In a bid to save some time and get dinnertime streamlined I decided to pick up Sunday morning batch cooking. Sometimes I forget that I’ve been a chef for 15 years and that cooking lots of food is something I am very good at. I will share my tips and tricks for a smooth batch cooking session.
Preparation is key and I started on Friday to make the menu for the week, then made a grocery list. I won’t share recipes just general ideas of what can be cooked. I spend 1.5 hours in the kitchen and had all our meals and snacks prepped for the week. Again I have worked as a chef for many years so I might be a bit faster than the regular home cook. I saved so much time over the week not having to cook or to think about what to cook.
Monday– Pasta with Meat Sauce
Tuesday– Roasted Root Vegetables with Sausage
Wednesday– White Bean Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Thursday– Mashed Potatoes with Meat Sauce and Broccoli
Friday– Crockpot Chicken
Saturday– Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Peas
Sunday– Restaurant Night
I started with turning on the oven for the grilled vegetables and sausage. Then I peeled and cut all the veggies and potatoes. I put my sweet potatoes carrots and sausage in a baking dish to roast while I prepped away. I then browned all my meat for the meat sauce and put it into my crockpot to simmer all day. I precooked my pasta so on Monday I only have to heat up the meat sauce together with the pasta. Two meals done.
I then put the potatoes on for the mashed potatoes and blanche the broccoli, and get a big freezer bag to toss all the ingredients from the crockpot chicken inside and popped this in the freezer to take out a day before and then put in the crockpot in the morning of the day we eat it. I blended all my ingredients for the soup, so on the day it only requires heating up and making the grilled cheese sandwiches.
The salmon with eggs needs no prep as I just make scrambled eggs and toss the rest of the ingredients inside. I also cut up some salad, carrot sticks, cucumber, pineapple and orange. Then I wizzed up some hummus. for snacks during the week. Fridge full, and a kitchen dirty but now we have meals for the entire week.
My Tips For Batch Cooking
- Make an easy menu, no need for gourmet meals every night. Some dishes can be used for 2 days.
- Make plans and think what would need the longest cooking time and start with that dish.
- Have one really easy dinner night, for me its eggs and salmon.
- Start with recipes you know and are comfortable with, no need for a whole week of experiments.
- Take a night off and order dinner or go out for dinner, I like to do this on batch cooking day as I don’t feel like eating at home after I have cooked all of this food.
- Have somebody help you with the clean up after you are done with your batch cooking.
Picture Credit: Pauline van Hasselt and Pixabay