Does anyone on here cook a week's worth of meals in one day?(68 Posts)
I know that some people do it and I'd be interested to know how it works out.
If it is going to be a busy month, I stock up by making chicken curry, pasta bake, bolognese, pulled pork and fish pie and freezing family sized portions. Lifesaver, and there's always three or four of each.
That sounds like a really good idea. Does it take you long to prep?
Do you defrost everything? Do things like pasta bake cook from frozen?
I've been cooking loads since starting Slimming World. I do about a week's worth, 5-6 different things which I can freeze. It takes me half a day. I'd have thought it waste of time till recently but I've discovered that I enjoy it. It's just annoying when the kids reject it for nuggets & chips.
I microwave the frozen food without defrosting first.
I don't, as I like to cook daily but my sister used to before cutting her work hours. She'd do big batch cooking at the weekend, leave a couple in the fridge and freeze the rest. She'd make dishes using similar ingredients e.g bolognese, cottage pie and chili con carne so could buy ingredients in bulk and save cash too. She would not use all the frozen meals in the following week though or it would be a bit samey but use a mix of those and dishes cooked in previous weeks. Not sure how she cooked them but I'd defrost overnight then heat up in the oven (find microwave not great for even heat in large portions).
I'm trying to plan things I can batch cook & freeze. All the mince based things I'm ok with but trying to find other ideas too.
Also going to try & use my slow cooker more
I do a batch cook day about once a month, and make enough meals for half the evening meals for the month plus additional part dishes.
Even part prep saves time: I freeze mashed potatoes and chopped onions and peppers: things which can take 10 mins off the time to cook a quick meal, as well as lots of soups, pasta sauce, chilli, curry, stews etc.
I don't go as far as making a week's worth but I do utilise my slow cooker. If I make something like bolognese then I make heaps of the stuff and I freeze a load for next time. Then I just microwave the frozen portion and cook the spaghetti. We then have a really good homemade meal in 10 minutes.
I also bulk lasagne and chilli... Basically mince based food because they microwave well. I find chicken and pork go dry.
I used to when we were just two adults and two children and I was working. Now we are two adults, a teen, a pre-teen (both with hollow legs) and two children, it's too much to cook triple portions like I used to.
I do batch cook, but I would never set aside a day to have a big cooking session- far too much work.
I batch cook as I go, so if I decide to cook a chicken curry then I make 15 portions and freeze what we don't eat that day. Again with bolognese- I cook a vast pot, eat for dinner that night, turn half of it into chilli con carne and freeze. Ditto with soup, stew etc.
So once the ball is rolling I can eat freezer meals a few nights a week when I am busy. When one thing runs out then that gets made again.
I would hate to spend a whole day batch cooking.
Big time saving items for me are shop bought frozen chopped onion and cubed pure ginger and garlic frozen in the Asian section, great for stir fries.
I wouldn't want to spend half a day batch cooking for the week as it would feel like a chore. But I do tend to double quantities when I make things like bolognese, chilli, casserole etc as then I can freeze half for a quick dinner on a busy evening. I pull them out of the freezer before going to work and reheat in the oven.
Notso my hollow legged DC are 10, 12 and 14. I had to buy bigger pans and oven dishes to be able to make double portions!
I haven't done this yet. But, I just got a great cookbook called The Mama Bake Cookbook (after the Mama Bake website, which also has loads of batch recipes on it, and is apparently based on the meal swapping clubs that have sprung up in Australia.) It gives you complete weeks menus (i.e. Seven meals, of different types) and instructions on how to do the batch cooking, along with a list of ingredients to buy for that week's food. I have only tried a couple of the recipes individually so far, but they were both very easy and very tasty (and enormous, so we were eating leftovers for a few days with both.)
The website in my previous post:
I batch cook every weekend. My staple is a base for ragu, cottage pie and chilli. I use a food processor to prep veg, I use onions, a whole head of celery and tons of carrots. I don't weigh them but use equal quantities of veg to 3kg of lean mince. I cook the veg in a massive IKEA stock pan. I brown the mince in in a separate pan and deglaze with red wine. I combine and put portions aside for cottage pie (I make extra gravy with roast for the sauce) . To the rest I add oregano, garlic and passata/tomatoes. I simmer for ages and make white sauce so that I can make lasagne (with half Pasta, half, courgette layers), for dinner that night. I make a few lasagnes and portion the rest for ragu pasta sauce or the base for a quick chili (I add onion, green pepper and spices). Whatever I make, I double and freeze in portion sizes - mash and rice are fab. Another weekend I'll make curry, soup or stew Whilst the processor is out, I make crumble topping to freeze.
I find this easier than making 5-6 different meals. I make quick dinners the rest of the time. Current fave is shredded pork on gem lettuce with corn on the cob. Breakfast for dinner is another.
Following - do people use a chest freezer to store everything?
Just following as I'd like to learn more about this too.
Some great ideas. I don't batch cook but do buy a huge roast meat then do stir fry one night and something like sweet and sour next night with left overs. If we have fish on Sunday I'll do something like fish pie kedgeree or pasta cream cheese peas and fish.
Just following, I had a quick look at some recipes on mama bake, thanks FlorisApple
I used to when Dc were younger and we needed to eat soon after getting in of a week day. I would spend Sunday afternoon in the kitchen making up food that could be frozen in foil trays alongside getting the roast in for the evening meal.
This alongside double (or more) quantities in the slow cooker with the second portions frozen in microwaveable containers meant that i never had to prepare a home cooked meal during the week but always ate one.
On days the elder dc didn't have activities in the evening I would get a tray out of the freezer in the morning put it in the oven to defrost during the day and leave a note with instructions for older Dc for what time and temp to put oven on so meal was ready for not long after I and younger Dc got home.
Days that older dc had activities I would do a slow cooker meal that older Dc could serve themselves a portion of before leaving for said activity and leave the rest for me younger dc & freezer, or get out previous portions of slow cooker meals with a note for how long to microwave it for elder dc.
We used to cook in bulk quite often, cooking extra portions and freezing them in takeaway tubs or freezer bags. And if we were making stuff in the slow cooker we'd double the recipe and put half of it in the freezer uncooked and ready to throw into the slow cooker.
Marking my place with interest though as once we move back home in a few weeks (staying with friends currently which is why we've stopped freezing foods!) I intend to do some big cooking days to have a freezer full of meals for when my baby comes, DH will be starting a new job with a long commute 8 weeks before the due date so neither of us particularly want to be trying to cook dinner after a long day!
Only soups (minestrone, broth, vegetable soups).
When I cook lasagne or bolognese I make one more to freeze for the unexpected guests.
I think people see 'batch cook queens' and think they need to do the same.fair enough If you actually think it might be helpful but ive had so many friends tell me they need to start batch cooking because so and so does it so well and how so and so does it and they are so fab and roganised.as if because they don't they are failing somehow!
mince is the best one as you can add things to it to make it spicy,taco,curried,bolognase etc so just making a really base mince carrot onion and tomato dish is always a good one.
always make a huge le creuset sized lasagne or pasta bake and then it lasts for a few days either heated up with veggies,salad for lunch or tea.the man take it to work in tupperwares for lunch.
a big batch of couscous to stick in the fridge is great. then adding bits to it for lunch or tea as you go throughout the week.
the base mix of sautéing down onions,peppers,tomatos,and chorizo or salami and garlic.then sticking it in a tub.it can be mixed through anything,had on toast,stirred through pasta, with jackets,mixed in with some beans or lentils or thickened with some stock and tinned tomatos for a chunky soup with bread. and tastes amazing.
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