Batch Cooking!

Kanary

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Amazon Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 281
"For the Light! For Victory! For Cake!"
Today, I'm setting up fruit-and-yogurt cups and a stew based loosely on my grandmother's goulash recipe for easy meals this week.
Anyone else batch cooking? What are you making?
 

neilarey

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DAREBEE Team
Shieldmaiden from Greece
Posts: 227
"Trust The Awesomeness"
@Kanary it makes life so much easier, yes! :welcome:

These days I mostly batch cook ingredients, though, because my meals are often modular. So anything that normally would take a while to make I cook in advance - beans, chickpeas, lentils. I store them in large containers and then use as much as I need in my meals throughout the week. Right now I am steaming 2kg of potatoes in my pressure cooker. I'll use them up for brunch and dinner in the next few days. If I manage to get some eggplant, I'll make a moussaka (traditional Greek dish).

:foodie:
 

Heniek

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Warrior Posts: 203
"I get out of bed at 5am"
When I was working as a building site labourer I would prep a days food the evening before. For hot lunch I cooked a batch of Basmati rice and a curry, divide into 5 plastic tubs but not mix rice and curry. I had a plastic soup/stew thermos the kind with the glass core, I would lightly mix the lunch into a pot and microwave very hot, at lunch time it was still quite hot and could eat straight away.

CJgc7PEWwAAhsfW.jpg
 
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Anek

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Sorceress from Bavaria, Germany
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Posts: 683
My easiest batch cooking "hack" is to make double or triple of any recipe that needs a while, and freeze individual portions. Or can them, if suitable. Then I write on the freezer door what's inside so I don't forget and can have a choice without having to root through the freezer :D

Mostly I make curries, chilis, and similar stews.
 

mavie

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from germany
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 393
I too cook huge pots of curries, stews, soup, etc. and freeze the portions, usually in jam jars. Same with cooked rice, hummus and other ingredients. Usually i have a big jar of homemade kimchi and/or curtido (light fermented cabbage) in the fridge.
Besides batch cooking i started to buy ingredients in bulks. I mix my muesli myself and therefor buy oats, cranberries, coconut chips, unsweetened cornflakes, flax seeds, nuts etc. in 1-2,5 kg bags. It's great quality and a lot less packaging.
 

OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 265
I batch cook 5 days a week... Though, with a family my size, it's really just making enough dinner to last into the next day's lunch. However, there are some occasions, like tonight's dish, that will be stored in the freezer for a later meal... Tonight's dinner is coleslaw with tomatoes and local sausage. It'll be tomorrow's lunch, and I'll be combining the leftover sausage, tomatoes (pureed), and cabbage into a freezer bag with broth for cabbage stew to be had at a later date. So, that's three meals for 8 people all planned out!
Last night, it was chicken and a twist on mashed sweet potatoes - with salt, butter, yellow squash, and caramelized onion all pureed into it. There was enough for dinner, today's lunch, and leftover potatoes for the freezer at a later date. Sweet potatoes are hit or miss in my family... Today, it was a bit of a miss for all but three people... Two more were content that it was "edible", and the other three refused.
Tomorrow, it will be a cheesy tuna and mixed vegetable dish of some sort... Maybe a melt at dinnertime, a cold sandwich at lunch, and if there's any tuna and veggies leftover, a creamy casserole for the freezer.
 

Sif_Shepard

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Fighter from the Normandy SR-2
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Posts: 523
"ad astra per aspera"
I don't do this a lot, I haven't found many things that I love leftover enough to eat for several days in a row. Soup is an exception, there's nothing I love more in the colder months than making a huge pot of soup, I find it so cathartic. Lasagne or enchiladas also keep well so sometimes I'll do that, but it's more like I'll make that for dinner and we'll have a couple servings left for breakfast or lunch the next day or two.

The one thing we've done in batches that I actually really love and look forward to having when we do prep them is salads. Salads keep surprisingly well in the fridge for 4-5 days in well sealed tupperwares, lettuce still crisp and everything. Just leave out the dressing and things like croutons and such. We bought a bunch of bowl sized tupperwares and usually get 8-10 salads when we prep them for lunches, so enough for both of us for a week. My favorite is lettuce, red onion, bell peppers and/or other fresh peppers, roma tomato, radish slices, vegan cheddar, and black beans and corn or diced tofurkey for some more protein, and then when it's time to eat I'll add my homemade vegan ranch (cause it's way better than store bought lol), crispy jalapenos and/or tortilla strips, and maybe other things like some sliced avocado or pickled onions or jalapenos if we have any on hand. So good! :D
 
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thecagedsong

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Priestess from Saipan, CNMI
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Posts: 20
"The question isnt whether or not its possible, the question is do you have the courage to try?"
I often batch cook pasta salads filled with veggies, leaving off the dressing until just before serving.

