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

(101 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.

Lily65 Fri 08-Feb-19 12:41:32

I'd cook my chicken for about one have to be a bit more fussy with meat. The veg thing, it doesn't really matter.

For the totally desperate chicken and a can of condensed celery soup is nice, with a few mushrooms and peppers.

I find decent seasoning and a handful of parsley makes most efforts acceptable.

Elegran Fri 08-Feb-19 12:51:41

Potao dauphinois - slice as many potatoes as you have in the vegetable rack, plus about half as much onion, butter a wide dish and layer up sliced potato and onion slices, seasoning in between each layer, anding with potato. Pour over a carton of cream and help it to go down between the layers more or less evenly. Bake in a moderate oven (160 - 180C) for between 30 minutes and an hour - sample a bit of potato from the middle and give it longer if that isn't cooked. If you are feeling adventurous, add some dried herbs (thyme? oregano? mint?) to the seasoning between the layers, or cover the top with grated cheese.
When it is cooked and golden brown, let it cool then share it out into smaller containers with one meal's worth in each. It can be reheated in the oven or microwave.

Elegran Fri 08-Feb-19 12:55:07

Typos! It should be potato, not potao, and ending not anding.

Gonegirl Fri 08-Feb-19 13:01:41

Thank you Lily. Have written that down.

Lily65 Fri 08-Feb-19 13:09:05

BTW, use skinned chicken, or it can be greasy. A can of butter beans and some chorizo is good too.

Gonegirl Fri 08-Feb-19 13:10:34

Yes! Will skin chicken.

Gonegirl Fri 08-Feb-19 13:11:58

I'm going to do Elegran's potato recipe too.

Gonegirl Fri 08-Feb-19 13:13:02

Good thread this.

seacliff Fri 08-Feb-19 14:26:21

I totally sympathise as I can't stand cooking either. I'm not sure if you can read this attachment, but it's a very tasty veg shepherds pie, with either red or green pesto.

I make a huge batch of the veg bottom part, and when it's cool, just freeze in small polythene bags (Ikea are great) . Then take a bag out, nuke it, add to jacket spud or pasta, or crumble feta cheese on.

You can also make it as a full shepherds pie and freeze, or use cauli mash.

Jalima1108 Fri 08-Feb-19 14:27:33

I do love potato dauphinoise
but they tend to land on my hips.

However, it's so long since we had any that it might be on tomorrow's night's menu
Calories be damned!

Tangerine Fri 08-Feb-19 14:56:37

Put the mince in a saucepan with a few minced carrots or onions (or both). Season with salt and pepper. Cook until brown. Leave to cool. Put in containers. Freeze and use "as and when" with different sauces.

seacliff Fri 08-Feb-19 15:07:07

Jens Veggie Shepherds Pie

2 table sp olive oil
2 onions chopped
2 celery sticks chopped
3 carrots chopped
400 can chopped tomatoes
425/ three quarters pint vegetable stock
2 table sp tomato puree
100g/ 4oz red lentils
3 table sp pesto preferably fresh red or green

1 kg / 2 lb 4oz floury potatoes
Bunch spring onions
125ml / 4 fl oz milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
25g/ 1oz Butter
100g/ 4oz grated cheddar or gruyere

Heat oil in a large pan and cook onions 10 ins until softened
Add celery and carrots for 5 mins
Stir in veg stock, tinned tomatoes, puree and lentils
Bring to boil, cover and simmer 20 mins until lentils are tender
Season well, stir in pesto, tip into 1.7 litre/3 pint pie dish
Peel potatoes in small chunks and cook until tender in salted water
Chop spring onions and cook in a small pan with the milk and good sprinkling of nutmeg
Bring it to boil, then simmer 5 mins and remove from heat
Drain potatoes, mash, then add milk/onion mix, the butter and 2/3 of the cheese + lots of seasoning
Spoon over the base mix, sealing it in
Pre heat over Gas 6 Elec 200 or 180 fan
Sprinkle over remaining cheese and cook for 30 mins

sodapop Fri 08-Feb-19 15:33:28

Oh just go to Waitrose or M&S, I hate cooking too. In France ready meals are limited and of poor quality and we have very few take away outlets. Good job my husband cooks or I would starve grin

lmm6 Fri 08-Feb-19 16:52:19

Thanks so much, everyone. Some really great ideas here which I'm going to copy, paste and print off. This'll make you laugh. I've had a slow cooker for over 2 years (still in the box!). I'll get it out now I promise.

NotTooOld Fri 08-Feb-19 17:13:45

Stir-fries are easy (well, they must be because I can make them) and you can stir fry almost anything, veggie or meat. Then all you need is some rice to go with it which is easiest bought as boil-in-bag. Not sure if you can freeze stir fry but they are quick and easy so you don't really need to. You can buy sauces in bottles to add to a stir-fry or you can make your own very easily (and with less sugar than the bottled sort.) Try sweet and sour - 1 tsp cornflour, 6 tbsp of water, 2 tbsps ketchup, 2 tbsp vinegar and the same of soy sauce and a small half tsp of sugar, adjust to taste.

