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3/1/11 11:14 P

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I have also found that the more I batch cook, the less I need to cook later in the month. I have noticed that I tend to overcook each week and then I put some in the freezer so when the end of the month comes, I barely need to cook!

ALLISONBISHOP46's Photo ALLISONBISHOP46 Posts: 164
3/1/11 10:02 A

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I have never did big batch cooking it is something that I'm looking into!

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PHIT4YOU's Photo PHIT4YOU SparkPoints: (0)
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2/28/11 6:36 P

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I set aside yesterday to do my batch cooking for the week. Now all my meals are planned/prepared for the week and now I don't have to concern myself with what I am going to prepare each day. It saves so much time and alleviate the guess work of what to have for lunch/dinner.

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2/28/11 4:17 P

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I agree!! The crockpot is the easiest method of cooking for me!

ERINMERRY's Photo ERINMERRY Posts: 66
2/27/11 11:31 P

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Have a nice big pot of Turkey Chili which will be nice in this cold weather and also chicken salsa (love my crock pot - wish I had invented it!)

Edited by: ERINMERRY at: 2/27/2011 (23:32)
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ADLINS's Photo ADLINS Posts: 5,438
2/21/11 8:53 P

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I'm not really into batch cooking. I really don't have the freezer space for it. I do prepare some things and freeze, such as hamburger and other meats (which are really like mini meat loaves the way I fix them). Veggies and sides though, I do small amounts, no more the 4 servings, that can last well in the fridge and go for lunch or be used for dinner. I've learned there are many things I don't really care for after they've been frozen. Maybe it's a mental thing.

But, I'm developing strategies for small batch cooking that doesn't take a lot of time and gives me a couple of options for meals after that. That way I don't get tired of it and I don't have that much to store. As a single person who dwells in an apartment, I have to think about space considerations (very small freezer, not a lot of pantry space) and the fact that if I cook it I have to eat and I've learned that small batch is better for me than large batch.

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2/21/11 5:18 P

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I like to cook in large amounts, then freeze in family size portions, as well as individual size. I find if I have ready made meals in the freezer, I'm not as apt to just grab anything!

THELMAANDLOUISE Posts: 16
2/17/11 1:14 A

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Hi everyone

I usually have a running shopping list printed out from my nutrition plan from Sparkpeople. I also cook for 4 at most meals. At the moment my daughter and grandson are living with us so we use it all but when my grandson goes back to uni in a few days I will still cook for 4 and freeze the extra meals or use for a meal the next day. I often do double quantity which we can choose to have the same meal for 2 days in a row or freeze half for a meal the next week or whenever.

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FABANDFITAT40's Photo FABANDFITAT40 Posts: 1,020
2/16/11 10:08 P

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I always do the batch cooking for my chicken broth and then freeze it in individual containers. Since there is only my son and myself any chili, spaghetti sauce etc. is done in batches as well since one container is way to much. I also plan for leftovers and those are lunches. So much better than a sandwich or can of soup

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LOTUSBURGER's Photo LOTUSBURGER SparkPoints: (0)
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2/16/11 1:29 P

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I did some pinto beans in the crock pot.
Now we have meals for the rest of the week.
A 3 bean salad.
Beans n beef
Bean soup!


MST


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2/15/11 1:29 A

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I took the carcass from a Costco chicken and made chicken broth and then added the leftover chicken pieces. I threw in some carrots, celery, onions noodles, fat free evaporated milk and a little butter and flour. I cooked everything in the crock pot and it made a ton of soup. I had enough left over to freeze for another meal later on. This was awesome chicken noodle soup.

Edited by: CD8873318 at: 2/15/2011 (01:30)
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2/15/11 12:42 A

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Today I quadrupled a batch of flax meal sandwich buns. I found the recipe here on SP. My boys loved them so much the first time I made them they went through them so quick. Both of my boys and my self are gluten intolerant. So these buns are great to have around. I eat one and the boys eat 4. emoticon

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2/14/11 9:25 P

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I made chicken stew this weekend; we often get a rotisserie chicken at Costco (I just avoid the skin!!!) and claw at it for one dinner. Then I strip whatever meat is left off the bones and cram the carcass (once it's cooled) into a ziploc bag and the meat into a separate one and put both into the freezer. Every time we have a chicken I do the same thing, and once I've got three carcasses, I put 'em into a stockpot with an onion, some celery, carrots, thyme and a couple cloves of garlic and simmer 'em together for hours. Then I let it cool, strain out all the chunks and put it in the fridge overnight so I can hog off all the fat once it rises to the top. This makes the BEST stock! I portion it out in quarts into freezer bags, then suck the air out with a straw and freeze 'em flat on a cookie sheet. Then I can stack 'em neatly in the freezer for later use.

