I'm new here but I just have to add an idea that I have found and use at least every other week. It takes me an hour start to finish but then I have at 6 or seven meals pre-packed in my fridge that I can throw in the microwave and have ready in 2 minutes or throw in my bag and take to work.
I buy steelhead trout or salmon, either the frozen filets at Costco or fresh at the grocer. 2 pounds, it's not cheap but worth it, I think. Frozen green beans and a brown rice mixture at Trader Joes. These I always have stocked in my freezer and pantry.
I broil the fish, I like a recipe called Pacifica, it's lemon juice, onion flakes, brown sugar and dried mustard--some variation of these ingredients on the fish to make it not so fishy. I make 2-cups of rice in the rice cooker using chicken stock or broth instead of water. The medley (i think it's called from Trader Joes has radish seeds and two or three kinds of brown rice that has a nutty flavor and texture that keeps and reheats well). While the fish is broiling and rice is cooking, I heat two bags of frozen green beans in the micro. I like them more crunchy than cooked and for some reason Kroger brand is the best kind. When they are done and still hot, I sprinkle brown sugar Sugar Twin (also used in the pacifica sauce) on the beans because I like that little sweetness.
Once it's all cooked, I put 1/2 cup rice, 1 cup gr. beans, and about 3-4 oz fish in each of several plastic bowls. I usually get 7 bowls. Then just seal them up and put them in the fridge. I always have a good meal on hand that is yummy, fillls me up, and I can feel good about. I take them to work with me, my son now will eat one if I he is on his own for dinner.
I'm not typically big on fish but this is always good, no matter how I tinker with the recipe. I have tried this with tilapia and did not like it. I am so proud of myself for putting this together--I am not great in the kitchen but this has been a staple in the house for several months now. Everyone I serve it to loves it.
9/19/11 5:15 P
I don't so much batch cook as I batch prepare. On Sunday I cut, slice, blanch, and othrewise prepare all my fruit and vegetables for the week. I store in containers in the fridge. This way I can toss together a salad, stir fry, or fruit smoothie very quickly. I also make batches of sugar-free jello and frozen sugar-free lemonade pops.
Fitness Minutes: (20,400)
2,704 9/6/11 7:26 P
I cook almost everything a week at a time, and if it's not cooked in advance then I've probably done some of the prep work in advance!
Soups, grain-based salads, stews, curries, frittatas, quiches, pasta tossed with roasted vegetables, vegetables patties, homemade veggie burgers, dips and spreads... it all gets made on Sunday and eaten throughout the week!
Vegetarian food is AWESOME for batch cooking! For a list of my favorite food blogs (where I get most of my make-ahead recipes) see my Spark Blog a few days ago.
I buy the large packs of ground beef and cook them up with basic salt-free seasonings. Let cool and portion out in freezer bags. Lay flat in freezer so it doesn't clump up. It can be used for chilis, added to pasta or to make meat sauce, taco salad, etc. Also, make meatballs, bake and freeze in portion controlled baggies. You can put frozen meatballs right into the pasta sauce and let them heat through while the sauce is heating.
I agree with Pookie. You can also research "freezer cooking" or "once a month cooking". I have a wonderful once a month book that has lots of recipes and breakdowns for different numbers of meals. It's called The Freezer Cooking Manual and is by Tara Wohlenhaus. My local public library has it which may be an option for you to look into.
You can also use this idea for things like muffins, pancakes and such for quick grab and go breakfasts.
I'm trying to get motivated to do more of this with colder weather coming on. I bought a lot of meat on sale and cooked it up today. Now I have meats for several meals ready to go.
Fitness Minutes: (86,575)
9/5/11 11:07 A
Things like curries, chili, stews all work well.
Potatoes can go a bit mushy when frozen and reheated though, so I dont tend to add them to my curry or anything.
I just take a recipe I like and make it BIGGER! And cook the same way as I've cooked it before. Slow cooker is neat as it needs so little effort once its up and going.
9/5/11 2:48 A
Hi everyone!!!! I am interested in batch cooking (a concept recommended by my nutritionist) but don't know where to begin. I figured I would lean on my fellow sparkers with the experience to guide me (and others wanting to do this) throgh the process. I was hoping some could post recipies (simple is better) and quantities. The rest of us could use the recipies we like andpost feedback. Slow cooker, regular cooking, whatever you have, would be much appreciated.1 week ar at time preferrd, but will accept two weeks if necessary. I am just a busy mom who HATES to eat out! Thanks in advance for your suppport
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