Gransnet forums


Batch cooking ideas? Hopeless cook (and hate it)!

(100 Posts)
lmm6 Fri 08-Feb-19 09:23:02

I loathe cooking but obviously can't avoid it. Thought I'd do some batch cooking which I can freeze and reheat in microwave but have no idea where to start. We eat chicken, ham and fish as well as vegetarian. Any ideas for easy batch cooking? Also very simple and quick meals? I have no imagination when it comes to cooking.

ninathenana Fri 08-Feb-19 09:32:58

Veggie lasagne
Chicken leek pies
Chicken or veg curry

Auntieflo Fri 08-Feb-19 09:37:00

How about a big batch of savoury mince, portioned and frozen?. These can then be turned into Bolognese, Lasagne, Shepherds Pie etc when needed.
But I do sympathise, it’s the advance prep that can be a pain.

ninathenana Fri 08-Feb-19 09:55:40

I don't think OP eats red meat Auntieflo

GrannyGravy13 Fri 08-Feb-19 09:57:58

In our freezer we always have - chicken and ham pies, chicken curry, spaghetti bolognaise sauce(which can be spag Bol or lasagna) chilli and a savoury mince which can become cottage pie or moussaka.
It is really helpful in the CBA day’s just to be able to have a home cooked meal in minutes.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 08-Feb-19 09:58:27

Soy mince instead of beef mince.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 08-Feb-19 09:59:36

Or even chicken, turkey mince are healthy alternatives. Happy cooking 🥘

lmm6 Fri 08-Feb-19 10:00:35

Thanks, everyone. But I don't know how to start! Portions! How long to cook. What sort of baking tins? Seriously, you don't know how hopeless I am. I love the ideas but where do I begin. (Rated as "rather sloppy" in cookery school report). Not much has improved.

NotSpaghetti Fri 08-Feb-19 10:15:05

This sounds like your go-to book if you genuinely have no idea.

NotSpaghetti Fri 08-Feb-19 10:15:32

Other sellers out there, obviously!

Missfoodlove Fri 08-Feb-19 10:27:20

You need one pot meals!
Start with a simple veg stew: in olive oil fry 2 onions with garlic add one small red and one green chilli finely chopped. Chop up 1 green and 1 red pepper, 1 courgette 2 large handfuls of butternut squash ( frozen in bags from Iceland)now add two teaspoons of grated ginger this must fresh or frozen not powder. Add 2 drained tins of chick peas and 2 tins of quality tomatoes and a desert spoon of coriander. Simmer in pan for 20 mins.
This can be ladled out into freezer bags when cool. You can serve with cous cous, rice or crusty bread. It will make around 8 large portions. Always taste as you go and don’t be afraid of adding what you think it needs. Remember to always simmer gently once the liquid has been added and fry on a medium heat and keep the pan contents moving to stop them catching.

shysal Fri 08-Feb-19 10:32:43

I make turkey mince cottage pie, chicken, leek and ham in cheese sauce, and fish pie (lots of recipes on line). If you line the baking/serving dish you will be using with cling film then build your cooked and cooled layers they can be frozen and the dish removed. Bag or cling film them like bricks and store in freezer, where they take up less room When you want to use them unwrap before thawing and or cooking in the original dish.
Sometimes I just freeze the base layer and add freshly mashed or sliced (bought if you wish) potato or cheese and breadcrumb topping.
I never throw away stale bread but make it into crumbs for the freezer. Some I mix with grated onion and/or cheese which makes a nice topping for bacon steaks or macaroni cheese baked in the oven, so easy to grab a handful as needed.
Good luck with your efforts, get ideas from the internet and you will build up your confidence and be fine!

Entirelyfading Fri 08-Feb-19 10:37:00

Try The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken. 50th anniversary edition of an old classic.

shysal Fri 08-Feb-19 10:38:11

Meant to say that these dishes when thawed take about 20-30 minutes in a 200C oven. Microwave is quicker but you won't get a crispy top unless finished under a grill. Probably OK to cook from frozen I would think, as long as you give longer and make sure food is piping hot.

FountainPen Fri 08-Feb-19 10:50:18

Another reluctant cook who has the occasional one pot batch cooking blitz. I eat a plant-based diet of seasonal vegetables and discovered that Goodfish sauces (in paste form) are brilliant for adding different flavours to quite ordinary leek/potato/carrot-based stews. I add rice into the stew so that it absorbs the flavour of the sauce. Less washing-up.

Some nice recipes on the site for meat and fish eaters.

MawBroon Fri 08-Feb-19 11:13:14

Try The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken. 50th anniversary edition of an old classic
Thank you for reminding me of a favourite of the early years of my marriage!
I do love cooking, really, but find it tiring and less rewarding than in the days when there were many more mouths to feed.
Must go and look this up on that long river website smile.

Urmstongran Fri 08-Feb-19 11:15:58

Ha! That comment really amused me Maw.
Very clever. 👩‍🎓

Auntieflo Fri 08-Feb-19 11:25:23

Apologies. Imm6 that I didn’t tead your post properly. I was in a bit of a tizz this morning, before taking DH for a fasting blood test.
And thankyou ninathenana

Lily65 Fri 08-Feb-19 11:40:41

Buy about 10 of those containers that look like take away ones. They are really cheap.

Make a chicken stew, chicken thighs and a packet of casserole veg and a stock cube. That should fill about 5 containers.

Make this stew/soup......carrots , celery, onions lightly fried. Add preserved lemons ( easy to find in supermarket) some spices, tins of chickpeas and tins of tomatoes. So easy, so tasty!
That fills your other 5 containers.

Fennel Fri 08-Feb-19 11:45:46

Not everyone's cup of tea - or gravy - but I've recently re-discovered ox liver. Our butcher sells it ready sliced. I buy a lot, enough for 4-5 meals for the 2 of us.
1) make about 2 pints meat stock with 2 stock cubes and some tomato paste, dissolved in boiling water.
2) In a bowl mix 1tbsp flour , s&p. coat the liver slices in this.
3) Heat some oil in a large stovetop to oven pot and fry gently lots of thinly sliced onins, various kinds (white, red, shallots etc.)
4) brown off the liver slices, pushing the onions to one side.
5) Add the stock, scraping the tasty bits from the bottom of pot. Then bake in a med. oven for about an hour.
Not too long or the liver will be dry and grainy.
Let it cool then freeze in separate plastic bags or containers,

Gonegirl Fri 08-Feb-19 12:08:40

Ugh! Don't do it! Cook quick microwave meals. Or buy ready meals (God's sweetest gift to the old and tottery)

Gonegirl Fri 08-Feb-19 12:10:27

Hmm. Lily65 's chicken stew does sound good.

Mut get off this thread fast!

Gonegirl Fri 08-Feb-19 12:12:57

Who knew you can get preserved lemons!¶m=preserved%20lemons

Other supermarkets etc.

Gonegirl Fri 08-Feb-19 12:14:00

How long do you cook that for Lily?

Jalima1108 Fri 08-Feb-19 12:40:25

What about buying a large slow cooker? It would hold quite a lot - one meal to eat that day and a couple of others to freeze.
I make the basics, casseroles with vegetables which can be frozen, you can cook large quantities of veggie mince which can then have other ingredients added when defrosted to make chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognaise, other ingredients for pies etc and keep the pasty separate in the freezer so that the pie filling can be defrosted and the pastry added before going into the oven.
Serve these meals with pasta, rice or a jacket potato which are quick and easy. We have always had fresh veg but recently, needing to fill up a new freezer, I bought frozen veg and it is fine.

I wouldn't pre-cook fish as it is so quick and easy.