X5 2017 Masthead
YouFoodz_CBR_feature

Roadtest: YouFoodz Canberra

Beatrice Smith

IN THE SECOND PART OF A FIVE-PART SERIES, WE ROADTEST HOME-DELIVERED COOK OR HEAT AT HOME MEALS, AND GIVE YOU THE LOWDOWN.

“I love throwing out all my groceries at the end of the week” said no one ever. 

As the go-to girl for attending events on behalf of HerCanberra, there are times when I’ll be out three nights a week at work commitments, have dinner with a friend one night and go to my parents for Friday night dinner.

This has meant a lot of Sundays where I’ve essentially put the entire contents of my fridge shelf in the bin. Cya later $70 grocery shop.

Getting home late also means I have little patience for prepping meals the night before or packing a lunch box as I usually prefer to collapse into bed with an episode of Outlander.

I live in a share house with my two best friends, one of whom is a shift worker and the other usually has gym classes in the evening, so as much as we love cooking for each other, it’s a rare occasion.

NewActon I love you, but you’re bringing me down

As a one-off, the lunch options in NewActon (where HerCanberra is based) are delicious but for someone who falls into the habit of regularly buying lunch…my wallet weeps from the memories.

Because of this, I’ve been pre-cooking and packing various types of work lunches since I started at HerCanberra a year ago. First it was chicken and kale brought in a mason jar (don’t judge me), then it was salad with tuna, then it was wraps with salad and ham. These all hit the spot at various times, but when you’re eating the same thing for lunch five days in a row, being able to choose a lunch option with more than three ingredients starts to look pretty good.

This is around about the time you find yourself having the salmon at A. Baker every second day while you’re like “where does my pay go?…no seriously?”

With this in mind I was pretty excited to road test YouFoodz Canberra, a pre-made meals delivery service whose meals are fresh not frozen and take two minutes to heat in the microwave.

Lemon & Herb Tenders with Chickpea Paella

Lemon & Herb Tenders with Chickpea Paella

YouFoodz started up in Queensland, but expanded to the ACT and Victoria early this year. Manager of YouFoodz Canberra, Aidan Gordon, says Canberra is a perfect fit for their services.

“Canberra is a city of hard working, time poor people that work up to 60-70 hrs a week and we count ourselves among them,” explains Aidan.

Before Aidan started working for YouFoodz Canberra, he loved eating their meals.

“The meals made it so easy…plus I lost about 10 kilo’s without feeling like I was on a diet and the same thing has happened for many of our customers.”

Aidan says that the reception YouFoodz has enjoyed in Canberra has been incredibly positive so far and mostly relies on word of mouth.

“This happens rather organically,” explains Aidan. “For example we will have an office worker bringing his or her meals in to work and all of a sudden we are doing 10 deliveries a week to their office.  One of the markets we didn’t anticipate being so large is retirees – we’re delivering plenty of meals to retirement villages which we guess is because people have been cooking and cleaning for their family for decades and would like to retire from that as well!”

THE MENU

After chatting to Aidan about my food preferences, he recommended I simply go online to the Meals section of the YouFoodz Canberra website and select some favourites to road test.

I noticed straight away that as well as classic ‘clean’ meals like the Soy Salmon with vegetables and BBQ Chicken Scallopini with Quinoa and Vegetables there was also Lasagna, YFC (YouFoodz Fried Chicken) and Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

However, while there are treats on offer, it’s all portion controlled and both the ingredients and the nutritional information are clearly displayed on both the website and the actual packaging so you know exactly what you’re ordering.

YFC (YouFoodz Fried Chicken)

YFC (YouFoodz Fried Chicken)

I bundled together a mixed bag of dinners and lunches, as well as some breakfasts, snacks and drinks via their ultra simple ordering system.

If you’re after a super-low effort option, you can even choose from YouFoodz’ meal plans which are specially crafted for things like Paleo diets or muscle building and include a week’s worth of hand selected meals and snacks.

