Batch cooking for beginners

Last week Friday I received some unfabulous news, which meant I was less than excited to start typing a healthy-eating post when all I wanted to do was comfort eat.

Yes those are Lucky Charms in the corner of the pic! Eeek Sugar overload
Yes those are Lucky Charms in the corner of the pic! Eeek Sugar overload

I feel like if I show you the bottle of water and a background of fruit and veg then this scene looks a little less naughty than it actually is. Don’t worry, I’m back on the straight and narrow now thanks to finally making the effort to batch cook this week. So I thought I’d dedicate this post to what saved me from gaining a gazillion kilos this week.

Batch cooking for beginners

Batch cooking is like the saviour of all saviours when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. It is incredible the amount of time, money and energy you save by expending a little time, money and energy to batch cook. Rather than going to the shop every day or two and cooking for an hour every day because ‘fresh’ is better (I used to think this, but now I’m more realistic about life), choose a day every week (or month) and cook everything. Batch cooking is great for those homemade midweek meals. Feeling too tired to cook? Pull a pre-cooked healthy meal out of the fridge or freezer. Perfect! I know this seems like the simplest and most obvious solution ever, but it is funny the amount of people who don’t do this. And, particularly for me starting out on this healthy-eating journey a couple of years ago, I had no idea batch cooking could be a viable option.

Batch cooking salads like the spinach and avocado salad featured in my previous blog post for example, just wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t freeze well, nor would it last more than a day or two. But batch cooking cooked foods and undressed salads works! So here are two batch cooking ideas from my food experiments this week to get you started:

Baked Veg & Baked Salmon

This is the second time I’ve done this, the first time being following a recommendation from the nutritionist I worked with in Manchester, Dee at Threesixty Nutritional therapy. I’ve never baked veg en masse before then! I really love this because it lasts for the week in the fridge.

Veg

I covered this with aluminum foil
I covered this with aluminum foil before throwing this into the oven

Oven: 375 degrees Fahrenheit

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1x yam or sweet potato
  • ½ bag of broccoli florets or ½ large broccoli on a stalk
  • 2x bell peppers (your preference to colour – I used green and yellow, but next time I’d use red and yellow because they’re sweeter tasting; the green is a bit bitter!)
  • 200g mushrooms

I also would love to have added courgettes, but I keep forgetting they are called ‘zucchinis’ in America and forget to update my shopping list accordingly. But why don’t you slice up two of these and throw these in there too!

Directions:

Mix all your ingredients with ½ tbsp. coconut oil and seasoning of your choice. I used 1 tbsp. parsley, 1 garlic clove, and a heavy dusting of black pepper.

Cover your oven dish with foil (optional). I always do this because I often forget that I’m cooking and leave my food in the oven longer than planned. Tin foil basically saves my food from being turned to charcoal and the house from burning down! (That’s aluminum foil for you Americans.)

Altogether, the veg cost me about $7 (Sprouts), so that’s about $1-$1.40 if it lasts you between 5-7 meals.

Salmon

I served the baked veg with salmon (rubbed in basil, garlic clove, red chilli flakes & black pepper) baked for 10-15 minutes in the oven at 350F. At $7.99 for two salmon steaks from Sprouts, the total meal cost including the veg is around $5 per person per meal. BARGAIN!

salmon and veg

Chicken & Prawn Stir Fry

Check out BBC Good Food for a fabulous ‘how to make a stir fry’ demo. My ingredients included: various coloured bell peppers, sweet corn, mushrooms, onion, prawns, chicken, soy sauce, parsley, chili pepper, habanero pepper, garlic, chicken seasoning. But it varies depending on what is in my fridge at the time. You can make a stir fry with whatever veggies you like! And I cooked with Vita Coco coconut oil, as shown in the picture.

stir fry collage

I added a side of steamed spinach for my daily dose of greens. The taste is masked by the stir fry! :)
I added a side of steamed spinach for my daily dose of greens. The taste is masked by the stir fry! 🙂

P.S. I’ve really always wanted to try batch-cooking my breakfast, as can be seen here, but I really feel I can handle the 3-5 minutes it takes me in the morning to cook my scrambled eggs, turkey and spinach. Plus, I don’t think microwaving eggs is a good idea. I’ve heard they explode! Is this true? I probably won’t be the one to find this out. Sorry. Let me know if you take the risk though. I’d love to hear how it goes!

Tweet me @airozuru

Check out my Instagram @absisdabest

Follow this blog to be updated on my #FabulousFoodie adventures and to be inspired (a new Motivational, Inspirational Story is coming soon)!

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Batch cooking for beginners

  1. I LOVE batch cooking! When I started cooking enough food to last 2-3 days and had variety I saved myself so much time. I used to spend all day Sunday cooking up my meals for the week but I got really frustrated and overwhelmed. Now I end up splitting it up between Sunday night and Tuesday night. I can’t wait to see some more recipes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Foodie blog is up every Friday! I hope the next installment is informative. I love the idea of splitting it up too, which I definitely do sometimes. Otherwise, like you said, it can be very overwhelming. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear what you think! Please leave a reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s