By: Natasha Archary
Weeknights are chaotic, no one knows this more than a working mom. School runs, a long day at the office and insane traffic en-route La Casa leave little time for home-cooked meals. Especially when you still have to hit the grocery store on the way home to pick up what you need for the family’s favourite dish.
Enter UCOOK. The online cook to order service that is revolutionising meal prep and making cooking fun. Fresh ingredients that are precisely portioned for each meal are delivered directly to your home or work so you never need to step foot in a grocery store ever again.
How does it work?
With a few simple steps and a hassle-free sign up, you’re one step closer to culinary genius. You create a profile on the UCOOK website, browse the nine different options in meals a week and select meals for either one, two or a family of four. Confirm your order and wait a few days for your ingredients box to arrive, that is honestly the hardest part.
Your subscription can be paused at any point, so you can skip a week’s delivery if you need to. The question is, would you want to? My honest answer is no.
The service is a real game changer. Three meals a week taken care of by UCOOK, there are three meals in every box. No grocery trips, no “oops I ran out of lemon juice and paprika, how will I make this fish dish work?” UCOOK takesthe guess work out of cooking and when you’re exhausted but still want a good home-cooked meal, that’s healthy and full of flavour you shouldn’t have to compromise.
I hate cooking for myself. It’s such a chore. The UCOOK meals are easy to follow, and, with a little effort, you can turn out gourmet standard food in no time.
UCOOK – Honey mustard trout
The first meal in my first order was the honey mustard trout, served on a bed of fresh and zesty red cabbage and green apple slaw with roasted baby potatoes. Ingredients are neatly packaged and labelled, so even the most novice cook can get it right.
Knowing my way around the kitchen, I was a little anxious to pull off the perfect grilled fish as depicted on the cooking instruction card that accompanies every meal in the box. What if it breaks? Sticks to the pan or just ends in flaming disaster?
Have faith in the quality ingredients, expertly created dishes and accurate cooking instructions. The chefs who come up with the menus each week, know what they’re doing. Take a seat Gordon Ramsay.
You prep the baby potatoes by halving each perfect spud, plonking them onto a roasting pan, seasoning with salt and pepper and throwing them into a preheated oven.
The only other chopping/slicing you would need to do for this dish is when you slice up the granny Smith apple into delicate matchsticks. The red cabbage comes shredded already. (Seriously!)
While the potatoes are doing their thing in the oven, assembling the red cabbage and green apple slaw is as simple as sprinkling on some vinegar and lemon juice, seasoning and mixing everything together.
After following the instructions, the seasoned trout fillets hit a non-stick pan and ,instantaneously, the heady, smoky aroma of the trout hits you. Resist the urge to constantly poke, prod and move the fish in the pan and wait the required time before flipping onto the honey-dijon-mustard lathered flesh side.
Everything comes together in the estimated time on the meal card. I was so sceptical because most weeknight meals take about an hour or two from start to finish. Not this one, refer to my point above, “have faith in the ingredients, dishes and cooking instructions.” UCOOK has left nothing to chance.
It is sheer genius what the UCOOK service brings to the table. With little effort, I actually look forward to cooking again. I take a bit more pride in plating up the meals because if there’s one thing UCOOK does, is turn you into a food snob.
How cost effective is it?
Is UCOOK a value for money service? How cost effective would this be for the average South African?
I looked at the cost for this meal for two and weighed it against purchasing all the ingredients from an online food store locally. The UCOOK meal comes in R19.08 cheaper. I’ll take that saving. If it means I’m not buying large quantities of ingredients that are just going to be a waste. That and I can’t put a price on how much shredding a whole cabbage is going to cost me.
- UCOOK Honey Mustard Trout for two costs R 210.00
- Ingredients from online store cost R 229.08
250g rainbow trout – R99.99
honey mustard dressing – R33.99
3 pack lemons – R21.99
4 pack granny smith apples – R19.99
250ml white wine vinegar – R18.14
red cabbage (whole the manual labour of shredding ugh) – R18.99
baby potatoes 350g – R15.99
Be sure to check back in for reviews of more from the UCOOK menu in the following weeks.
Get 30% off your first UCOOK box by using the promotional code #kayafm as your redeemable voucher.