Batch cooking is to plan the weekly menu dedicating one or two days to prepare all or most of the meals and then cook less or nothing the rest of the days. Therefore, it is highly recommended as batch cooking for beginners.
What is needed to batch cook?
Batch cooking for beginners may require some planning, but we want to help you see it as a simple and practical method to experiment with:
Structure you week
Create a menu where the main meals (lunch and dinner) are reflected. This will allow you to organize your shopping efficiently. Once you have created the menu, think about what meals or preparations you can leave advanced and that normally take more time in the kitchen, what batch cooking equipment will you use and, what day or days can you dedicate some time to prepare these ingredients.
Apply the plate method
You can either cook final dishes (complete preparations that only require heating or dressing in the case of salads) or prepare the different ingredients separately. Most people when they start with batch cooking asks themselves “what should I cook as a beginner?”, if you are asking this yourself, here you have a few tips:
- 3-4 elaborations with vegetables. For example: baked vegetables, ratatouille, woks or sautéed vegetables, creams, stews, boiled or steamed vegetables.
- 3 side dishes with tubers (potato, sweet potato), whole grains (rice, quinoa, buckwheat) or legumes.
Optional prepare the protein part of the dish: legumes if you already have them, boiled egg, you can have tuna to complete salads, baked or grilled tofu/fish… although the protein is usually the one that requires the least time: grill and ready.
Cook several things at the same time
Use the oven/stove not only for one serving of food but take advantage of the fact that it is on and cook other ingredients. This will help you save time and energy, since once you use the oven or stove, you will not have to use it again another day.
And you also save time: there are ingredients that can take up to 30 minutes to cook depending on the method you use, although if you already invested that time when cooking with other foods, you will not spend it again (and it will leave you plenty of free time to do other things).
You can use this advice: if you boil rice, potatoes, vegetables… or bake some food, take advantage of it to cook more quantity or different ingredients. Since you have the oven on, use it that time so you do not have to do it another day and wait all that time the food needs to cook. Then you only must combine these ingredients as you like, cook some protein and that is it.
Proper packaging and preservation
This is essential, either in the freezer or in the refrigerator, the tupperware we use should have a lid and preferably be made of glass, since they do not impregnate with the odors or flavors of the food. And as for preserving it, generally the food lasts perfectly well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Batch cooking might seem complicated for beginners but buying only the ingredients you need to make your daily meals; it is also a way that can help reduce food waste and will help to reduce the consumption of takeaway food saving on your day-to-day. In addition, by cooking for a few hours for the whole week, we can save on electricity consumption that we use throughout the week, thus also helping the environment.
So, what did you think about batch cooking for beginners? We hope you liked it and found it interesting and hope you will apply it in your life.