Ok I have made it three weeks into batch cooking and I wanted to give my feedback. I LOVE IT!!! Yes, I am yelling that is why I had to write it in all capitals. Prior to my batch cooking experiment cooking dinner and prepping lunch for the day added stress. I don’t need added stress, who does? It wasn’t simply the preparation it was the daunting task of finding a recipe, going to the grocery store, coming home to prepare the meal and finally cooking everything. I still complete these same tasks with the batch cooking but because I am doing everything at the same time it is somehow easier.
In Part 1 of Batch Cooking I discussed the time investment, and this lessened the second week from 4 hours to only 3 hours. 3 hours!! To cook everything for the week. Since we were away last weekend I actually did the batch cooking on Monday after work for the second week.
I want to review the recipes I used and how everything worked out, for the most part none of the recipes were a fail, I simply made too many ahead items.
Frittata – used the leftover veggies from the week and made a potato, onion, red pepper combo
Yogurt and Granola
Frozen Pancakes – we always make extra when we cook these on the weekend so there is always something in the freezer.
Salads – had mixed greens on hand and prepped the following: quinoa, boiled eggs, roasted veggies and had nuts, vegetables and fruit cut up as well.
Leftovers – If there were any leftovers they were fair game for lunch.
*I live with two grown men, if left to their own devices could possibly eat 3 of these in one day! Lol. I made a menu for the week and if anyone was home earlier or running late they could heat up their meal.
Monday: Refried Bean Burritos
Tuesday: Vegetarian Chili
Wednesday: Leftovers (an easy mid-week solution)
Thursday: Fried Rice (we substituted bok choy for peas – I feel any veggies work for fried rice so use what you have)
Friday: Lettuce Wraps (used the leftover veggies in the fridge and saved money by not buying food on our road trip)
Saturday/Sunday: Away. Worked out perfectly as we had not food left in the fridge.
Veggies (carrots/celery) and Hummus
Here is how I prepped everything. I looked at what I needed to cook and the method, as well as temperature. For example I needed to put the broccoli meatballs in the oven before the banana bread because they cooked at a lower temperature and also took less time.
*Prepared and started the slow cooker chili
*Prepared and cooked the burritos
*While the burritos were cooking I prepped the broccoli meatballs
*When the broccoli meatballs went in the oven I prepped all the salad ingredients.
*Then moved onto the cashew sauce, which I did not heat up only prep.
*Made rice and quinoa batches for the week, back to back in the rice cooker so I didn’t have to worry about them.
*Finally made the banana bread, cleaned up and prepped the power balls.
*The fried rice was made fresh later in the week with the prepared rice and cut up vegetables.
*I cooked the noodles and alfredo sauce last as that needed to be warm for dinner.
It seems like a lot of cooking in one day but goes quite fast and then you are done for the week! No scrambling to make breakfast or lunch and when you come home there is so much time when you don’t have to cook. Plus dishes are a breeze, a couple plates and a pan, 5 minutes!
I think batch cooking is an easy and affordable way to save time and money.
Next in the three part Batch Cooking series, the benefits.