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A More Practial Approach to Batch Cooking

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It seems that everyone who is in really good shape recommends batch cooking, which means cooking up a whole lot of healthy stuff at once for meals in the upcoming week. This usually happens on Sunday.

This simply isn't practical for my life. While I do have hours available, I don't want to spend them in the kitchen. Sunday is my down day and I like to keep it that way if I can. So instead, I have an alternative method that isn't brilliant, but works for me: I cook a lot at once when I DO cook. (This is a method also known as "Leftovers" emoticon ). An advantage to this method is that since I am adding new foods to my precooked supply throughout the week I have a continual, rotating supply of quick healthy food to turn into a simple and healthy meal.

I'm a cooker, anyhow. I make several dinners, at least, at home each week. And breakfast on Saturdays. And lunches for myself most days. I never have a lot of time for lunch, so having stuff to toss together in a hurry is crucial to me getting a nutritious lunch. Otherwise, I am likely to reach for something crummy to eat.

So here is what I do: If one night we have grilled or baked chicken for dinner, I grill or bake more than we need. Often three times as much. This means we can have it for leftovers another night (either as-is or in a stir-fry or some other method), and I have plenty to chop for salads or slice for sandwiches or whatever I'm fancying that day.

If I make a green salad for one meal, I make extra and put it in the fridge, ready to add some of the above chicken and cheese to for a meal, or as a side for lunch.

Same for steamed vegetables.

Steel-Cut oats take much longer to cook than regular oats. But three servings of steel-cut oats take as long to cook as one and I can put the other two in the fridge so that breakfast is ready for the next two mornings. I make mine in my rice cooker, which is quicker than the stove top method, but the cooker is kinda a pain to clean so cooking them all at once cuts down on my dish-washing.

Same goes for brown rice, but with it I make it to the capacity of my rice cooker. Brown rice keeps longer in the fridge than oats and can literally be used for all three meals (hot with cinnamon and coconut oil is delicious for breakfast!), so we go through it a lot faster.

When I brown beef for a meal, I brown more than I need. Gives me anther option for my meats for breakfast and lunch.

On Saturday morning it takes as long to cook a pound of turkey bacon as it does three slices. I put the rest in a gallon-sized storage bag with paper towels and stick it in the fridge. Takes five seconds to heat three slices up in the microwave to go with my breakfasts and is a very nice treat during the week.

So there are some ideas. Again, this isn't rocket science- It's just making use of my resources and time to the best of my abilities.

The easier and more convenient you make it for yourself to eat healthy, the more likely you are to do so.

I would love to hear any ideas YOU might have about making eating healthy more convenient!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRIMMIX 12/23/2013 9:21AM

    I don't know why I never thought of making two salads at once. Up until now I've just had leftovers by accident. Now I will plan on it and make my life easier. I'm with you on the Sunday down day thing. Everyone needs at least one day a week to take it easy. Thanks for the blog.

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CHANTENAY 12/22/2013 10:49AM

    I do the same thing too. When my husband saw me preparing a meal, he told me to put the extra back, like it would go to waste. I told him, no, it will be used later. For example, extra taco meat will make a great taco salad the next day for lunch. Our son goes to school at home, so I'm a lunch lady on top of my other tasks.

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HDHAWK 12/22/2013 9:15AM

    We do this too if I don't have time or don't feel like batch cooking. Great ideas!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 12/22/2013 1:55AM

    I do something similar. I do not 'batch cook', but who can cook chili for 1?! So I make a crock pot of chili and have supper, then divide it up leaving a couple containers in the fridge and freezing a couple containers. When I grill chicken I make sure to grill 2 or 3 chicken breasts. I make sure to have leftovers for a meal or two. It works perfectly for me.

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CHICA_BORICUA 12/21/2013 6:23PM

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ELISELOVE1 12/21/2013 5:45PM

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