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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.

Blinko Sat 09-Feb-19 16:30:38

Thanks, Jalima and breeze. Garlic sounds good, too.

willa45 Sat 09-Feb-19 16:34:28

My most practical approach is to freeze for a variety of options. A good two hours of make ahead effort, can save you endless hours of time and money going forward.

Single portions such as halved chicken breasts, cod fillets or chops can be individually wrapped in clingfilm, then bagged in the freezer. 2 " slices of beef or chicken for stir fry can be frozen uncovered on a cookie sheet for about an hour (so they don't stick to each other when you bag them), then double bagged and frozen. My other 'go to' items are frozen cooked beans, soups, stews and broths stored in plastic containers. Add store bought frozen (uncooked) shrimp and frozen vegetables and you're ready to go. Similarly, a bag of meatballs has numerous possibilities.

When I am short on time, I go to the freezer and presto! I can make a meal in about a half an hour or less. Spaghetti and meatballs, Swedish meatballs with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, Italian meatball sandwiches with (store bought) spaghetti sauce and grated Parmesan cheese (salad on the side), White bean soup (defrosted in a saucepan) becomes 'Tuscan Bean Soup' when you add frozen spinach and meatballs. I can offer you chicken or shrimp stir fry with vegetables or beef stir fry with broccoli, onions and mushrooms (bowl of rice on the side). Larger cuts of beef or chicken make great stews combined with carrots, onions and potatoes (Slow cooked for 8 hours or about 15 minutes in a pressure cooker). Sliced beef strips also make a great Beef Stroganoff.

Fish can be baked, broiled or steamed straight from the freezer or can be breaded and fried. Cocktail or Tartar sauce can be store bought or prepared at home. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper

debbiemon123 Sat 09-Feb-19 16:44:54

I use Tesco soya mince for chilli or spaghetti Bol , it's brilliant and cheap .

Caro57 Sat 09-Feb-19 16:54:36

Fish pies;, chicken, sweet potato and squash tagines; ham and leek pie; chicken casseroles (with ham); pea and ham soup;......,,,,

notgoneyet Sat 09-Feb-19 18:03:11

Batch cooking recipes free online - as someone else said, for the mince recipes you can substitute soy mince or chicken/turkey mince, but there are lots of other recipes as well:

GabriellaG54 Sat 09-Feb-19 18:07:16

Look on YouTube.

lmm6 Sat 09-Feb-19 19:52:38

Mmmmm...all these suggestions sound delicious and must say I am inspired. I'll get some containers next week and give it a go. Thanks, everyone, you have all made my mouth water. And the slow cooker (brand new some months back) will come out of its box! Just not sure how to do it but I'm sure there are instructions in there somewhere.

Lily65 Sat 09-Feb-19 20:20:34

If you are not careful, you can end up with everything having a similar texture so nice to introduce some flavoured oil and croutons.

Nannyfrance Sun 10-Feb-19 16:35:35

I save butter and margarine containers which contain just the right amount for two of chilli,bolognese, chicken curry, chicken supreme, Coca Cola chicken, all kinds of soup and anything else I batch cook. Every time I cook I make enough for eight so I can often have a cook free week. Good luck.

Fennel Sun 10-Feb-19 16:48:31

As for containers for freezing, I mentioned earlier that I use plastic bags.
Open the bag and put it into a small jug or large beaker. Ladle the food into it, tie the top. Then you can put 6-8 of those into a plastic container. Cool and freeze.

1974cookie Sun 10-Feb-19 17:58:14

A large slow cooker would help you enormously I think.
Cheap to buy, Cheap to run, no standing over a hot stove. Perfect solution.
Best of all, timing is not crucial, as in other methods of cooking.
The best piece of kitchen equipment ever invented as far as I am concerned.
Hope that this helps.

Elegran Sun 10-Feb-19 18:20:15

Charity shops often have slow cookers that people bought but didn't use.

bikergran Sun 10-Feb-19 18:44:30

I have used the "zip lock " bags for freezing chilli etc if you lay the bag flat and gently pat the bag flat you can layer them in the freezer, they take very little room up and also they thaw out very quick, quicker than solid blocks.

lmm6 Sun 10-Feb-19 20:11:15

My slow cooker is still brand new in its box. Can you do meat-free meals in one? I’ve never tried using it but would love to. What put me off was I’ve been told it’s really for meat.

Elegran Sun 10-Feb-19 20:25:09

You can do anything you want to in it! I don't suppose you think that your oven or your microwave only cooks meat?

Get out the instruction book that came with it and see what recipes it has. When you have done that, Google slow cooker recipes vegetables. You will be amazed at how many there are.

Yes, it is a very good way to cook the tougher cheaper cuts of meat, but it also cooks other things.

MissAdventure Sun 10-Feb-19 20:58:14

I'm the laziest cook ever, and have no interest whatsoever, but did used to use my slow cooker.
I just put anything and everything that was lurking in the cupboard into it, with some meat or soya, and then went out for the day. smile

JoyBloggs Sun 10-Feb-19 21:18:32

I've really enjoyed this thread... discovering that I'm not the only person in the world who doesn't enjoy cooking! Phew! I can always think of something I'd rather be doing.

MissAdventure Sun 10-Feb-19 21:22:00

I even complained about having to make grandson a sandwich last week. blush

lmm6 Sun 10-Feb-19 21:44:20

Me too Joybloggs and MissAdventure. I moan and complain every day about cooking. I’d rather be gardening or anything out of doors. If I plant something I may get pleasure from it for years. If I cook something it’s gone in about 10 minutes!

MissAdventure Sun 10-Feb-19 21:49:41

Have you looked in the thread about peoples 3 'go to' meals?
There are some good suggestions there for simple stuff.

JoyBloggs Sun 10-Feb-19 22:14:58

MissA I hope your grandson appreciated your efforts!

Imm6 that's so true! Like you I'd much rather spend time on pursuits with a lasting end-product. I feel the 10 minutes pleasure eating a meal is very poor reward for the time spent shopping, chopping, stirring, prodding, poking, peering in the oven and clearing up afterwards! Thank goodness for my DH who has taken over much of the cooking now.

JoyBloggs Sun 10-Feb-19 22:16:48

Thanks, MissA, will take a look (but not making any promises grin)

MissAdventure Sun 10-Feb-19 22:19:26

Well, I haven't actually done any of them, but...

sassy1686 Tue 16-Apr-19 03:25:15

Here are our favourite batch cooking recipes to inspire you.
Kid-friendly fishcakes. ...
Veggie bean stew. ...
Good old Spaghetti Bol.
Hearty sausage & lentil stew. ...
Family-favourite fish pie. ...
Vegan chickpea & coconut curry. ...
One-pot lamb & squash stew. ...
Slow-cooked beef shin.

detail recipes from

phoenix Tue 19-Nov-19 06:38:59