Big Batch Cooking

While I’m working on coming up with a new video series for the blog (totally open to suggestions of what YOU want to see) I thought I would use the Wednesday post to share a few of the things that I do during the week to help make eating and being healthy easier.

Big batch cooking is one of the best ways that I save time and brain power when it comes to making healthy meals.  It’s exactly what it sounds like; I cook a lot of food all at once.  That simple.  I do this with vegetables and grains/legumes. Sunday and Monday I will spend time washing, cutting, and prepping all the vegetables that I bought on Friday.

Parsnips cut and ready to be roasted

Parsnips cut and ready to be roasted

Then it’s time to cook it all.

My favorite way to cook my vegetables is to roast them.  It tastes great and it’s an easy way to cook a lot of vegetables at one time.  I roast sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets, cabbage, and green beans.  I also saute a big batch of broccoli and sometimes throw a few carrots into the mix.

Broccoli cooked and ready to be added to meals!

Broccoli cooked and ready to be added to meals!

While my vegetables are roasting I cook up quinoa, brown rice, and whatever beans I have on hand like black beans or garbanzo beans.  I cook these on the stovetop.  I know a lot of people like to use canned beans for the convenience, but I like to use dried beans because it’s cheaper than buying the cans.  It takes a little bit of planning since you have to soak the beans before you cook them but other than that you just boil and simmer them on the stove for 20-40 minutes.

Once everything is done cooking, I put them into large glass containers, let them cool, and stick them in the fridge.  Now I don’t have to worry about cooking them on a busy weeknight.  I can just pull out the container warm them up, throw them into whatever dish I have planned for that night and get dinner on the table in a timely manner.

You can do this with other things as well.  You can cook up big batches of chicken or pork, you can hard boil a bunch of eggs, or you can wash, dry and cut up leafy greens to be used for salads throughout the week.

Batch of my chickpea tofu ready to be added to stir fry

Batch of my chickpea tofu ready to be added to stir fry

Cooking a whole lot of things all at once and having them ready when you want to eat takes the work out of planning a healthy meal.  How many times have you come home from a long day at work and realized if you want to eat a healthy dinner you’re going to have to spend at least 40 minutes in the kitchen getting it ready?  At that points it becomes much more tempting to just grab something at a drive through or get a frozen dinner from the grocery store, neither of which are that healthy of an option.

Do yourself a favor and give big batch cooking a try.  I bet you’ll find that it saves you a bunch of time and helps you stick to your healthy lifestyle!

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