2 months ago I was approached by UCook to test out a few of their home delivery meals. To cook them up and then let people know what I thought about them on social media. Little did I know, or could I ever have imagined that I would become so dependent on them and cannot image the past few weeks without my weekly suppers being sorted. On the weeks they weren’t delivered, I really missed them. I’m flat out useless at planning my own meals, so this really worked out for me. This recipe for chicken stroganoff with mushrooms and crispy sage served with roasted butternut and broccoli is one of their delicious meals from their low carb menu and is really very easy to make.
It’s kind of counterintuitive that someone who cooks and produces so much food content needs a to need a cooking meal delivery service, but here’s why it worked perfectly for me:
1.Although I do cook a lot of food in my house, many of the dishes I make for clients or DrizzleandDip.com are not a balanced and healthy supper. I try to incorporate a lot of what I cook here into my diet, but I live alone and often it just doesn’t work out.
2. I’m the absolute worst at planning my own meals and always get to 5 pm with zero idea about whats for supper. This results in very random and unstructured cooking from what I have in the fridge or freezer when all I want is a delicious plate of fresh food.
3. Sometimes I don’t really want to think up another recipe idea, I mean I do love doing this and do it all the time, but I have totally enjoyed making the decisions about what to eat BEFORE and then its plug and play on the night. I literally go through the motions, as I very quickly knock up supper. I can even match Masterchef Australia while I do. It has also got me in the habit of cooking much more for myself and cooking something really healthy and delicious.
4. It encourages me to cook recipes or food that I might not normally do and everyone can do with expanding their cooking repertoire. I would never have dreamt of cooking leg of lamb for one – but have now done it twice. I’ve also chosen a lot of their vegan and vegetarian recipes which has been so much fun. Generally, I like the low carb options as the protein is free range and pasture-reared (and sourced from my favourite butcher Ryan Boon), and I enjoy a very simple dinner of protein and veg at night.
5. They support local suppliers and wherever possible organic. This is farm fresh produce from Abalimi and Harvest for Hope.
For the first few weeks, they delivered my meals in portions for one and this was a big change for me. I normally cook for a minimum of two so having to cook and eat for exactly for one was really interesting and very cool. Zero waste and well worth all the effort.
They have really thought through the steps and ease of preparation, and have structured recipes so that you (in most cases) don’t have to use multiple bowls and techniques. There is normally some stove top action and some oven action which happens simultaneously. So while something is roasting in the oven, you have freed you up to cook what needs doing in the pan. I have found the cooking times average around 20 – 30 minutes – with a few roasts going over. This will also depend on the portion size you are going with. If you live with other people than can kick in with some help too.
The meals come divided into brown bags with portioned out ingredients for each recipe. At the most, you need to chop an onion, slice meat and pre some veg. You supply cooking oil, salt and pepper.
The 3 meal cards are easy to follow with very thorough instructions but like with all recipes, read through once before, then read through while making the recipe again. If you love a recipe you get to save the cards to make it yourself again.
You order on the Wednesday by 12:00 and the following Monday your box with your meals for the week arrives. I can’t recommend this highly enough and have tried so many meals now and enjoyed them all. It’s perfect for weeks where you are super busy and simply don’t have time to shop or think about supper.
The ONLY downside is the amount of packaging the meals come in (outer container). In order to keep the meals super cold and fresh, it comes in a polystyrene lined outer carton with ice packs inside. I know they are working on better ways to recycle, but make sure you recycle this yourself.
If you want to give UCook a whirl – check out their website and order your first set of 3 dinners. They have given me the promo code #chefsam to use on your first order and you will get 30% off. You should just do it even if it’s a once off. I promise you will love it.
Recipe – feeds 4 – slightly adapted from U Cook
- 4 free-range chicken breasts cut into 1 cm strips
- olive oil for frying
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 320 – 350gms mushrooms, roughly sliced (large brown/field mushrooms work well here)
- 180ml cream
- 8gm sage (about 10 leaves
- 600gms butternut, cut into medium pieces
- 200gms broccoli, cut into smallish florets
- salt and pepper
Spice and stock mix:
- 3 tsp chicken stock powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cornflour
Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F and prep all the ingredients as mentioned in the recipe above.
Boil the kettle and mix the spice mix with 200ml boiling water.
Toss the butternut in a light coat of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread this on a roasting pan and roast for 30 – 35 minutes until golden on the outside. You can give the pan a shake every now and again.
While the butternut is roasting, heat 2 Tbls of olive oil in a large skillet and fry the sage leaves until they crisp up. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
In this sage infused oil, fry the chicken strips in batches lightly on each side and until they just take on colour. They don’t need to be cooked through and you don’t want to overcook them. Add more olive oil as you go and as you need. Se the cooked strips aside.
Add more oil to the pan and fry the sliced onions for about 3 minutes until softened. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic and continue to fry for about 3 more minutes and until cooked.
About 10 minutes before the butternut is cooked, toss the broccoli in a very light coating of olive oil and add it to the side of the pan that the butternut is roasting in. Continue to roast for the remaining 10 minutes.
Pour over the spice and stock mix plus the cream and cook until this has thickened to your liking. Taste and test for seasoning adding salt pepper and a bit more paprika if you like. The flavour profile is mild here, so if you like spice, you could even add a sprinkling of chilli flakes now too.
When the sauce has thickened, add the chicken strips back in and cook for a few minutes to ensure they are cooked through.
Serve the chicken and the sauce over the roasted butternut and broccoli.
*Disclaimer ~ I’m helping UCook promote their new business by creating awareness but all views and opinions here are my own.
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