and bok choy. What's not to love about peanut noodles? These were easy and the hot sauce could be added to taste, which was perfect since our crew runs from no-spice to dare me to eat this spoon of wasabi. The honey in the marinade for the pork caused it to burn, so most of the pork wasn't edible.

Lamb Kofta with tzatziki, bulgar, and red pepper slaw. The slaw was missing the red cabbage, but I think I would prefer it this way. Dinner felt fresh and light and different. The kids dove into the fridge for pitas, but they tried the bulgur, so that was a win.

For more of our Plated journey...

If you want to try Plated, here's a link to a free box...

See what we thought of other meal kits...

Monday, September 17, 2018

Plated: What's For Dinner?

I'm going to be up front about it - Plated is our favorite. Which may seem strange because their meals are hit or miss. Sometimes the fresh produce isn't fresh, or even edible. Sometimes the recipe misses the mark. Others take for-freaking-ever to make. The redeeming factor is the variety and portions. We've tried dishes and ingredients I never would have attempted to sneak by the kids, or even the husband. And more often than not, the 4-portion meal feeds our family of 5.

Plated has twenty dinners to choose from each week, and available a month in advance. Plus two dessert options, which aren't offered by many other services. There are options for vegetarian, family-friendly, stovetop-only.. We opt to see everything they offer and go from there.

Pricing is straightforward - $9.95 per meal for our family plan dinner for four, twice a week. A smidge less than $80 a week. Some of the recipes aren't worth that $40 price tag (I'm looking at you tomato bisque) while others make up for it (i.e. Lamb Merguez).

We ordered an eclectic mix for our first box. Curried Lamb Tacos, Tomato Basic Shrimp & Grits, and Cuban Chicken Empanadas. We loved one, found the other odd, and the third was straight-up disgusting and went in the trash. Yes, that bad.

Curried Lamb Tacos. We love lamb curry. We love tacos. We weren't convinced the two had any business on the same plate until this delightful dish. If this had been a Pinterest recipe, none of the kids would have tried it. Because it came from this novel box meal kit, they were game. And loved it. All of us. This is how our love affair with Plated began, but the course of true love took a few turns...

Tomato Basil Shrimp & Grits. Shrimp is good. Grits can be good. Tomato and basil have a happy marriage. And yet, this didn't work. Maybe because it made enough grits to feed a neighborhood, but only enough flavor for a family. Bland as can be, when they had such promise. The shrimp and tomato mixture would have been better with pasta, or garlic bread, or both.

Cuban Chicken Empanadas. I do not know what was in the spice packet that came in this kit, but it tasted like dirt. Honestly. And these took forever to make. So I spent an hour making and baking only to have two trays of empanadas no one would eat. Good times. I emailed to say I thought something had gone bad in the spice mix, but never heard back.

For more of our Plated journey...

If you want to try Plated, here's a link to a free box...

See what we thought of other meal kits...

Monday, September 03, 2018

Well, Hello Fresh

Save $60 on Hello Fresh lives at the top of my inbox. Even now that I've subscribed, they're still paying Google to plop it on top of my real emails. That's advertising for you, preaching to the choir. 
The kids and I looked over the menu and made our selections. Once we'd made all the meals, we realized the flavor mash-ups weren't our thing. And that produce in Oregon is awesome! What they sent... was not. 

SESAME BEEF TACOS with quick pickled vegetables

Our favorite recipe of the box. I wasn't sure how the kids would react to radishes, but the quick pickling method was a winner. When I unpacked the bag my eldest was against the red cabbage, but it gets cooked up with the sesame beef. He actually like it - the tacos, he's still suspicious of red cabbage. This is one we'd make, or order, again. - loved

SWEET & SMOKY CHICKEN CUTLETS with green beans and pineapple rice

The produce on this one was a let down. The green beans were past their prime - tough and stringy. We all love green beans, but none of us finished these. The tub of fresh pineapple had gone rancid, so we made the rice with a pineapple fruit cup we had in the pantry. The chicken flavor was fine, but really dry. I wound up making grilled cheese sandwiches. This was a miss with us. -blerg


My son chose this one thinking it would be a spicy barbecue. The chicken would have been better as a taco. I loved the carrot-apple slaw, but the kids weren't fans and balked at putting it on their sandwich. My daughter... ate the bun. The apple they sent was mealy, so I used one from our fruit bowl. -meh

Hello Fresh... wasn't fresh. I had to replace much of the produce, and what I used wasn't great. The directions were a bit odd as well because our meals were for four servings and the recipe cards were for two. We figured it out, but I think it could have been an issue if my son had been cooking them alone. Having each meal packaged in a separate bag was a great help keeping things sorted in the fridge.

I hadn't ordered since that original underwhelming box. The website has a six-week lead time on menus, so I check every week. I couldn't find two meals I thought we'd like. For three months! Yes, the site makes it easy to skip weeks and change meals, but that's a long time. Yeah... fingers crossed Hot Honey Chicken & Pork Carnitas Tacos win us over. 

The $60 off code? GMAIL60  Let me know if you want a free week. I can send them out from my account. 

See what we thought of other meal kits.