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Save Time with Big Batch Cooking

Tips for Meal Planning

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  • I ALWAYS aim to cook once and eat at least 2-3 times. I cook for 2. Even if you have people that don't like leftovers... they will appreciate the same meal again in a week or two! We batch grill hamburgers that are plump instead of flat. I freeze them on a cookie sheet and then line them up in a wide mouth canning jar with wax paper between. Such a fast meal to plop a couple out, add veggies for a side dish and off we go. Being low carb, these work for any meal of the day! I have a chorizo recipe I make and fry up 4# into the same size patty and freeze in the canning jars as well. THIS is what we call fast food at our house! I always make soup in large batches and freeze in meal sized containers. Makes clean ups easier and there is never a reason to get take out!
    Debbie - 1/20/2017 10:06:32 AM
  • We are a family of two but make chili; legumes (freeze well); soups; and pasta sauces in quantity and freeze them. We also freeze fresh fruit (berries and cherries and bananas) and many seasonal veggies - some you need to blanch but then they are good for 6 months. It helps so much with planning when the entrees are almost "table ready" in the evenings. Lunch the next day - leftovers of course : -) - 12/20/2016 11:25:47 AM
  • I make my lunches for a whole week on Sundays! - 1/6/2016 7:01:41 AM
  • TEXASTOPAZ15
    For economic labeling of freezer bound meals, use masking tape. A roll of 1" wide tape, costs about a dollar, and will last for months. (any pen will work, or use a Sharpie for best results.) - 8/27/2015 10:28:51 AM
  • ETHELMERZ
    I make big batches of food for our freezer, but it's not always "good for you" meals, it's "taste good" foods that everyone enjoys. If everyone in the family or your circle of friends enjoys healthy foods at all times, this is a good idea though. In a perfect world, it would be a terrific idea. - 9/22/2014 2:36:57 PM
  • Living alone I rely on big batch cooking. I work long hours sometimes and cant be bothered cooking when I get home so would ALWAYS head to the takeaway joints. I bought myself a deep freezer (friends/family were initially like "why on earth do you need a freezer for just yourself?") and batch cook loads of meals. So simple in the mornings - take out my prepared lunches/dinners/snacks to defrost and Im away. I always make sure I have some meals in there I can reheat in oven directly from frozen too in case I forgot to get them out in the morning (Im not a fan of microwave defrosting) - 8/11/2014 3:36:18 PM
  • I agree with KIMBERLYSWEET. - 11/9/2013 1:28:00 AM
  • I do a little bit of this...I will make chili and freeze half, or sometimes I will brown ground beef with some celery and use it for sloppy joes later. I have also done this with chicken. I even have frozen turkey burgers to eat at a later time. I make egg muffins to freeze for breakfasts at work. I work a lot and have a lot of hobbies. Doing this sort of thing helps us to eat healthy meals instead of grabbing something bad. - 5/13/2013 9:42:46 AM
  • Great tips, I have been doing this for years. It is a great way to always have nutritious meals for our family. - 12/26/2012 1:00:49 PM
  • DATMAMA4
    When we make lasagne, it's a family event. Each of the kids has an assignment (cheese, noodles, sauce, meat, etc.), as do my hubby and I. We make about six to freeze, plus one for that night's meal & leftovers. Line up all the pans on a table, each person adds whatever "their" layer is, and we just keep rotating around until all the layers are finished.

    It goes quickly and we all feel great about doing something together that we can enjoy in months to come. - 8/20/2012 12:09:45 PM
  • Great article. I do this when I make salsa and marinara sauce. I make a big batch, 3 gallons or so, and put them in canning jars and a 45 minute water bath in a canning pot. I'm not sure how long the shelf life is but at least 6 months, and it is all used for meals by then anyway. - 8/17/2012 1:34:31 PM
  • SHELBRUK
    I work 12+ hours a day, six days a week, and I tend to sleep more on the only day of the week I have off. But I really like to cook as many meals as possible when I'm going to be in the kitchen!

    I never knew the freezer life of foods, so I did learn something new from this article. Thanks! - 12/13/2011 10:04:16 PM
  • PIXIESTIX6669
    Ugh, I agree...veal is NASTY...
    I don't eat any meat that's not organic...it's all really disturbing if you know where industrialized meat comes from and how it was raised...check out Food, Inc. to learn more... - 12/13/2011 11:10:11 AM
  • PIXIESTIX6669
    Big batch cooking is the secret to consistently eating healthy...I spend an afternoon each week cooking for the week, and it's a lifesaver...when coming home after a busy day, all I have to do is heat and eat...way healthier than commercially frozen frankenfood or take out...ew! - 12/13/2011 11:07:20 AM
  • BETHHONEY
    I don't think that you should be encouraging people to eat veal. It's an unhealthy food, considering the high fat content. And a baby animal was penned in a tiny cage and fattened up on food he wouldn't normally be eating, that's very inhumane. Why don't you really look into veal, how it's produced, and decide for the good of the animal to not eat that way!

    What's next, are you going to be recommending we eat fois gras? That's another example of an animal that is force fed to an extreme. Eat healthy food, people! - 12/13/2011 8:38:11 AM

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