Monday, October 19, 2015

plated, blue apron, freshology, platejoy, and purple carrot

Mine looked just like that - I swear!
I have pretty mixed feelings about all of these new companies who deliver meals to your doorstep. Do I think it is a neat idea? Yes. Did I end up cooking and eating things I never before thought I could put together myself? Yes. Is it a complete waste of packaging materials and individual containers? Hell to the yes! Are the cooking times all perfectly accurate and on point? Hell to the no!

I recently had experiences using Plated and Blue Apron. I tested out both companies using a free promotion (normally it costs $59.99 for three meals that feed two people). While I do think that is on the higher side of my normal grocery totals, when I cook dinner for myself I tend to make large pots of soup I eat for four days. The meals I chose to receive from both companies included things like duck, pork, cod, and chicken - all of which I would never put into a soup...well, maybe chicken. My favorite meal was Asian Duck Tacos with Pickled Cucumbers from Plated. I actually cooked duck and it was delicious - like whoa! I was so proud of myself, but must admit I have yet to recreate the meal and have no definite plans to do so in the upcoming weeks. Something I learned when putting together the Blue Apron meals is that I like to use butter as a cooking base, as opposed to olive oil. I do not think vegetables need to be prepared with two tablespoons of oil - it is gross. A little melted butter goes a long way and if the pan begins to look dry, I add a little water.

While I was VERY proud of the final products - they literally look like gourmet meals, complete with spices, colors, and garnishes - I was so disappointed by the amount of waste they produce and how inaccurate the cooking times were. Not only do they come in huge, insulated cardboard boxes; every ingredient is in its own Ziploc bag, or container. It makes throwing things together pretty easy, but you end up with an enormous pile of trash once you're finished. I also have a bone to pick with them about cooking times. Most of the recipes I chose said twenty-five or thirty-five minutes - not the case! One of my meals literally took an hour and a half. While I wouldn't make a habit of ordering these, it is nice to splurge every once in a while and skip having to make a trip to the grocery store. They deliver to most cities at this point, so you should try it for yourself, or just search the websites for recipes and make them with your own grocery shopping at a fraction of the price. Click here to visit the Plated website and here to visit the Blue Apron website.

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