YouFoodz Canberra’s main draw is that their meals are cooked, packaged and delivered within 24 hours and because they’re packaged in special ‘Modified Atmosphere Packaging’ they stay fresh for 7-9 days without needing to be frozen at any point.

To be honest, the thing I was most excited about the menu was that I could pick meals off the website like it was a menu at a restaurant. It feels really luxurious to look at a delicious picture and say “Yep, think I’ll have that next Tuesday night for dinner.”

THE FOOD

YouFoodz arrives refrigerated with cold packs straight to your doorstep and honestly, it was delicious. My favourites were definitely the YFC, the Portuguese BBQ Chicken and the Homemade Fish and Chips.

For breakfast, the Coconut Protein Pancakes were an absolute treat, I couldn’t get enough of the Salted Caramel Protein Balls and choosing a cold pressed juice (a steal at $4.95 for a generous bottle) or coconut water to have each day felt luxurious, even though they cost as much as a coffee to order.

YouFoodz_Bea_2

However, it was the variety that was a real highlight for me. When I do cook, I’m pretty conservative (read: boring) in my repertoire, so being able to eat a Mexican Burrito Bowl for lunch and then Butter Chicken with Naan for dinner is pretty fantastic.

What makes me happiest though is the fact that I’m not cooking a huge batch of food or having to run to the supermarket every other night. Cooking for one usually means eating three meals of the same thing so it doesn’t go to waste.

With YouFoodz, you not only have an endless variety of options, but if you decide to go out for a last minute dinner, your ingredients won’t go off overnight.

THE COST

YouFoodz breakfasts start at $4.95, lunches and dinners at $9.95 and drinks and snacks at $4.95.

For someone whose seeking pure convenience like myself, four lunches, four dinners and one packet of snacks will set you back around $92.70, which is far less than I’d spend on groceries, snacks from the supermarket and lunches bought near work per week.

As my shelf of my sharehouse's fridge demonstrates, all you need in life is YouFoodz, vitamins and wine.

As my shelf of the sharehouse fridge demonstrates, all you need in life is YouFoodz, vitamins and wine.

It’s also minus the hassle of cooking late at night or bulk cooking lunches and you can always freeze the meals within their due date if your plans change.

Homemade Fish & Chips

Homemade Fish & Chips

THE VERDICT

I guess what you guys are wondering is whether I’d do it again? Well seeing as I’ve ordered my next week’s meals already, the answer is yes.

Dinner after I get home from work commitments is no longer a chore and it takes me 15 minutes each week to choose, order and pay for all my meals.

The ease of being able to throw lunch in my handbag and have it heated up in two minutes at the office AND knowing it’s good for me has changed the way I look at healthy eating (and how I spend my weekends!). The lunch and dinner offerings change every two weeks, so there’s always something new to try. This week I’m pretty excited to try the Turkish Kebab with Garlic Hummus.

the essentials 

What: YouFoodz Canberra pre-packaged meals
When: Order before 5.3pm Wednesdays, food is delivered Friday to your chosen address (office, home etc)
How much: Breakfasts start at $4.95, lunches and dinners at $9.95 and drinks and snacks at $4.95.
Order online here: youfoodzcanberra.com

The author road-tested one week of YouFoodz Canberra for free, however all opinions are their own. 

user

Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author

  • Ante Strika

    Hey Beatrice, a friend of mine directed me to your post. Firstly great post. Recently my business partner, (a chef) and myself (holistic coach) released our new business that is a Canberra based locally farmed, vegan and paleo, home delivered, certified organic premade meals. It’s called Primal Move Food. If you would be interested in tasting it for your blog post I can arrange something. Feel free to email me primalmovefood@gmail.com or check out the website – http://www.primalmovefood.com Thanks, Ante

    • Amanda Whitley

      Hi Ante

      We’d love to hear more – please email hello@hercanberra.com.au and we can take it from there…

      Amanda