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Plated… Never worry about what to eat or where to find the ingredients…

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Have you ever come home after a long day at work and wondered what to have for dinner – – to follow a recipe or not, and are the ingredients around to make it? Well, Plated is a new concept that has the potential of making our nightly dining experiences much easier. First, they have created the menu for us. Next, they provide every ingredient with small exceptions like water, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

We decided to give Plated a try, and to date we are very pleased. Below we’ve shared our Plated pics from our own kitchen. Certainly, we have our own cooking styles. Some of their recipes wait to the end and advise to taste and adjust for salt/pepper — to us, that is too late in the cooking process. We build flavor profiles as we cook along and season, layer by layer, but this is just a guideline and of course we all have the freedom to make it our own!

Ingredients received and labeled for the week

Ingredients received and labeled for the week

Chicken Milanese breaded in Panko and with a sauté of kale

Chicken Milanese breaded in Panko and with a sauté of kale

Fish tacos with creme fraiche

Fish tacos with creme fraiche

Soy Ginger Salmon Burgers with garlicky potatoes
Soy Ginger Salmon Burgers with garlicky potatoes
Stuffed Acorn Squash with a delectable side dressing

Stuffed Acorn Squash with a delectable side dressing

Plated is not sending you pre-prepared meals, you’re still cooking. You must wash and trim and cut the produce. You cook everything. They provide the ingredients and a succinct recipe. The ingredients come packaged, labeled, and pre-measured.

As for the quality of the ingredients, they are mostly better than what you can find in the local markets. Rather than try  to explain….

This is what they have to say about themselves:

We’ve worked hard to build relationships with the same reliable, quality-controlled companies that supply top-notch ingredients to some of the finest restaurants in America. Want to get these specialty, high-quality ingredients on your own? Well, you’d have to drive to the farm to do it!

Location

Plated strives to support local suppliers and American farmers by limiting the number of imported ingredients included in our recipes. We pay close attention to sustainability of resources, and keep environmental implications at the forefront when scoping out new suppliers.

Seasonality

There’s a reason why our menu varies from one season to the next: Out-of-season produce is typically either grown in hothouse or shipped from around the world, which negatively affects taste. Additionally, eating seasonally helps support sustainable farming!

Fruit and Vegetables

Each Plated meal contains a generous helping of fruits and vegetables essential to a healthy diet. Since the fruits and veggies we put in each box are sourced direct from farmers, your Plated greens are fresher than what you’d buy at a grocery store. Your Plated box is bursting with essential vitamins and other valuable nutrients, so it’s good for your taste buds and your well-being.

Fat Content

Part of a healthy diet is including good-for-you fats like avocados, nuts, and salmon. Super foods like this are full of essential nutrients that help you to absorb more vitamins than you would otherwise. With Plated, you don’t have to worry about heavy meals that are laced in fat. We specially curate recipes that have a low saturated fat content.

Calories

Our typical entrees fall between around 600-800 calories, and each estimated calorie count may be found on each week’s menu. Meals are flavorful and filling, but not gluttonous enough to guilt-trip you to the gym.

Protein

Each Plated box includes a filling and flavorful portion of protein. We only source antibiotic-free meats that are raised humanely and without the antibiotics to ensure that our customers are getting the best of the best.

Carbohydrates, dietary fiber and whole grains

While some of our recipes do focus on pasta, rice, and other carbohydrate-rich ingredients, we also take care to include menu options that are carbohydrate-free and gluten-free.

Quality

We’ve worked hard to build relationships with the same reliable, quality-controlled companies that supply top-notch ingredients to some of the finest restaurants in America. Want to get these specialty, high-quality ingredients on your own? Well, you’d have to drive to the farm to do it!

Back to our thoughts:

Plated is based out of Manhattan and presently has approximately 15 full-time employees.  It is the vision of founders Nick Taranto and Josh Hix. They discovered, as young guys living in NYC, that it was difficult after working many hours a week, to pour over recipes, compile a shopping list, hope that the stores have the ingredients you need, then take everything home to prep, cook, and finally, clean-up.

They decided to eliminate some essential steps in order to get people back into the kitchen without menu planning, shopping, etc. You go to the website, and select which dishes you’d like to make for the week. The minimum order is 4 plates (which represents two meals for two people on any given night) per week. If you’re a member which is $10 monthly, your dishes are $12 per plate (essentially $24 a night for two people — translation: cheaper than eating out — and that includes FedEx shipping to your doorstep). The thing to remember here is that they ship to you almost everything you could possibly need to make the meal. You may need to provide, water, oil, and of course cookware. All ingredients come to you neatly packaged in a refrigerated box. Everything is pre-measured for you. One example is a dish we tested the other evening needed 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar. The perfect measurement arrived in a little container. Therefore, there is also no waste involved. You do not need to go out for a particular dish and purchase an entire jar of a spice which can be costly to be used once or twice and then you end up throwing the balance away when its ability for use arrived.

This is a really great concept for busy couples without children or single people (bonus: you get more than one meal out of each serving ) or empty-nesters. Overall, we find that we get 3 servings out of each “plate” which they say should serve two people. Although, sometimes they are spot-on that it will serve two people. The chance that you may have extra to take to work the next day for lunch is quite good.

Also, because the menu changes weekly and thousands of people are having what you are most likely having for dinner that night, they have a social-media component to their website where you can post comments, ask questions, or simply post your photo of  your meal.

Plated, we found, “forces our hand” to eat a variety of meals across each week, ingredients being locally sourced and better quality than the food stores, and portions that contribute to our health and not our demise! Also, we can see that one could save a lot of money by not eating out each night! So, stream your Pandora, pour a glass of wine – – cook with the ingredients they have shipped and enjoy the evening!

WestchesterEats likes Plated and hope that they succeed!

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