What’s For Dinner? Introducing YouPlateIt


YouPlateIt – What Is It?

A couple of the guys at work, Mark and Paul, are lovers of food like me and enjoy cooking gourmet meals, but like many people are time poor. They decided to do something about it and created YouPlateIt. YouPlateIt takes all the work out of your hands:

  • They plan by carefully selecting new and exciting recipes each week
  • They shop and source the freshest ingredients
  • They measure each ingredient to reduce waste and pack everything needed for the recipe
  • They deliver for free each week.
  • All you have to do is get organised, follow the step – by – step recipe cards to cook and plate a delicious meal.

Sounds like a unique and interesting concept that I’ve not heard before and possibly doesn’t exist in Perth.

I had a chat to them over coffee and they were generous enough to let me pick a couple of meals from the week’s offerings to try it out. So I did. I chose the following meals:

  • Garlic and Lemon Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Asparagus
  • Lamb Souvlaki Kebab with Greek Salad and Grilled Pita

 

YouPlateIt Special Reader Offer

Courtesy of YouPlateIt, they are giving Perth Food Review’s readers a $20 sign-up discount valid until the end of October 2014.  Just use the coupon code “PERTHFOOD” and you will get a $20 discount off your first order. Limit of one per customer and can’t be used in conjunction with other offers. Sign up to YouPlateIt

 

YouPlateIt – Road Tested

On a rainy Sunday, I received a box with insulation and ice packs but I gave that back immediately to use for other customers and chucked the rest in the fridge. I normally cook on the weekends and not during the week, preferring to cook larger quantities, eat the same meal a few times, swap to something else, and put the rest in the freezer. However, to simulate what most people seem to do which is cook nearly everyday, I cooked on a workday after I got home and was tired.

YouPlateIt - Lemon Chicken Ingredients

YouPlateIt – Lemon Chicken Ingredients

I had a look at the recipe card which was pretty straight forward. On one side is the ingredients so I looked in the fridge to locate the 3 brown paper bags marked with the dish I was making and pulled out the ingredients which were individually packed in their own packets or containers. Pretty easy.

I had a look at the recipe again and got what utensils I needed, put the oven on, put the pan on and got chopping while the chicken cooked in the pan. The prep is pretty simple, but I didn’t execute the multitasking part too well and should have had everything prepared before frying the chicken but it wasn’t a big issue in the end, it just set me back a little. I tend to think of recipes as a guide, I don’t generally follow them and put my own spin on things. At times, you just got to follow the recipe and this was one of those times!

I checked the chicken after 15 minutes and was satisfied it had cooked, but the potatoes were still firm and I put them back in the oven. I think on reflection, the time in the oven isn’t enough for the potatoes to cook through. Maybe they need to be pre-done  in the microwave to speed things up. After that, I finished the final steps and sat down to enjoy my meal. There certainly was a delicious aromas emanating from the oven while it cooked so my mouth certainly was salivating.

YouPlateIt - Lemon Chicken

YouPlateIt – Lemon Chicken

Here’s my version of the Garlic and Lemon Roasted Chicken against that of the recipe card. I picked this dish as it looked intriguing and was pleasantly surprised with the flavour profile of the dish. It carried delicious flavours via the lemon, the acidity from the red wine vinegar, the earthy herb flavour of the rosemary as well as the potatoes and asparagus, and the baby spinach rounds out the vegies. I had perfectly cooked the chicken breast which was flavoursome and moist. Seasoning is really important and I got that just right. I probably had the pan with the potatoes and vegies in a bit too long as some of the sauce had cooked off. The sauce was a very delicious component of the dish. Apart from the potatoes which were still a little firm, the dish went well and was really easy to make, and most importantly, was really delicious which left me felling very pleased. The meal was filling, is healthy with a nice variety of vegetables, and you turn a chunk of chicken into something really tasty with the help of a few other ingredients. All up, it took me under an hour to get the meal done and I probably shot myself in the foot by not following the recipe to a tee and the issue with the potatoes delaying things a bit. Other from that, pretty easy. Oh, and there’s not much washing up to do either!

 

For the next dish, I chose the Lamb Souvalki Kebab with Greek Salad and Grilled Pita.

Preparation was pretty simple and in 20 minutes I had pretty much everything done and I went away to watch TV while the meat marinated in the garlic, lemon juice, and yoghurt mixture. The recipe only calls for a 10 minute marinade but my TV show was far longer so I’m sure the meat would benefit from a longer marinating time. When done, I just warmed up the pita bread, added the red wine vinegar and olive oil as dressing to the salad and cranked up the heat of the pan to cook the lamb. In about 5 minutes, I was sitting at the table enjoying my efforts. Unfortunately I made a couple of errors. One I had chucked everything in the fridge when I received the delivery and breads don’t benefit from time in the fridge so my pita bread had dried out and gone kind of hard. My fault, not YouPlateIt’s. Secondly, I thought the lamb would need a bit more cooking but the acid from the lemon juice must have worked wonders. As a result, my lamb came out a bit chewy. Follow the recipe to a tee! Made the same mistake twice! Aside from that, it was a really quick and easy meal to prepare and it was enjoyable. I really liked the salad which there is plenty in portion so you could easily use up the salad for following meals. The feta, cucumber, olive and cherry tomato salad with the red wine vinegar and olive oil gives a real Mediterranean flavour and the salad is very refreshing. There’s quite a bit of meat in the pre-cut diced chunks, maybe too much, which could create leftovers. The lamb had taken on a nice flavour of the yoghurt and the minced garlic is not noticeable at all. You can detect it more in the yoghurt mixture that is left over. The yoghurt moistens the mouth. The pita bread adds more depth to the meal and presents variety. I was left feeling really full and enjoyed the meal, but my favourite would be the garlic and lemon roasted chicken dish.

 

YouPlateIt – My Experience

So after trying out a couple of YouPlateIt’s recipes, what did I think? Convenient, having the ingredients delivered to your door. Convenient, having all the ingredients aside from a few pantry items all there in front of you. Convenient having the ingredients already measured out. The recipe cards are simple to follow (if you follow them to a tee which I didn’t at times) and they produce delicious flavoursome meals that I would be happy to eat. I was particularly impressed with the garlic and lemon roasted chicken. There’s not that much prep involved – I mean if you’re using this service you’ve got to enjoy cooking and you don’t need to be a world class chef to turn out these dishes. Most important, read the recipe, get prepared, follow the steps and you will be fine. Use your experience too, and tweak the recipes if you don’t think something will cook in time. Simple easy service that delivers what it says it will do.

I had a good look at YouPlateIt’s website and there’s an array of recipes to add to your collection and each week new recipes are created. There’s 6 weekly recipes to choose from and if that’s too hard, the chef selects some dishes so you can add mystery to the week if you want. I like the look of the service and you’re not locked in so if you want to give it a try for a few weeks or a few months, you can, but you’re not committed to some long term contract. The dishes are healthy, with ingredients predominantly sourced from local WA producers, subscription is flexible and affordable, there’s free delivery, and the contents are delivered in insulated boxes so even if you’re not around during the delivery time, the food will keep. For more info, check out http://www.youplateit.com.au/

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