This week I batch cooked costco orange chicken over rice with an extra two cups of frozen veggies. Three extra meals for me, all portioned up in tubberware so I'm not tempted to eat out at lunch.

Tonight I'm going to cook up some chicken chips (frozen chicken breasts at the moment, but marinating in the fridge with olive oil, lemon, and taco seasoning), guacamole, bacon, spinach and another as of yet undetermined vegetable (don't say cucumber, I hate cucumber) to I can make into chicken wraps, with left over ingredients for hopefully three more meals.
 

OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 265
The upcoming week, I will not be doing any batch cooking for lunches... However, there will be a LOT of chicken, veggie, cabbage, and spicy Cajun stews due to all of the make-ahead broths and ingredients that I've been prepping and accumulating! This coming week, I will be cycling out my deep freezer using the remaining meat, frozen veggies, and broths that I've stored up, the kids will get their much-begged-for PBJs (because my perimenopausal taste buds have a vendetta against humanity), and making space for a new lunch menu that I had the kids prepare with certain health requirements. I hope that these adaptations are enough to compensate for the fact that I no longer have the palate of a queen, but rather that of a starving raccoon, and that I may be able to salvage what's left of my relationship with my kids after forcing them to eat my blood sweat and tears... er... terrible cooking.
 

Nevetharine

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Viking from The Depths
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Posts: 297
I usually batch cook a bunch of lentils because I add them to smoothies and pretty much anything.

I'm going to hardboil a couple of eggs for the week.

And rice is also something I batch cook. Always. I freeze it in containers and just take one out when needed. I don't eat rice, but my hubby and my granddad does. (I have to cook for my granddad too)

Also cook up an entire week's worth of meat for granddad. Just take out and defrost when I make his lunch.

Technically I guess this doesn't count for batch cooking but I do make overnight oatmeal very often. But that's just 1-2 days in advance.

Overall the reason I batch cook is because my granddad is... An old guy. And he is a very picky eater. He doesn't eat the kinds of food me and my hubby eat. And I don't want to be stuck cooking two meals every day.
 

Giant48

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Guardian from Ankara-Turkey
Posts: 128
Gonna ask a question im not sure if this is the right place.
İ want to ask how long does peeled zucchini's last in the regular fridge (not freezer) im planning to batch peel and slice them on the weekends to saute'e them on my daily meals
any ideas??
im eating like 600 gr peeled zuchhin's (cabbage) the white one not the orange one ) daily right now on my meal plan and peeling them from the night usually but would be better to just peel them on the weekend and use it from there if its doable and it wont go bad
 

OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 265
İ want to ask how long does peeled zucchini's last in the regular fridge
About 3-4 days, max... You'd have to peel mid-week... Also, it looks like you're already aware if you peel them the night before, but it starts losing its structure the moment it's cut, and over time it becomes a soggy wet mess.
 

Giant48

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Guardian from Ankara-Turkey
Posts: 128
About 3-4 days, max... You'd have to peel mid-week... Also, it looks like you're already aware if you peel them the night before, but it starts losing its structure the moment it's cut, and over time it becomes a soggy wet mess.
Thank you for the info
im gonna have to do it daily i assume. no one really likes a soggy wet mess.
About a more relevant topic
Since i am trying to eat as clean as possible with few cheat meals in between, İ cant eat the food given at my workplace cause i have no idea about macro numbers on the meals prepared or what sort of oils/margarines they are using.

Not sure if it counts but thats why i batch cook my meals for the whole day early in the morning in week days while also getting ready for work. İT is a great convenience to take out your meals anywhere and anytime you want.

Since i dont have a rice cooker i put some boiled water on the rice for it to wait for 10-15 minutes to soften them up a bit, while im taking a shower.( i Boil eggs for breakfast and my 4th meal during my shower too )
A
fter the shower and dressing up , İ put the rice on low heat in a rice pot, as rice keeps cooking i grill zuccini's and my daily meat (its turkey for now) in a pan. during which i weigh my oatmeal and banana's for my breakfast, and chop my daily veggies for my meals (cucumbers red and green peppers as well).
İ cook the zuccini's and meats after i weight them so its easier to portions in a lunch box ( got a decent product with 3 containers with the same size also comes with a case with thermal insulation which keeps them warm for the day tho ofcourse there are some heat losses).
Since my 5th meal is too high on volume i leave it in my fridge, been eating it cold but gonna try microwaving it tomorrow
The whole process of me waking up to leaving the house usually takes around 80-90 minutes. (shower, cooking daily meals having my breakfast)
Which should go lower as i practice the routine a bit more.
İF there is anyone else working a 9-5 like me would be glad to hear what sort of routine you have and hope this helps someone out it's not optimized but it keeps me floating for now ^^
 
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OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 265
I don't work a 9-5, but I do have school mid-day, and I have to cook around my family who works and schools during the day. My meal prep happens in the evening. I make a big dinner that can be packed into lunch for the next day, and in the mornings, I make a quick and easy on-the-go breakfast for everyone... usually a carb-protein combo such as a fruit and nuts (my most common go-to), grains and seeds, or a green smoothie... I save the starches and animal-based breakfast combos for days when I can take the time to cook them. I also always have ready to grab foods for mid-day snacks... nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and veggies (romaine hearts are the corn-on-the-cob of the lettuce world), chocolates, and small-portioned "cheats" to avoid the effects of "white knuckle deprivation".
 

