Batch cooking can help you make healthier meal choices with little effort. If you have an evening spare, roll up your sleeves and get stuck in using these tips and recipes that will see you nicely into next week.
Make a plan
Decide the recipes you’re going to make, write a big list of ingredients, and get them all in one go at the shop. This saves you loads of time as well as a good 15 minutes stood staring in the fridge and trying to get inspired on the day.
Use seasonal vegetables
Seasonal ingredients are more readily available, meaning you can stock up on them ready for your batch cooking session. They’re also cheaper to buy and help you save money in your weekly shop.
Go for tried and tested freezer friendly recipes
The best meals to freeze include stews, soups and casseroles, and most dishes with a fair amount of liquid.
Avoid freezing salads, cream cheese and uncooked potatoes, since they don’t freeze well, and never refreeze ingredients for a second time.
Allow meals to cool
Make sure all meals are cooled fully before putting them in the freezer. And when you put them in, remove the air from the container or lay a piece of baking parchment over your meal to prevent the nasty “freezer-burn”.
You may think you’ll be able to distinguish which meal is which when you put it in the freezer, but coming back to it a month later, it may not be as recognisable as you thought.
If you don’t want your dinner to be a surprise each evening, make sure you label everything including the date it needs to be eaten by.
Invest in stackable Tupperware
It’s amazing how much space you can save in your freezer by getting some sensibly sized, stackable containers. Find some that fit the right portion sizes for you so that you can defrost one per day with no wasted food.
Here are some fantastic recipes to get you ready for your next batch cooking session:
Chilli con carne – you can’t get much more comforting than this delicious chilli con carne. Substitute the beef for Quorn mince for a vegetarian version.
Chicken and sausage jambalaya – a healthy and tasty Creole dish
Jamaican chorizo pies – perfect for ready-made lunches
Pork-stuffed pasta shells – definitely one you’ll look forward to eating on a weeknight
Aubergine rollups – a lighter version of lasagne