Chef AJ calls me the Batch Cooking Queen! That is because I batch cook and batch prep salads weekly. Batch cooking is simply cooking or preparing more food than you can need for one day. This is one of the healthy habits I have developed that I feel helps me sustain a whole food plant based lifestyle. Batch cooking saves me time overall, ensures we will eat healthy and results in less food going to waste.
Here is how my recent weekend Batch Cooking session went. I hope you enjoy seeing what I made. It looks a little different each week and it changes when the seasons change too. Some of what I cook will go in the freezer as we also keep a pretty good stash of home cooked food frozen for easy fast meals. You never know what life is going to throw your way but we are always well prepared food wise!
I always start by baking potatoes. These are in the sink ready to be washed. They will be baked in a preheated 400 degree oven 1 hour for Yukon Gold and about 1 hour 20 minutes for the various sweet potatoes.
I line my baking sheets with parchment paper for ease of clean up. Not shown are the Yukon Gold potatoes. I pierce the Yukon Gold potatoes prior to baking but not the sweet potatoes.
These are Oat Groats that I cooked in the Instant Pot. So easy and they come out like brown rice. I use them in place of brown rice – they have the ability to help lower LDL cholesterol. They taste fabulous. See my Oat Groat Video and Blog Post to find out how to make these! I actually made these Saturday morning to get a head start on batch prep for the week.
On Saturday I made this scrumptious Hearty Lentil Vegetable Stew in my 8 QT Instant Pot. The large capacity of the 8 QT allows me to make very large batches of soup, stew, chili, corn on the cob and 4 artichokes at the same time.
In the 6 QT Instant Pot Smoky Butternut Bisque from Chef AJ’s The Secrets To Ultimate Weight Loss book. Page 199 in her book – so creamy and delicious. It’s wonderful served with a scoop of wild rice mixed in. You can serve it hot in mugs as an appetizer when you have company. Sprinkle a few chives over the top to make it look extra special.
When the Bisque was done I used the IP to make Chef AJ’s Garlic Lovers Soup from one of her recent Weight Loss Wednesday Videos. I didn’t have Cruciferous Crunch so I used 10 ounces of the Sweet Kale Salad from Costco – it’s organic which I prefer. This soup is all veggies and mushrooms. The nice thing about is you can add starch of your choice when you reheat it for a meal. You can season it to your liking as well – use an Italian seasoning mix or a Mexican one or Herbs de Provence are a few that I like.
This was a 2 pound bag of organic Brussels Sprouts from Costco. I cut them in half – placed on a parchment lined baking sheet and roasted in the oven after the potatoes were done in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes no oil. You can also No Oil Air Fry them but I like them just as well in the oven. No seasoning on them – we like them plain. These get added to salads, eaten as snacks or become part of a Nourish Bowl.
Tom is in charge of making rice around here. He makes a batch full in our Aroma Rice Cooker. We like how it turns out in the rice cooker better than when we cook it in the Instant Pot. Personal preference I guess. We divide the cooked rice into 4 cup containers for the freezer and then one larger container to keep in the fridge for the week. I don’t eat a lot of rice but Tom loves it! We buy Lundberg Organic Short Grain Brown Rice that is grown in California.
The only way I can eat a salad everyday for lunch is if I prep them on Sunday for the week ahead. here I am getting ready to top them each with the organic tomatoes from Costco. I batch prepped 10 salads so we can each have a big beautiful salad through Friday. We chop them and turn them into amazing Big Beautiful Chopped Salads the day we are going to eat them. The link above takes you to our blog post and video to show you how to make them. Chopped salads are a game changer for most people. I get emails from people all the time telling me that they love chopped salads. You have to try them to see what all the fuss is about!
I have been having a salad just about everyday for lunch since going whole food plant based in 2013. It helped me lose weight and it helps me maintain my weight. It is highly nutritious and low calorie density – you can make them taste different everyday by what you add. I love my salads! Also it’s a no brainer I don’t have to figure out what to eat for lunch everyday – I know it’s going to be a salad. Done!
This was a one dish veggie, potato garbanzo bean oven roasted dish I am experimenting with for a an upcoming project. Stay tuned. It turned out delicious. Tom had it for lunch and I had it for dinner. Yum!
Here is the final collection of Batch Cooking for this session. Some of it will go in the freezer for future meals. The rest will go in the fridge and we will heat and eat it all through the week. I have more blog posts on Batch Cooking that you might enjoy. To find it in the future click on the Recipe tab at the top of the page and then click on Batch Cooking under the cooking method category. Do you batch cook? If so, please leave a comment and let me know if you batch cook all in one day or do you spread it out over 2 or more days. There are so many ways to batch prep food – it helps others see how we all make this work so please share what works for you.
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We are also Holland Bowl Mill Affiliates. The 15 inch Holland Bowl Mill Cherry fruit bowl has a permanent home on our kitchen island. It’s beautiful and useful. The heart shaped bowl makes me happy – I love everything heart shaped! We use our 15 inch Beechwood bowl to chop our salads everyday. Eating a salad for one meal every day helped me lose weight and become a size 4. I still eat a salad for one meal a day but now it’s a Big Beautiful Chopped salad and it helps me stay a size 4! See the Chopped Salad Blog Post to find out how you can incorporate a chopped salad into your daily food plan and how you can get a free mezzaluna knife with your Holland Bowl order when you use our affiliate link as well as free engraving and free shipping.