Henry

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Warrior Monk from Ontario Canada
Posts: 105
"KEEP FIT - EAT WELL"
I use to buy them frozen burgers but nowadays I buy a 500g package of lean beef and spread out on a sheet of parchment paper that I smeared some olive oil. season and blend the meat all up with my hands, then back onto the sheet and rolling pin it into a rectangle that I slot into 6, pick up each piece and spread apart and oil a little on each side. Slide the whole thing onto a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. when frozen trim the paper and stack, bag and back into the freezer for when needed.
 

OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 265
This week, I am making enough cookies, chocolates, and bread to feed an army... or small city... or just 10 kids who think they're starving every 30 minutes... What would last most families an entire month will only last us a week. Tuesday starts our family celebration week (starts on St. Nicholas Day and ends on my anniversary). So, I am making lots of goodies to make it an extra special week for all of us!

MY BATCH COOKING LIST FOR THIS WEEK:
Cookies: white chip macadamia nut, oatmeal chocolate chip, peanut butter, frosted sugar cookies, tea biscuits
Chocolates: Orange, dark, and peppermint chocolates in molds, peppermint bark, spiced bark, chocolate marshmallow cloud candies, chocolate dipped nuts, fruits, and lemon-almond tea biscuits
Breads: Roti, sourdough, pizza rolls, soda bread

Frankly, at times like this, I wish I had a walk-in fridge and freezer...
 

Heniek

Well-known member
Warrior Posts: 203
"I get out of bed at 5am"
My mum used to make a big cauldron of cabbage soup for the week, it stayed on the stove since we didn't have a fridge in them days.

Basic ingredients and I think she just boiled it till done, I usually like to brown ingredients a little before adding boiling broth, same way with bigos.

  • about 8-10 cups of water or broth
  • spare ribs
  • 1 head of green cabbage ,shredded
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 5 Whole peppercorns
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Sticks of celery
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Kielbasa



 

OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 265
I've been really tired and sluggish due to my cough lately, and with the last of my cabbage stew finally being gone from my freezer, I've decided to replenish with a massive pot of chicken and veggie stew that I can pull out and serve over rice until I get better... So, that's my plan tomorrow... For the record, My kids have eaten 1/3 of everything I made on Monday... IT'S SUPPOSED TO LAST A FULL WEEK!!! :cry:
 

Lady Celerity

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from The Woods. NorCal
Posts: 203
"..one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on.."
Do leftovers count as a batch? :LOL: With only two in our household every time I cook there's enough for several more servings.

For my workweek lunches I make lots of:
steel cut oats
boiled eggs
salad
brown rice
ground turkey patties/meatballs

Since the weather turned cold I've been making soup; curried carrot soup, cream of broccoli soup (I found a non-dairy version of whipping cream to replace the heavy cream, it was amazing), vegetable minestrone. A favorite is to roast a large pan of vegetables, whatever's on hand. Parsnips, carrots, garlic (always) broccoli, cauliflower, red potatoes, etc.
 

Kanary

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Amazon Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 281
"For the Light! For Victory! For Cake!"
Leftovers definitely count as a batch as far as I'm concerned. Often my "batch cooking" is just making a full 4-6 person recipe instead of cutting it down for 1-2 servings and then portioning it out so it's easy to grab later.
 

Arwen

Member
Guardian from South East of USA
Posts: 12
"Feeling great!"
I sometimes batch cook oatmeal (steel cut oats) for the weeks' breakfasts. Its not at all exciting, but there are so many different toppings that it also doesn't get boring, and it makes for super fast breakfast. Just scoop out some into a bowl, throw on a handful of berries or other fruit, and I'm set. I don't even bother warming it up most days.
 

mavie

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from germany
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 393
It's not exactly cooking but i made a batch of Curtido again today. That's lightly fermented cabbage with carots, onions, jalapeno and oregano.
The linked recipe is in german but i guess it can be found easily in other languages. Or translated.

This glass lasts for month.

Curtido.jpg
 

Furrymama

Member
from Ohio USA
Posts: 6
Today, I'm setting up fruit-and-yogurt cups and a stew based loosely on my grandmother's goulash recipe for easy meals this week.
Anyone else batch cooking? What are you making?
Depends on what I'm in the mood for, but my husband and I usually make a couple of batch meals for the week, since it's just us. I seem to have gotten into the habit of making batches of pasta and brown rice. It seems to last me throughout the week and is one less thing for me to make.
 
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