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Plated Review: a la carte meals, doorstep delivered

Plated delivers a la carte dishes all over the nation.
Plated delivers a la carte dishes all over the nation.
Travelzoo

Lettuce, parsley, bread, chicken, fish, bell peppers and more arrived via a big box delivered to my office desk. This week, I decided to try out Plated, a ready-to-make meal delivery service. It takes care of collecting and dropping off fresh ingredients with recipes to follow – all I had to do was roll up my sleeves and get to work in the kitchen.

I confess that I do enjoy cooking, so I don’t usually follow recipes. But not having to go to the grocery store or figure out what to actually cook was one of the best parts of my Plated experience. I simply clicked on meals from Plated’s online list, with a choice from land, sea or veggie-based dishes.

After the ingredient box arrived with every item clearly labeled, I thought, “Wow, someone is super organized over there.” Each packaged meat was placed on top of ice packs and separated from the veggies. The recipe cards have colorful step-by-step pictures, so it is easy to follow along.

To start, I made beef adanas with red bell pepper and red onion salad. All I needed to add to Plated’s pre-arranged ingredients was some olive oil, salt and pepper from my home pantry. Though I don’t usually follow recipes, I was grateful for the colorful pictures that came with Plated’s instructions to ensure that I was doing it right. In fact, I was proud of my Instagram photos, which proved that each dish looked just like it was supposed to.

My little two-year-old niece helped me prepare the meal. Because Plated was so organized, it was an easier way to cook with a little one, rather than running around the kitchen like I normally do when I cook.

The dish created plenty of food for two adults, as well as my niece, who gobbled down the beef adanas and submitted her approval.

Over the next few days, I made oregano chicken kebabs with creamy basil corn, pollock oreganata with stewed grape tomato bucatini, and -- my favorite -- a watermelon radish salad with bulgur, feta and shallots. The pollock was my least favorite dish because the fish seemed soggy, whereas I prefer fresh fish. My favorite meal was the salad because I am now super excited about bulgur and watermelon radish -- who knew?

Overall, trying Plated was more fun than I thought it’d be, plus it got me out of my cooking comfort level and into trying some new recipes and ingredients. I liked that it was seasonal, featuring summer ingredients such as corn right from the cob and sweet bell pepper. Plus, I really enjoyed cooking with fresh basil, parsley and oregano.

Plated delivers a la carte dishes all over the nation. For over 40% savings on four gourmet meals ($35, reg. $60) or eight gourmet meals ($69, reg. $120), head to Travelzoo.