Do you ever find yourself at home incapable of making a plan for dinner? Maybe you end up going out, skipping a meal or resorting to the stale bag of chips in your cupboard. We all know these options are not usually the best options for ourselves, but what’s a tired and busy person to do?
Batch cooking is a way to relieve some of the stress of feeding yourself during the week! And it doesn’t have to be just leftovers or the same pot of chili all week. There are many degrees of batch cooking from planning to preparing. Check out our tips below on how to make batch cooking work for you.
Levels of Batch Cooking:
1. Make a plan. What are some dishes you like to eat. What ingredients are required and can they be pre-prepared? I know it’s hard to decide what you will want to eat 4 days from now and that is not necessary. Plan to have 2-3 different proteins, 3-4 different veggies, and 2-3 different sauces and bases. Then, you can mix these up however you would like when the time comes.
2. Go shopping. Sometimes just having the appropriate ingredients at your house is all you need to prepare for the week.
3. Chop, Roast, Cook, Mix. Get a jump start on the time consuming things. You can pre-chop veggies, you can roast hearty veggies like potatoes and beets, you can cook rice, pulled pork and hard-boiled eggs, and you can mix up your dressings and sauces.
4. Make it: You can make some meals in full! Be sure to choose meals that keep and reheat well. During the winter a batch of chili or soup are always great.
5. Store It: One of the down sides of batch cooking is keeping the food from spoiling. Chopped veggies and cooked rice just don’t keep as long as they do in their full and dry forms. To prevent spoiling: rapidly cool cooked food, and store in a glass container with a tight lid. Know how long foods last (3-4 days for most cooked foods) and don’t prepare too far in advance. To prepare for those days later in the week you can freeze things or plan to have a second prep day in the week.
Still feel overwhelmed by all of this? Our friends at Liberating Jasper are doing a batch cooking class this coming Sunday where you can bring home 3-4 meals for the week.