Friday, December 17, 2010

Batch Cooking

There are tons of articles out there on batch cooking, and for the truly ambitious there’s Once a Month Cooking. That’s right, reserving one day when you cook your butt off and totally stock your freezer and pantry for the entire month. That’s my ultimate goal, but for now I do lunches and breakfasts that will last a couple of weeks. I probably could do a full month’s worth, but for now our stand up freezer is still full of produce (read: tomatoes) from my garden this summer and I can only fit so much more.

Below I’ve outlined a batch cooking plan that I did a little over a week ago. I utilize my slow cooker so that I can multi-task and cook while I’m at work. I love that.

The Plan:
Chili, Chicken Noodle (& Rice) Soup, Shepherd’s Pie, Breakfast Sandwiches, Chicken & Rice

Day 1: Evening
- Make rice (slow cooker)
- Put frozen chicken thighs and ground turkey in the fridge to thaw
- Make chili, the refrigerator clean out way (slow cooker) and cook on low overnight I use this recipe as a base

Day 2: Morning
- Put chili into lunch sized containers and freeze
- Rinse crock pot and put in chicken thighs to cook
- Realized I put in too much liquid in the chili and it’s soup, reset the crock pot to another 8 hours of cooking on low/keep-warm with the lid propped up with a chopstick (alternately you could try adding rice to soak up some of the liquid, but I didn’t feel like taking the time to guestimate how much to put in)
Day 2: Evening
Ideally, you’d be shredding the chicken and putting the chicken noodle soup to cook overnight
- Add dry TVP to the still soupy chili until it’s the right consistency
- Put chili into lunch sized containers and freeze (can be served over the rice)
- Rinse crock pot
- Put in chicken thighs to cook 8 hours on low (overnight)
Day 3: Morning
- Remove chicken thighs, put them in the fridge to cool
- Wash pot
Day 3: Evening
- Shred chicken
- Wash pot
- Return shredded chicken to crock pot and make chicken noodle soup, cooking on high for 2.5 hours
- Dish up the chicken noodle soup over the portioned rice (adds more bulk for hungry hubbies)
- Freeze chicken noodle & rice soup
- Wash pot
Day 4: Morning
Day 4 is a Saturday, so I was able to do more in the morning than I would on a workday
- Make shepherd’s pie (slow cooker)
- Make breakfast sandwiches & freeze yeah, I still haven’t done those yet
Day 4: Afternoon
- Put shepherd’s pie into containers and freeze
- Make an interesting looking slow-cooker chicken recipe that has a sauce with remaining thighs; cook overnight if I run out of time during the day
- Layer chicken and sauce over the portioned out rice and freeze
- The soup and shepherd’s pie made so much that the freezer is now packed and I’m out of containers – which means I’m done! Woot!

The top shelf is all of the lunches I made, the bottom is mostly baby food cubes.



~ Regan said...

YAy-YA! Comments working! What ever you did must have fixed it! :)

I love that you're making your own baby food. I did, and Im so glad I did, too! Although Kiddo has never taken to potatoes, or green beans. I tricked her one time into eating green beans, and she hurled them up and now wont eat ANYTHING green. Let this be a lesson. ;) If a non-picky kid wont eat it, leave them alone about it!! lol

I have a totally awesome winter wheat berry chili- also perfect for the crock pot, if you want it!

Jessie said...

So far so good, he hasn't disliked anything. He's thought good and hard about some foods, but then he decides it's ok. :)

And, yes, send me the recipe!