Above: Empanadas, Latin American pastry pockets, can contain any combination of ingredients. These are chicken and tomato, served with lime crema and avocado.
By Wini Moranville
Although meal kit delivery services took off a few years ago, they never really snagged my interest. But after a friend sent me a free box from Plated, I realized that these kits—which deliver ingredients and recipes for meals to cook at home—aren’t just for novice cooks or harried families.
Here’s why I’m happy to spend $55 a week for two dinners for two:
• I’m officially out of my rut: Sure, I’ve authored three cookbooks and have worked as an editor or feature writer on dozens more. And yet sometimes I grow weary of my own style of cooking (French, Italian and classic American). Plated has nudged me to cook Cuban empanadas, Vietnamese caramel chicken and other dishes that aren’t generally in my wheelhouse.
• I trust these recipes: As someone who writes and edits recipes as part of her métier, I’ve been impressed by how accurate, practical and straightforward the recipes are. Out of eight recipes, I’ve only found one questionable timing, and that was easily fixed by just a little more time in the oven.
• I admire the ingredients: With the minor exception of an unripe tomato, all ingredients—from produce to meats and seasonings—have arrived fresh and in great condition.
• There’s no waste: Have you ever bought some obscure condiment or a fresh herb, used a bit of it for a recipe, and had the remainder go forgotten and unused for the rest of its life span? Plated gives you just the amount you need of everything you need, except salt, pepper and cooking oil.
• I avoid dining out by default: When I’m in the mood to dine out, there’s no other place I’d rather be than in a local restaurant. But if I just wander into a place because I haven’t thought ahead, I usually leave annoyed at myself. These kits stay fresh for two to four days. That makes it easier to avoid spending $12 for a glass of wine in a restaurant those times when I would have been just as happy with a glass from a $12 bottle at home.
Find out more about Plated at plated.com.
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