Day6 Fri 08-Feb-19 17:28:06

You can buy portion sized bags of frozen rice and vegetables which 'steam' in their bags when you microwave them for a few minutes. I had to resort to the veg bags when we had lots of snow one year. They are not the cheapest way to have veg but they save faffing about with peeling cooking and pots and pans if you really hate cooking.

There are also bags of sofrito mix in the supermarkets now but I make large quantities to freeze and throw a portion into soups, stews, meat/chicken/fish dishes, pies and sauces for bolognaise, etc.

"Sofrito is a basic tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. It's easy to put together—simply sauté tomatoes, onions, garlic, and green peppers in olive oil in a frying pan." I add finely chopped carrots and celery too - in fact anything left over in the veg drawer will do.

phoenix Fri 08-Feb-19 17:40:57

Might be able to help with quantities, but if course it does depend on your appetite!

After a bit of trial and error, we now have a stack of Tupperware type containers that hold a pint (I know this because I've just poured water into one of them!) They measure around 4.5" square, by 3 .5" deep.

These will hold 2 portions of spag bol or chilli (as an example) or 2 portions of mashed potato.

Mashed potato freezes really well! Plus if you do a batch of it, you only have 1 starchy pan to wash up. Just take it out of the freezer in plenty of time, pop it in the microwave, or use it to top a shepherd's pie. Saves a lot of time and faff.

Hope this helps!

Elegran Fri 08-Feb-19 17:47:49

Basic Stir-fry for two
quantities are approximate and optional

Pans - I medium/largish with lid
1 wok or large frying pan

Cut up -
I chicken breast per person (3cm cubes)
1 onion (8 to 16 pieces)
2 cloves garlic chopped small (or crush them)
1 red or green pepper (8 to 16 pieces)
4 large mushrooms (or if small leave whole) peel them or not, as preferred.

Weigh out 4 oz dry basmati rice, rinse it in a sieve, put it into a pan with a half teaspoon salt and about a pint of water. Stir and put it to boil up.

Add 2 table-spoons oil to wok or frying pan, put it onto highish heat.

While they heat up, get ready in a small bowl -
1 teaspoon cornflour or potato flour
I teaspoon flavouring of your choice - ras al hanoult spice is good, or curry powder, or whatever you prefer
2-3 tablespoons sherry, green ginger, whisky, orange juice or, if you can't lay your hands on anything else, water
Mix all these together.

When the water boils, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, turn down heat, stir well. set kitchen timer for 10 minutes. Put on lid.

Add chicken to wok/frying pan, brown it briefly and push it out to the edges of the pan. Add vegetables and mushrooms. Fry them gently for a few minutes, stirring in the chicken. Turn down heat a little.

Get out plates and cutlery. Stir frying pan occasionally.

When 10 minute timer rings, add flour/liquid mix to wok/frying pan plus a little extra water (about as much again) and stir well. Drain rice in sieve, stand sieve over empty rice pan with lid over it to keep warm. Stir fryingpan until the sauce thickens, adding more water if it gets too dry.

Serve up and eat.

quizqueen Sat 09-Feb-19 09:36:25

Buy yourself a cookbook or buy ready made.

Lily65 Sat 09-Feb-19 09:41:29

OP, using a slow cooker requires no talent, enthusiasm or skill.

Get it out of the cupboard, put things in it, plug in switch on a leave.

Things to put in are vegetables, pulses , chicken and some liquid.

So easy!

Lily65 Sat 09-Feb-19 09:42:26

Gammon joint plus can of coke.

Hm999 Sat 09-Feb-19 09:44:21

We keep a bag of dried nut roast in the freezer. Grated carrot, broken nuts, cooked rice, chopped mushroom, herbs, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs etc.

Prior to cooking, take out a suitable amount, add an egg and maybe a little oil, place in loaf tin, cover with foil. Bake.

Pippa22 Sat 09-Feb-19 09:56:04

The problem with eating ready meals regularly Gonegirl is that they are often high in salt and sugar and don’t have much fibre. Much healthier and tasty to make your own if you can and much cheaper too than even the cheapest ready meals.
I find a slow cooker really good, everything goes in and you can just switch it on and leave it slowly getting on with turning ingredients into a delicious meal for the evening.

sweetcakes Sat 09-Feb-19 10:29:41

And if all else fails Wiltshire farm foods or Oakhouse foods!!

Gonegirl Sat 09-Feb-19 10:38:42

Pippa22 We always have a veg such as as (unpeeled) carrots or peas with a ready meal. Or Birds Eye frozen veg in the little microwaveable sachets. 4 minutes and they're done! grin