If you’re the type of gal who is always stressing about what to make for dinner then you’re going to love UCook. The local company promises to make cooking at home easy peasy and is aimed at everyone from newbie cooks to seasoned foodies. For me, the best thing about UCook is the convenience factor – every week they deliver a box of farm fresh ingredients, along with easy-to-follow recipes, straight to your door. Which means no more weekly trips to the grocery store (yippee!) and no more two-minute noodles for dinner. I got the chance to try out a UCook Low-Carb menu for a week and while I have tried similar services in the past UCook manages to set itself apart from the rest in more ways than one.
While most other services like UCook offer 4 meals for the week, UCook has decided to go with just three. While it might seem like you get less bang for your buck UCook is a better option for those who know they won’t have the time to cook four meals at home during the week, making it a great choice for social butterflies who like to entertain at home but who also know they won’t be at home every night of the week. I have to attend a lot of events for work in the evenings and I found the 3 meal box to be much more convenient for me and there was definitely less wastage.
I also love that UCook tries their very best to keep their menus seasonal and home grown – they source organic produce wherever possible and support small local purveyors and rural & urban farming projects. I must admit, I was super impressed with the quality of ingredients in the UCook box and all the ingredients came packed in a rustic brown bags while the meat portions were individually vacuum packed. The box is beautifully packaged and it’s great for someone who is expecting to receive the box at home and then unpack it upon receiving it.
However, I was a little disappointed to find that while the ingredients do come in a somewhat insulated box there was no ice to be found in the box. The thing I love about their competitors is that their boxes come packed with loads of ice packs to ensure your goodies stay fresh if you aren’t able to put it in the fridge immediately. I had my box delivered to work and the delivery person didn’t explain to the person who received it on my behalf that there was food inside. The box was unmarked and stood for 24 hours before we realised what it was and opened it to put the goodies in the fridge. This long standing time made me a little worried about the meat contained in the box. While I do admit I should have remembered the box was arriving that day and asked my colleagues to look out for it and place the items in the fridge for me I still think it makes it difficult for people who receive the box at work not to have any ice inside to help preserve the goodies for a few hours before you get the chance to take it home after work.
But, once all my goodies were safely packed away I was super impressed with how easy the meals were to prepare and how delicious the recipes were. All three of the low-carb meals offered generous portions and at times I struggled to finish everything on my plate. UCook is a great choice for hungry men who need bigger portions or even super active types who like to enjoy a hearty meal in the evenings. As for the recipes, you can expect delights like Lemon & Herb Chicken Bake served with a summer salad, Tandori Spiced Impala with ruby coleslaw & peppery leaves, and Glazed Pork Fillet on carrot & thyme mash with side salad. The great news is, the menu changes every week and if low-carb eats aren’t your thing then you can also choose to enjoy a ‘Rustic’ or ‘Vegetarian’ menu.
But how do the prices compare? A UCook low-carb box for one will set you back R267, including ingredients and recipes for 3 meals, while competitors like Daily Dish offer a similar Banting Box for one priced around R409, including ingredients and recipes for 4 meals. To put it simply, UCook will cost you about R89 per meal, while a competitor will cost you about R102 per meal, so it’s great value for money – especially if you consider the convenience factor of not having to go to the shops every week to choose your own ingredients.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.