I use the stock for everything, but this last weekend I made a chicken stew that DH went mad for -- my recipe's called Joanie's Leftover Chicken Stew on SparkRecipes.com if you wanna check it out. It makes a LOT and it freezes really well.

I also made a big vat of spinach hummus I've recently fallen in love with, from Caitlin's recipe at http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2011/01
/homemade-spinach-hummus.html
It's really great spread on toasted bread (it's stiffer than your usual store-bought) and it is easy to make (need food processor) cheap, and it makes almost 4 cups! Very filling and just super yummy and healthy!

The other things I've been doing are planning at least three of my meals for the week and making sure I've got all the ingredients on hand, plus a few things we can throw together at the last minute if we get busy. At Costco they have chicken that is packed two breasts per package; I use a couple and freeze the rest; it makes it much easier to portion out two servings. And Trader Joe's sells boneless, skinless thigh meat, frozen in bags such that you can take out just what you need for a meal. I also went online to cookinglight.com; they have a list of 100 chicken recipes; great for variation!

It's been exciting cooking a lot and finally making use of things like my food processor...must be the midwesterner in me (my parents moved to CA from MN) but I love having a freezer full of food in my kitchen! :)

Cheers!

Joanie

PS: Hi LEAKAY! I just read your post and now all I can think about is chili! I think that'll be next!

Moderation in all things...including moderation!


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MOSTLYH2O's Photo MOSTLYH2O SparkPoints: (0)
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2/14/11 9:24 P

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I made chicken stew this weekend; we often get a rotisserie chicken at Costco (I just avoid the skin!!!) and claw at it for one dinner. Then I strip whatever meat is left off the bones and cram the carcass (once it's cooled) into a ziploc bag and the meat into a separate one and put both into the freezer. Every time we have a chicken I do the same thing, and once I've got three carcasses, I put 'em into a stockpot with an onion, some celery, carrots, thyme and a couple cloves of garlic and simmer 'em together for hours. Then I let it cool, strain out all the chunks and put it in the fridge overnight so I can hog off all the fat once it rises to the top. This makes the BEST stock! I portion it out in quarts into freezer bags, then suck the air out with a straw and freeze 'em flat on a cookie sheet. Then I can stack 'em neatly in the freezer for later use.

I use the stock for everything, but this last weekend I made a chicken stew that DH went mad for -- my recipe's called Joanie's Leftover Chicken Stew on SparkRecipes.com if you wanna check it out. It makes a LOT and it freezes really well.

I also made a big vat of spinach hummus I've recently fallen in love with, from Caitlin's recipe at http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2011/01
/homemade-spinach-hummus.html
It's really great spread on toasted bread (it's stiffer than your usual store-bought) and it is easy to make (need food processor) cheap, and it makes almost 4 cups! Very filling and just super yummy and healthy!

The other things I've been doing are planning at least three of my meals for the week and making sure I've got all the ingredients on hand, plus a few things we can throw together at the last minute if we get busy. At Costco they have chicken that is packed two breasts per package; I use a couple and freeze the rest; it makes it much easier to portion out two servings. And Trader Joe's sells boneless, skinless thigh meat, frozen in bags such that you can take out just what you need for a meal. I also went online to cookinglight.com; they have a list of 100 chicken recipes; great for variation!

It's been exciting cooking a lot and finally making use of things like my food processor...must be the midwesterner in me (my parents moved to CA from MN) but I love having a freezer full of food in my kitchen! :)

Cheers!

Joanie

PS: Hi LEAKAY! I just read your post and now all I can think about is chili! I think that'll be next!

Moderation in all things...including moderation!


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LNXLADY's Photo LNXLADY Posts: 78
2/14/11 1:47 P

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Today, I made a huge batch of chili with turkey and beans and divided it up into lunch portions for the freezer. I also made our favorite Southern corn bread (not sweet!), but I baked it in my Perfect Brownie pan, so it baked into 18 little portions. DS, who can eat anything and is skinny as a rail, was not impressed with the new shrunken size of the cornbread, but this means DH and I can actually eat some without going over board.

