These days with busy work lives, personal lives and an ever growing desire for diversity of food, I think we can all admit we feel the pressure when it comes to planning and preparing dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, but every now and then I have to admit I do find myself agonising over what to make. I want to be healthy but I want food that tastes good! (Otherwise I find myself devastated over the wasted tummy space haha!)
Over the last year in particular I’ve started to see the emergence of more and more companies which look to take some of the stress out of the kitchen for couples and families. You Plate It is one of those local businesses but with a bit of a twist in that instead of set meals which change each week, they offer a choice of six different meals to choose from, which also vary week on week.
Recently I was contacted by You Plate It
to try their products out and test drive some of their meals. Knowing it was leading into a long weekend I was all too happy to accept the invitation because it meant I didn’t have to shop for Sunday and Monday night’s dinners. Hooray!
Choosing which dishes to have delivered was easier said than done. I’m notoriously greedy and indecisive when it comes to food, but knowing it was the long weekend and we’d likely be indulging on the other days, I chose a refreshing seafood dish and an interesting sounding vegetarian dish. While I love my meat, sometimes it’s nice to actually participate in Meatless Mondays.
About You Plate It:
A WA based company started by bankers Mark Rawlings and Paul Baumgartner, You Plate It work hard to provide their customers tasty and healthy dishes that showcase the great produce that is grown here in our own state. Their suppliers include Mondo for meat, fruit and vegetables from TR & TR and seafood from Partridge’s. It’s a commitment to the ingredients used and the customers who frequent their business which is seeing this business shine.
At 4pm Sunday my delivery of ingredients arrived, encased in a styrofoam box with ice packs diligently keeping the produce cool and fresh. The two meals are separated into different bags with all containers and packets labelled for ease of use.
Instructions are easy to follow, with each step lined out in plain english. On the first night we were keen to eat the prawns straight away so on the boil went our couscous, our shallots were caramelising and our veggies prepared.
The end result was a bed of fluffy couscous, crunchy green beans, sweet cherry tomatoes, za’atar spiced prawns and a drizzle of yoghurt with garlic and lemon flavouring. I liked the flavours of this dish, especially the prawns and that yoghurt. I usually cook my couscous with stock whereas this version was with salted water – I think that I personally prefer the flavours of stock in my couscous but I know lots of people don’t prepare theirs the same way I do. We also removed our shallots from the pan once they were browned instead of keeping them in with the green beans and prawns – that way we could mix them into the couscous for added flavour.
The next night, spurred by the success of the previous evening’s light but deceptively filling meal, we set about preparing our spicy maple squash dish. I think that it’s always a risky move choosing a vegetarian meal – they quite often need to work harder to shine without having a main protein to rely on.
This dish was made up on soft spiced roasted butternut pumpkin, barley salad and grilled firm tofu. There were slightly more processes in this dish, but again it was easy to create and follow the directions provided.
The end result for this dish was one with delicious pumpkin – heavily flavoured from the provided pumpkin spice. I really liked the little kick from what I think was the use of paprika and chilli powder. It was a really interesting way to bring some tasty flavour into an every day vegetable.
The barley, with it’s fresh parsley and crunchy almonds works well with the pumpkin though I would have loved to see a creamy element – maybe some goats cheese to lift the flavours. I always think a meal should tick those regimented boxes of soft, crunchy, creamy, acidic and salty – so it would have definitely added a little something special into the mix.
Coming from a household where my mother (who hails from Taiwan) cooks the most incredible tofu, there were high stakes to compete with. This dish had lemony tofu which gave it a slight fragrance but didn’t quite do it the same justice that was done with the pumpkin. It tasted nice, but I think I personally prefer my tofu with more garlic and chilli as it can really sparkle with life.
So what did we think of You Plate It’s dinner options? I think they were quite nice, especially considering I wasn’t sure what to expect. I found their delivery system convenient, I really liked that they gave six different dishes to choose from and the instructions were simple to follow. Our favourite was definitely the za’atar spiced prawns because they were so fresh and tasty.
I’ve seen that some of the options for this week’s menu include steak with creamy shallot sauce, and also a squid ink pasta. Now those definitely sound delicious and enticing to have delivered to your door to cook!
Thank you to You Plate It and the team at Breadbox Marketing for organising my tasty trial of their dinner services. It definitely made my long weekend much easier knowing I could relax and not worry about what to cook – instead I just had to follow instructions.