Thursday, November 10, 2011

COOKING IN BULK TIPS: How to Create a "Cooking Strategy!"

Ok, so in my last post I talked about how you can save time, money and insanity by bulk cooking your food, i.e. cooking on one day to prepare your food for an entire week! 

Anyways, here is the awesome cooking strategy that my husband and I honed after much trial and error in the last year.  It is extremely helpful now we are working the plant-strong Esselstyn diet which relies a lot on homemade foods!

I hope that this helps all of you!  Let me know in the comments if you have any ideas to streamline my process, or please share your own strategies!!  Calling all my busy people out there!!  Let's rock this thing!


1) Figure out what you have in your kitchen pantry already (this is the save a lot of money step)

2) Find recipes that list those pantry items as a main ingredient (once again, saving money)
    -Pick SIMPLE recipes (when you are cooking several things at once, don't complicate things any further getting too "gourmet" on you!)
    -Find recipes that you are actually excited to try to eat!  (don't just pick recipes that fit your on-hand ingredients--if you aren't looking forward to eating it, don't cook it!)
    -Double check to make sure that your family will like the recipes you want to make (if my husband doesn't want to eat them, then the whole purpose of the mass cook is lost).
   -Pick enough recipes for variety--we found if we pick only 4 we lose interest at leftovers x2--our magic number is about 7-8 dishes now

3) Make a grocery list

4) Make a Plan of Attack :-): Take a sheet of paper and break down the tasks listed in all the recipes as follows:
    -Long pre-cook items that can slow cook the night before (i.e. beans, grains, etc)
    -Chopping & juicing (veggies, fruits)
   - Mixing (spices, sauces, etc)
   -Cook (and in what--a pan, the oven, etc)

5) Divide up the tasks between the chefs {try to get your family involved--my friend uses my strategy and has her two young kids do things like mix the sauces and carefully chop veggies (thats the older kid!)}

6) Grocery Shop (quickly only by list)

7)  Cook

8) Pack & Tupperware

Ok--so this sounds a little complicated (mostly because of step #4!)  It does feel that way at first, but the more you do it, the quicker you will get!  And the best reward is to have 7+ new meals ready after 2-4 hours of work! 

See my next scheduled Post for the specific cooking strategy for this week using The Happy Herbivore's recipes!  Feel free to use it yourself because the recipes are YUMMMMMM!!!:-)

Next time:   Cooking in Bulk Example:  A Week of Recipes from The Happy Herbivore

Coming Soon:
  • PAIN: How to Heal with Food (Part 2)
  • How To Get The BEST Medical Care: Tips to Patients from a Doc
  • SuperImmunity Foods for KIDS (Calling All PARENTS!)
  • RECIPES & Ideas: Snacks!  YUMMY & Portable Plant-Based Snack Food--all sugar-free, gluten-free & without adding oil or fat!!
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