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Batch Cooking Questions

(20 Posts)
iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 08-Jan-13 22:13:06

Hi all,
on another thread about what to do on maternity leave many people have said you should do batch cooking. I love this idea but don't know anything about it.
Can u tell me a/ WHAT you batch cook? b/ How you store it? so that it is safe. and any other info you can give me.
I am 35 weeks pregnant and would love to do this!

MJP1 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:20:16

Hello I have started doing abit of batch cooking, I made 3 lots of spaghetti bologenese and then just split it into 1 and 2 person's portions using freezer bags, then labeled them.

I plan to do other things like shepards pie, fish pie, casseroles and chili's, there are alot more ideas on here. I am not very good at eating when on my own, my other half works shifts in the police and I know I will REALLY need to eat whilst breast feeding so hope this helps.

You can buy tin foil oven trays, re-use takeaway plastic tubs etc, just label whats what and date.

Lyns22 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:22:10

When I was near the end if my pregnancy I went in a cleaning frenzy then cooked everything I had in the fridge. Get some freezable tupperware and you're all set! I just made really basic things like bolognaise, chilli and homemade burgers and meatballs.
Just need to defrost, reheat and make up some rice/ pasta.
Another easy one is just some cooked chicken and broccoli covered in chicken/mushroom soup with a teaspoon of curry powder. Sprinkle with cheese and chuck in the oven. Really yummy! Remember the broccoli though, otherwise it's unhealthy haha x

Ellypoo Tue 08-Jan-13 22:38:00

Bolognaise, chilli, curries, stews mainly - also cottage pie, fish pie, lasagne - things like that are dead easy to cook in large quantities and freeze in portions.

EwokStorageUnit Tue 08-Jan-13 22:38:19

Curry is good to do in batches and soup as well. When I've done it in the past, I've had two slow cookers on the go, the oven and all the rings on the hob!

If you work out what you're going to do and then chop all the ingredients before you start cooking it's much quicker. One of those little whizzygig choppers makes it much quicker than chopping by hand!

Wolfiefan Tue 08-Jan-13 22:39:25

Spag Bol

CityDweller Tue 08-Jan-13 22:40:03

I plan on doing chilli, pasta sauces, stews, curries, for easy evening meals. Also a load of soups, for lunches, etc. I do this anyway with soup and just freeze individual portions in small freezer bags. I'm also planning on doing some batch-baking of things like muffins...

DeGlitterBug Tue 08-Jan-13 22:42:53

Shepherds pie
Soup (though that is hard to eat safely whilst holding baby!)
I make burgers (pork/lamb/beef/turkey) and freeze raw, so they can just be whacked in the oven

Anything you usually eat that can be frozen and then readily reheated by microwave or in the oven. The aim is to have zero preparation food to feed yourselves with for as long as possible. Ready meals and takeaway menus are other options wink

DeGlitterBug Tue 08-Jan-13 22:43:47

Label what you feeze. You will not remember what it is!

DeGlitterBug Tue 08-Jan-13 22:44:56

If you do not already have one then it's worth getting a slow cooker, both to do this batch cooking and for easy meals once baby's here.

melliebobs Tue 08-Jan-13 22:47:50

When I was expecting dd last feb I spent the last 4 weeks

I got loads of foil trays from wilkinsons to freeze individual portions. They are also fine to put in the oven then and they are mega cheap. the stuff I made you can cook from frozen or defrost on the day you want it. Then you just get dp/dh to do the veg etc on the day grin

I had a slow cooker and made the following.

Bolognese (8-10) portions per recipe
Chilli (8-10) portions per recipe
Steak and ale (4-5) portions
Fish pie (4) portions
Kashmiri butter chicken curry (8-10) portions
Sausage casserole (4) portions

Believe me it was a god send having that in and it lasted AGES grin well worth the prep in advance

FoofFighter Wed 09-Jan-13 00:19:40

deglitterbug, put your soup in a mug, hey presto wink

DeathMetalMum Wed 09-Jan-13 07:21:46

I do a sweet and sour (chicken) that freezes and defrosts well also a sausage and bean casserole which is lovely bothe recipies are from the change for life website.

iamwhaticallpregnant Wed 09-Jan-13 07:50:15

thanks everyone. Are there any issues with cooking meat - then freezing it - then cooking again?? I am a tad paranoid?
Does pasta take well to this?

melliebobs Wed 09-Jan-13 08:02:49

Honestly it's fine. Just make sure it's cold before you freeze it. And if your proper paranoid make sure it's fully defrosted before you cook it.

But I cook all mine from frozen. Give it a stir half way through n add a little water and it's fine smile happy cooking

melliebobs Wed 09-Jan-13 08:03:48

Oh and as for pasta it doesn't freeze very well I've found. Maybe it's cos of the water content. For the sake of ten mins you might as well make it on the day

iamwhaticallpregnant Wed 09-Jan-13 09:04:16

thank you. i shall start cooking asap :-)

rrreow Wed 09-Jan-13 11:58:47

Get freezer bags, cheaper than tupperware and you waste less freezer space. I tend to make sauces to freeze and then when you want to use it boil some rice/pasta while the sauce is warming up (rather than freezing rice/pasta).

When you're cooking with meat, make sure the meat is fully cooked (you're basically cooking a meal as if you were about to consume it, but then instead you're freezing it). It's best to try and cool it rapidly and then pop in the freezer (remember to create portions). When you re-heat stuff, just like heating a ready meal for example, it's important to make sure it's completely heated through and piping hot.

For quite a good basic cookbook I'd recommend Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. The beef stew freezes well. I think there's also some basic pasta sauces in there. Curries freeze well too.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 09-Jan-13 14:04:21

Home bargains is usually good for buying trays and bags to store your food in and I recently bought Aggies cookbook for £3.99 from the works. Has some good family recipes like make one and freeze one lasagne smile

FoofFighter Wed 09-Jan-13 15:47:59

I'd also recommend getting a copy of Jamie's 15 minute meals. They are awesome!

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