Have you ever heard of the term “batch cooking” or “batch prepping”?
Batch cooking or batch prepping is simply preparing foods in advance for quick consumption later. I refer to this as “batching”.
Benefits of Batch Cooking
Did you know that among a variety of benefits, batch prepping is a simple key to eating healthy? Why? Batch prepping allows us quick access to healthy foods so that we don’t reach for the unhealthy alternatives.
Does Your Day Go Like This?
You work all day, come home hungry and ready to eat. You can reach for a frozen food or get a pizza to-go. Or you can reheat some healthy foods you batch-prepped earlier in the week. I would bet the batch-prepped foods would actually be ready to eat before the frozen food alternative. So you’re eating dinner faster. And the batch-prepped choices will be cheaper and healthier to boot. Great news all around!
What Foods Do I Batch Cook?
Anything healthy! Start with grains such as brown rice and wild rice…these take longer to cook and you’ll be less likely to wait around after a long day at the office for them to be ready for dinner. If you pre-cook a double recipe on the weekend, you can quickly reheat and enjoy them for lunch or dinner during the week. For protein, consider batch-cooking grilled, boneless chicken breasts cut into strips for faster cooking. Serve the chicken with the rice and a fresh veggie one night for dinner; take it to work for lunch on some organic greens the next. Later in the week, reheat it with fixins for a quesadilla. You get the idea!
Mix and Match Batched Foods to Create Meals in a Flash!
Once you have a selection of batch-cooked/prepped foods in your fridge, it’s a matter of mixing and matching foods that combine well to make a great lunch or dinner. You can always steam a seasonal veggie or make a fresh salad as a side dish in a flash. In my kitchen, I start batch cooking on Sunday’s typically and continue to batch cook during the week if I am in the kitchen making a meal and either need to supplement my options or have some time while I’m doing something else. So I am always adding to the mix of new choices and eating my way through the existing choices with some well deserved “days off’ in between when I simply re-heat and enjoy my earlier efforts!
Storing Your Batched Foods
I store my batch-cooked food in see-through, BPA-free, or glass containers that come in a variety of sizes. This allows them to stack easily in the fridge and “nest’ well in the cabinet when not in use. I try to cycle my food choices so that by the end of the week, my fridge is looking empty and ready for a new week and new food choices to begin.
Get Good at Batching
Keep expanding your repertoire of batch cooked recipes and those foods you pair with batched foods. For example, seasonal fruits and veggies are a great pick for a side dish that pairs with something you pre-cooked. A seasonal veggie can usually be steamed or sauteed quickly to and keep your meals tasty and interesting.
How can batch cooking / prepping help you eat healthier and make your workweek easier?
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think?
Lifestyling Wellness ™. Yes, you can. I’ll show you how…
A mid-week shot of my fridge with batch prepped foods at the ready