I really like boxed goodies...whether it be clothes picked out by your own personal stylist or refrigerated boxes with all the ingredients you need to make some pretty awesome dishes. Plated for being a relatively new food delivery service is pretty great with some minor issues that I think can be easily remedied. Their customer service is also great - getting back to me in 24 hours and also refunding me for an automatic shipment I did not know I was turned on. Usually the scam-y factor goes up when a company doesn't immediately refund my money - especially when some automatic billing system is turned on without your knowledge but Plated didn't argue and refunded the amount taken within three days. Thank you for that! Now onto the food...
The box is pretty well insulated. Despite it being a warm day and me worrying at 5pm in traffic on my way home if my raw shrimp and cheese had spoiled in the box, I was glad to see when I finally opened the box it was still pretty cold inside - not as cold as a refrigerator but none of the food had a funny/spoiled smell to it.
The recipe instructions are very detailed to how long you let things sit on the stove to how much seasoning you should add (for those who cannot estimate anything like Phiphi216. I prepared the Eggplant Rollatini for two people one day and the Garlic Shrimp and White beans another day.
As daunting as rolling eggplant seemed to me this was very easy to prepare and cook. However, after we indulged the boyfriend and I had some stomach issues for a few hours after - but nothing that required Pepto or the ER. We figured it might have been the cheese or something and that might have to do with the refrigeration process of dairy products that I think needs to be in cooler temperatures than other things (disclaimer: we are not lactose intolerant btw). Two out of the five eggplant provided were not too fresh and we just ended up throwing them away. The one thing we really enjoyed was the chopped parsley, garlic, and butter that we spread on the ciabatta rolls and baked in the oven - definitely committing this spin on garlic toast to memory.
The garlic shrimp and white beans which I ate over the course of two days for lunch was AWESOME. I added some left over rice in there too but it came with some regular country style white bread that you can toast and eat with it as well. What is great about this recipe is the smoky paprika and slight spiciness to the tomato based sauce! I already have plans to recreate that sauce to put on top of chicken or even fish. The smells in the kitchen had all my family members peeking in to see what I was whipping up. Only setback in terms of time was cleaning the underbelly of the shrimp. The top of the shrimp was filleted and cleaned but the underbelly of the shrimp still needed cleaning. The cleaning was not specified in the instructions so I worry a lot people with no knowledge of cleaning seafood probably just cook the shrimp with that vein in the underbelly (this is basically the poop shoot for a shrimp).
Overall I really enjoyed this whole process with Plated and would definitely buy from them again. I am definitely not the type to slave away over every meal for more than 30 minutes, which is why I was surprised I was able to make a tasty creation in 25 minutes! The portioning was also perfect, with every meal being under 1000 calories but filling at the same time (and I eat a lot). I just wish you could put in an order three days before you need it instead of almost a week and a half notice for a shipment. I also wish they had an option for only including organic produce and ingredients but maybe they will have that for the future.