Batch cooking is the easiest way to guarantee that you have healthy food on hand during the week and won’t have to resort to take out.
But let’s be honest, the problem with batch cooking is that it can take up so much time. And please stay away from Pinterest to see how it’s done. Those people will make you feel very bad about yourself. With their 3 meals and 2 snacks divvied up into very chic (and very clean) glass containers for the next 5-7 days.
So we (us regular folks who have places to go and Reality TV to watch) really need a hack. Mine just requires making a few large pots of stuff and you’ll be on your way.
- Make a shit ton of veggies. And yes, that includes potatoes. These little pans above took 23 minutes from the first chop to being put in the oven. 45 min in a 425 degree oven. Done.
- Find a soup recipe you like and double that bad boy. I’m partial to a big pot of veggie soup and then because I’m a bulk eater I’ll add Farro and garbanzo beans. For you carnivores you can add, you know, carnivore things.
- Beans and Rice. For the beans, simply drain and rinse 3 cans of beans. Drop them into a saucepan with chopped onion, cilantro, cumin, red pepper flakes and some lime juice. Cook for a bit until hot and the flavors are incorporated. For the rice, take 2 or 3 cups rinsed rice, add it to a pan with 2x the water, bring to a boil, then simmer until done. Add extra water as needed. To make the rice more flavorful, toss in cilantro, a pinch of salt and some lime juice.
- Make a big ole salad. I love arugula so most of my salads have that as a base and then I just add whatever is in my fridge. I also make a wicked Greek salad with quinoa or another grain and garbanzo beans topped with hummus. The salad will only stay fresh about 3 days, fyi.
Now that you have all this food you’re set
Set? You ask. What do I do with all this food? Glad you asked.
- Beans and rice in a corn tortilla with a salad for dinner.
- Soup and salad packed into containers (no judgement on how crystal your glass is) for lunch.
- Pan roasted veggies served over oats for a savory breakfast or tossed in a bowl doused with Sriracha ( I like saying and typing Sriracha) and avocado for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Now what about the family? Glad you asked.
Wouldn’t it be awesomely time-saving to have food prepped and ready to go on a night when your kids have soccer and you had to work late? Pasta and pesto tossed with your pan-roasted veggies? Baked potatoes with salsa and avocado and a salad? Tacos with beans, rice and veggies? Yum.
Full disclosure, my family was, while not against my plant-based thing, not ready to dive in with me. Jack refused, flat-out to try what I was making. Once I started simplified things he’ll dive into a green bowl made with a spinach and basil pesto over pasta and broccoli. Not all foods are a hit but more now than before.
I guess as long as you make it tasty enough and they won’t care that the chicken is missing and there’s 2 handfuls of spinach in the pesto. (wink)
Now go run!