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Batch cooking - ideas please

(74 Posts)
Skydancer Tue 14-Feb-23 11:48:37

Many posters have mentioned that they batch cook. What sort of thing? Ideas please - I haven't a clue. Presumably cook a large amount of something and then freeze some of it? I am a very unimaginative cook.

NotSpaghetti Tue 14-Feb-23 11:56:48

Pretty much anything you generally like to eat that isn't super-quick in the first place?

dogsmother Tue 14-Feb-23 12:01:50

Chilli con carne.
Bolognese sauce.
Lasagna vegetable or not.
The list goes on.

ParlorGames Tue 14-Feb-23 12:02:17

Just what NotSpaghetti says really..............any dish that you like which takes time to cook either in small portions or in multiple portions............hence the name "batch cooking". This saves time and energy and you have a home cooked dish for another day.

midgey Tue 14-Feb-23 12:09:38

If you are on your own just cook as if the family were coming and freeze the extra meals!

SueDonim Tue 14-Feb-23 12:16:53

I’ve got bought a cook book by the Batch Lady. She has a website with free recipes on it.

It’s really aimed at families but it’s easy to adapt the recipes to make the amount you want.

Norah Tue 14-Feb-23 14:16:13

Soup or stew (potato is particularly good easy and forgiving)
Pizza crusts (baked, ready to quickly assemble)
Tofu, pressed, marinated, cubed, fried (large quantities, one go)
Dhal, pulses, all sort of beans

Really, any food you long-cook. I freeze everything, even one or 2 servings left after a meal. Remove from freezer in morn - allow plenty of time to thaw.

Galaxy Tue 14-Feb-23 14:19:51

Thanks so much for that Sue, that looks really interesting.

kittylester Tue 14-Feb-23 14:31:08

Paprika chicken
Sausagemeat sauce for pasta
Sausages in onion gravy

M0nica Tue 14-Feb-23 14:34:03

I rarely,if ever cook with only the next meal in mind. We love casseroles and stews. I never cook less than a pound of meat and that will usually provide for the meal it is intended for plus at least 2 more meals to put in the freezer. My freezer is packed with home made ready meals and we eat from the freezer at least twice a week.

Norah Tue 14-Feb-23 14:46:01

I forgot bread. I bake every bread, filone, ciabatta, cake, biscuit, pizza crust, sandwich bun we eat - none bought. All are frozen.

Floradora9 Tue 14-Feb-23 21:43:45

I use a very large pot when making soup so we always have lots in the freezer. Other favourites are curries , stew with dumplings , lamb tangine and so on . It is great just taking out a meal the night before to defrost and just microwave the next day . DH and I cn have different meals so both of us are happy.
How I long for a really freezing day to defrost my chest freezer. I do it every winter but days are so mild here this year unusually so for winter.

Forsythia Tue 14-Feb-23 22:07:57

I have 3 slow cookers, one inherited, and I use them all. This week I did sweet n sour chicken in one and curry chicken in another. I’d managed to get a huge pack of diced chicken breasts in Tesco on the reduced section. Once I’d added lots of veg I now have enough for 10 portions in total. I’ll be putting lots in the freezer.

AussieGran59 Tue 14-Feb-23 23:37:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teabagwoman Wed 15-Feb-23 07:58:41

Apart from meals like stews and bolognaise I also freeze batches of cheese, curry and tomato based sauces as well as stir fry sauces. Very useful for using up leftovers.

Iam64 Wed 15-Feb-23 08:27:51

I’m doing more batch cooking now I live alone. I buy a pound of meat for lamb tagine, chicken or mince dishes and freeze portions. I use the slow cooker for those and veg dishes, soup etc. it’s great to have good home cooked meals in the evening withiout needing to cook every day

JackyB Wed 15-Feb-23 08:43:56

Do label them well and don't freeze them for too long. I have been serving food out of the freezer for two weeks now to clear it out and give it a good clean. Some things are one or even two years old and to be honest, don't taste very good any more.

I think I'll start keeping a list adding the new stuff at the bottom and working my way down from the top, and try and eat everything by the end of the season it was frozen.

It certainly is a time saver to cook once for two different days. In a week of just re-heated meals, you can get a lot more done around the house.

Most recipes are for 4 portions anyway, so if there are 2 of you that's 2 meals right there with no arithmetic involved in working out the weights of the ingredients. Just eat half (I sometimes have to hold DH back and tell him to leave enough for next time!) and freeze the rest.

For large vegetables (a whole cauliflower or cabbage) it's also ideal. Just boil the water once, chop and blanche the lot while it's still fresh, and freeze what you don't eat in portions.

Matelda Wed 15-Feb-23 09:00:16

I like batch cooking because, now that my appetite is smaller, I can cook up a recipe for four and divide it into six, five for the freezer. I use takeaway plastic boxes with lids, or similar from Wilko.

Redhead56 Wed 15-Feb-23 09:40:58

I make a veg and tomato sauce blend and freeze in ziplock bags. A basic curry sauce and white sauce all used for different meals. I make short crust pastry and veg suet pastry and freeze in small portions.
I love dhal I make a pan of it and freeze it to have as a dip or put some in a curry to make a dhansak. I make sorbet from fresh or frozen fruit my favourite is mango. I use a bland unsalted butter and add lots of herbs and garlic roll it and freeze it.
None of these are hard work and they are better and tastier than anything shop bought.

Skydancer Wed 15-Feb-23 10:47:52

Thank you all for some excellent and helpful ideas. I had never thought of freezing sauces which I shall try. I do love the idea of having a couple of cooking-free evenings a week.

Rileysnana Thu 16-Feb-23 11:09:49

I batch cook lasagne, Bolognese sauce, chilli, shepherds pie, braising steak and onions, mince and onions, all portioned up into single servings and put in freezer bags.

ExDancer Thu 16-Feb-23 11:17:23

If you look at the 'Ready Meals' section in the supermarket those are the sort of home-cooked meals you can use. But as JackyB says, don't leave them too long in the freezer - they are preservative free and don't last as long as the processed stuff you can buy at Iceland.

Rumpunch Thu 16-Feb-23 11:23:17

Masking tape is ideal for labelling your dishes. You can use a long piece or two small if necessary and can write the date, what it is and /or missing items on it. i.e. add more veg or needs potatoes or rice. I use a fine sharpie pen and it peels of easily once you've eaten the dish and doesn't peel or fall off in the freezer. Cheaper too than labels.

Sheila4483 Thu 16-Feb-23 11:26:03

I love to freeze chicken olives. Just chicken breasts sliced horizontally to make 2 or 3 slices. Filling is Sausagemeat with sage and onion. Roll up and cook in a casserole with Carrots, onions or whatever you fancy and gravy. Cook as many as I can fit in my large dish and freeze in pairs for another day.

HazelEyes Thu 16-Feb-23 11:28:29

One thing to bear in mind if you are freezing a dish which contains rice then don't leave the food to cool for too long get it in the freezer and then defrost in the fridge, reheat until its piping hot all through.