Daily bulk & batch cooking is about to make your life a million times easier. Trust me, I know from experience. One of the most difficult parts of transitioning to Paleo was learning how to adapt to all the prep work. It seemed like every meal required endless chopping, dicing and cutting, and this was really overwhelming. Who has hours to spend in the kitchen every night? Not many of us. That’s why we need every opportunity to save time.
Photo by: Tristan Colangelo
In this case, I am not referring to bulk & batch cooking in the traditional sense, where you carve out an entire afternoon to prepare a week or more worth of meals. Yes, that type of cooking is equally awesome and helpful. I will touch more on that in a future post, but for now we are going to start small and focus on daily cooking.
This means what exactly? Preparing larger quantities of at least one meal or dish per day. You are already making one full meal, or already prepping one side, so making a little extra is an easy transition. Hello time savings! Can I get an amen?
Daily Bulk & Batch Cooking Tips
Double up (aka bulk cooking)
- Seems pretty basic, yet it warrants repeating, since many people don’t do this. You assume it takes more work, so you stick to a standard serving size. In reality, you are seriously cutting down on prep time in the days following.
- Sure, the prep may take a bit longer today, yet the cooking time remains generally the same, and you are free from cooking at least one meal the next day.
- You will notice many of our recipes are listed this way, because this is the way we cook. Our motto is 15 minutes extra minutes spent today, means 15 minute saved tomorrow.
- This also allows you better meal planning advantage. For instance, if you have an after work commitment on Wednesday, bulk cook dinner earlier in the week, so when you get home later at night, you can easily throw together a meal for your family.
Cook multiple items together (aka batch cooking)
- Say a recipe calls for 1/2 a container of sliced mushrooms, 1/2 a diced onion, and 2 diced carrots. Double the quantity, cook everything down, then reserve a portion to have on hand the rest of the week. Basic sautéed vegetables can be mixed into a omelet, or become the base for soup.
- If you are roasting cauliflower for dinner, add broccoli with it, and save half of the cooked veggies. These can be used in a scramble for breakfast, or toppings on a salad for lunch.
- When browning ground meat for any recipe, cook two full pounds and reserve half for meals the next couple of days. Or when roasting a whole chicken, roast two together and save the second for making chicken salad.
- With the few examples I listed here, these items combined and warmed with a few extra vegetables becomes a 15-minute stir fry. Boom.
- We touched on this previously, but it also applies here. Leftovers make your life so much easier! Our breakfasts and lunches often consist of dinner leftovers. It helps save us time during busy work days and ensures we actually eat a solid meal.
- Okay, I know what you’re thinking, you eat dinner leftovers at breakfast? Weird. I can’t be without my eggs, toast, (insert typical breakfast item here). Honestly I struggled with this too, at first. I formerly ate yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal every morning, and the thought of wolfing down last nights rich dinner instead, did not have much appeal. But now? Bring on the meat sauce, stir fry, or whatever we’re cooking up that week. Once you get away from traditional thinking that each meal has to contain certain items, it opens up millions of possibilities.
- If you aren’t a fan of eating the same thing day after day, portion out the rest of your meal and freeze it for a future quick dinner.
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