If you want to eat healthily you need to cook. But when you’re busy and rushing around cooking can become not only a chore but way down your list of priorities. This is where batch cooking comes in. You need to get organised, cook some food at the weekend, pop it in the freezer so that when you’re running around you’ve got a healthy meal at hand.
Here’s some ideas for batch cooking.
When I make a ragu it’s a labour of love! I cook my ragu for about 3 hours. It doesn’t actually take too much effort as you let it cook and simmer away whilst you’re doing everything else. I always cook enough for dinner that day and then enough for another meal and sometimes there’s enough to put some little pots away for the kids too (usually depending on how much my other half has eaten!)
Soup is not only a great way to get nutrients in you, it’s great for batch cooking. You can make up a whole vat of soup and freeze it. Take it in for lunch or you can have it as a quick meal in the evenings. I sometimes add brown rice or quinoa to my soup to bulk it out and keep me really full.
I absolutely love roasted veg. Just get whatever veg you have in your cupboard roast them in the oven with some herbs and garlic; try my roasted vegetable feast or my favourite roasted butternut squash.
Quinoa is an absolute staple for me when it comes to preparing my lunches for the week, especially when I’m at work. I cook a batch of quinoa up at the beginning of the week; enough for 3 lunches usually and pop it in the fridge. I then either have the same combination or mix it up as I go. Some of my favourite combinations are quinoa with roasted squash, halloumi and sunflower seeds or homemade pesto, roasted vegetables, olives and feta or beetroot, spinach and goats cheese with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You can freeze quinoa too.
This is so easy to make and you can freeze it for whenever you need it. I don’t just use it for pasta either, it’s a pizza topping, I mix it into quinoa or with courgetti. There’s so much you can do with a homemade tomato sauce.
Make your breakfast the night before. Then you’re all ready to go to work in the morning with your breakfast in hand. Bircher muesli works well for this or you can try my raw vanilla and blueberry porridge.
Make a batch of hummus for your snacks. You can enjoy it with wholewheat pitta bread, sweet potato chips, crudités or as a nice addition to a sandwich rather than mayonnaise.
Get snack prepared
Finally get all your snacks prepared too. So if you find you’re getting hungry you can reach for your healthy snacks rather than the chocolate! Try nuts (unsalted, unroasted) and some fruit, some yoghurt (full-fat natural yoghurt) with some fruit, a chia pudding (one of my favourites, without sugar), some hummus with rice cakes or oatcakes. You can even cook up some savoury muffins to enjoy.