Why I Broke Up With Plated

In our quest to find a meal subscription service that works best for our two-person household, we’ve tried Blue Apron, Plated, and HelloFresh. I’ve already detailed why we canceled our Blue Apron subscription, and now I’ll talk a little bit about why we decided to cancel Plated as well.

To be fair, we only used Plated four times. The first Plated meal I ever cooked was my favorite (Spicy Coconut Rice Noodles with Kale and Basil) and nothing we got from them afterward ever really lived up to it.

Last week, we got two vegetarian plates: 1) Fettucine with Ricotta, Fava Beans, and Mint and 2) Spring Veggie Burgers with Carrot Chips and Aioli.

IMG_4868

IMG_4869These meals sounded great in theory. In the end they weren’t what I would call bad, but they just weren’t that good. Not $12 per plate per person good.

The fettucine dish was just alright. The sauce didn’t really come together even though I followed the recipe and added pasta water to the saute pan along with the cooked veggies and pasta. The finished dish tasted fine, but it seemed to be lacking a little something—some lemon zest may have really perked it up. I could have used some zest from the lemon that we received for the veggie burgers, but I thought about it after the fact.

Poor food photography ahead:

Fava_pastaThe spring veggie burgers, however, were what really sealed the “I’m canceling this shit” deal for me. The photo on the recipe card looked great; I was excited about the brioche bun (it’s the little things!) and lemon aioli. The recipe said to chill the burger patties before cooking them, which I did—for much longer than called for. The recipe card also had a note that said, “be sure to pack the mixture as tightly as possible; even if it falls apart in the pan, it will still taste delicious.” So I packed those patties as tightly as I could.

Here are the patties cooking in the pan before I tried flipping them:

quinoa_burgers_cookingWell, these fucking patties (made with cooked quinoa, bread crumbs, pecorino, an egg, dill, lemon zest, asparagus, and sugar snap peas) were nearly impossible to flip without completely breaking them apart, making for a super frustrating cooking experience. I even had a moment where I considered throwing the whole thing out and ordering pizza, because the patties were turning into such a mess. Instead, I used a spatula to re-form them as best I could after flipping.

The finished dish was basically a pile of vegetable quinoa on top of a bun:

quinoa_burgers_finishedThese veggie burgers were really hard to eat. If they had tasted amazing I could have overlooked the difficulty with cooking, but again, they were just okay—and by the time I sat down to eat I was pissed off. The fact that Plated knew there was an issue with patties falling apart and stated so in the recipe is pretty much why I decided to cancel. Why send your customers a recipe that you know doesn’t quite work? How about maybe fine-tuning your recipe first? I don’t know much about making veggie burgers, but I’m guessing more bread crumbs and one more egg may have really helped bind the patties together.

So, no more Plated for us. We gave it the ol’ college try, but it just never really did the trick for our palates. Most of the dishes felt very one-note in terms of flavor. I will say here that we only got two meat dishes (one of which my husband really liked, but he was lukewarm on the other one) and the rest were vegetarian. It’s possible that Plated’s meat recipes are more complex than their veggie recipes; maybe they just need to find some chefs who are better at creating non-meat meals. In any case, we’re sticking with an occasional HelloFresh veggie box delivery from now on.

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