By: Natasha Archary
Fad diets and flavourless meals are part of the reason I hate dieting. I’ll give the grey, steamed veggies and poached fish or chicken about a week until I cave and feed my body something “substantially fragrant and tasty.” Why do healthy meal plans always taste so bleh?
I’ve tried just about every diet craze and ready-made meals to try and stop my waistline from expanding. It never works. Even if the meals are palatable, the pre-packaging gives the frozen meals an odd odour. That turns my stomach before I even get a forkful.
I’m on a quest however to drop a few dress sizes however. Is there a way to do so, without compromising on taste? Yes.
I signed up for the UCOOK service a few weeks ago and it as been a real game changer, saving me not just time on weeknight meals but helping me choose healthier options in the process.
UCOOK was launched in 2014 as a young start-up operating out of a garage in Cape Town by David Torr and Chris Verster Cohen, two friends who saw a gap in the market for convenient, healthy dinner solutions. The company has since stayed true to its principles of sustainable and ethically-sourced ingredients.
Seasonal, organic produce is a part of every meal, so you’re guaranteed the freshest ingredients that are good for you.
Review of the peanut butter pork
The second meal in my first order was the peanut butter pork fillet, served on a creamy sweet potatoe mash, with caramalised beets and crispy kale. I was really nervous about the pork fillet, having had it a few times in a restauarant, I was confident I would ruin this beautiful piece of free range pork.
The instructions on the cooking card were simple enough to follow, prep the pork and the veggies – I steamed the sweet potatoes (the recipe does suggest boiling) and left the kale for last. The beets were prepped and ready for the oven for roasting and the pork was seasoned liberally with salt and pepper and total prep time was about 10 minutes.
I seared the fillet on all sides before covering in foil and popping in the oven. Now onto the kale and finishing the mash off. What was I forgetting?
I waited the estimated time for the pork fillet, crossing everything it would be golden on the outside and succulent on the inside. I carefully placed the fillet aside to rest, like a pampered client in a spa.
In my deliberate focus on the pork, I completely forgot about the beets in the scorching oven. They were ruined and didn’t make the plate. But the pork, was perfect. Juicy would be an understatement, you could slice it into medallions using a butter knife. I’m not sure it’s a mark of my cooking skills so I’m definitely going to pin this on the fact that the ingredients are of a high quality. I mean I burned beetroot so, yeah.
Will UCOOK save you money?
One of the reasons I signed up for the service was to find out if the meals ordered with UCOOK made financial sense. Convenience aside, if it takes more out of my pocket it would not be reason enough to sign up.
So, I did what any single mom on a budget does, I weighed the cost of the ingredients from an online food store against the cost of the UCOOK meal for two.
UCOOK comes in at R18.92 cheaper. It means I can buy a protein bar for dessert so SCORE.
UCOOK cost for peanut butter pork for two: R 210.00
Ingredients from online store costs: R 228.92
400g Pork fillet – R 59.99
Beetroot – R 14.99
Kale – R 21.99
Orange sweet potato – R 23.99
Garlic 2 pack – R 39.99
20g Thyme – R 9.99
Peanut butter (no salt or sugar added) – R 27.99
Smoked paprika – R 29.99
Be sure to check back in for more reviews from the UCOOK menu in the following weeks.