I never used to like leftovers. It started in childhood and carried on through to my early years of living on my own. I preferred a fresh meal that I had just created from scratch.
Then I had children and from a time saving standpoint, it became much more appealing to cook up extra food for a future meal.
And then I started eating real food…
When people ask me for my best piece of advice to help make their transition to eating real food easier, hands down it’s batch cooking real food in advance. Unless you want to be in your kitchen all the time, I highly recommend getting acquainted with this key habit.
- Brussels Sprout Slaw
- Cauliflower Rice
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
- Wayner Bread
- Primal Poppers
- Cooked one spaghetti squash
Then in a separate two-hour session, I made:
- Sweet Potato Soufflé
- Sunflower Sesame Crackers
- Baba Ghanoush
- Cut up loads of veggies, fruit, and cheese
- Ten pre-made salads
- Made school lunches for two kids
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. I virtually never give my pots, pans or food processor a thorough cleaning in the middle of batch cooking. Ever. A quick rinse before moving onto the next dish is a-okay by me.
If doing a bunch of dishes stands between you and eating real food, then get ready to fall in love with batch cooking. Make tons of food and only have one clean up to do? Now that’s a good return on investment.
Think about it: If you haul all the ingredients out of the fridge to make your lunch time salad, how much extra time does it take to make a second, third or forth salad for another meal later on in the week? I always make at least four (and up to ten!) salads at once. Especially since I learned the ingenious trick of making salads upside down — dressing first, then veggies and protein, then nuts and seeds, and finally spinach. That way you don’t have to bring a separate container for the dressing, yet it doesn’t make the salad soggy. Just shake it all up prior to eating and enjoy.
It’s quite inefficient to run your oven to cook just one thing. Especially when you consider that it takes at least ten minutes just to preheat! If you’re going to invest the time getting your oven hot, why not make it work for you?Cook the Wayner bread, asparagus, spaghetti squash, soufflé, crackers and eggplant while the oven is on. I’ve gotten into the great habit of asking, “What else can I cook?” There is always something, even if it just gets another meal started.So there you have it, batch cooking can save on dishes, time and electricity. What’s not to love about that?
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