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2/13/11 3:18 P

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I find it difficult to do big batch cooking - I cook for a family of 5, big batch is a way of life but it rarely produces enough to freeze for later.

I have discovered that well planned menus for the week work best for me. On the rare chance that I made way too much dinner (and I mean it is rare), then I do freeze leftovers for later use.

Does anyone else with a large family find this to be the case?

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MS_BEHAVIN's Photo MS_BEHAVIN Posts: 282
2/13/11 11:53 A

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Anything that works in a big batch I do even though there is only two of us now - spaghetti sauce, chili, soups, taco meat, muffins. We freeze the extra for lunches or quick dinners when we don't have time to cook.

"When given a choice between two evils, I always pick the one I haven't done before." Mae West


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WWJD10's Photo WWJD10 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/9/11 12:55 P

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We do big batches of things all the time and either split the servings up for multiple meals throughout that week or freeze half.

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2/9/11 9:31 A

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I love big batch cooking. I usually make a lot of chili or other type of soup, and then freeze it so it's waiting for me when I'm not in the mood to cook. Sunday I made big batch of chicken taco meat and froze most of it for days that I want some tacos, since I usually am never in the mood to make the meat after work!

"if you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid."

"Do or do not, there is no try."


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2/8/11 7:30 P

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Mel - How big is your family? I think that probably factors in to how challenging this may be. I am only cooking for one so by making one recipe worth, I get multiple meals. Can you possibly double all recipes so you automatically have a second meal for your family?

TEXAS_GRL's Photo TEXAS_GRL SparkPoints: (0)
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2/8/11 8:03 A

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Over the weekend I made a big batch of stuffed bell peppers. I can see how it would save time during the week. I just need to incorporate this cooking strategy more often.


~~ Melanie ~~


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FLUFFYMOM724's Photo FLUFFYMOM724 Posts: 1,278
2/6/11 5:22 P

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How do you all do this? I'm so tired right now! I cooked meals for Mon/Wed/Fri and that made me take a 2 hour nap after I finished cooking! I can see how this will save me the time during the week so it is very much worth the time today.

From Fluffy 2 Fit!!! Taking mini steps to reaching goals this time within a 9 month process.

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Q3 - September 5, 2016


JEANUT's Photo JEANUT SparkPoints: (118,462)
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2/6/11 2:18 P

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I love to do big batch cooking esp. in the summer when it's too hot to heat up the kitchen every day.


Jeanut in Ga
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CD7895679 Posts: 149
2/6/11 10:24 A

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I have made big batches for years, and we have our favourites of tourtiere, steak and kidney pie, beef bourguignon, turkey pot pie, etc. Doing big batches of things that require a lot of chopping, or browning, do take time and effort, but the results of a great meal when you don't feel like cooking are wonderful. We go on holiday in February to the west coast of Vancouver Island, and after a day of hiking, we especially enjoy one of our frozen dinners.
The suggestion of frozen quiches is something I hadn't thought of, and will try. A day of hiking would start out well fortified by this. Best Wishes.

FLUFFYMOM724's Photo FLUFFYMOM724 Posts: 1,278
2/6/11 6:24 A

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I'm planning my first Big Batch Cooking today. I hope to make this a weekly routine for Sunday.

From Fluffy 2 Fit!!! Taking mini steps to reaching goals this time within a 9 month process.

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2/3/11 10:13 P

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Today was my first Big Batch cooking experience and I think I'm hooked already! I made White Bean Chicken Chili from SparkRecipes and it was absolutely delicious. I'm completely full and have lunches for the next week!

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2/3/11 1:43 P

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Yesterday I boiled a whole chicken and then put bones and skin back in to cook longer for home made stock. Then I made some chicken soup with some of the chicken and some fresh veggies.

I cooked some pinto beans, half in a pot on the stove and the other in the crock pot. The ones from the stove are my mashed beans. The crock pot beans are left in a soup format for a nice side dish. I use the mashed ones to replace re-fried beans.

I took some left over wild rice, left over baby asparagus and some of the boiled chicken for my lunch today.

I started batch cooking quite a while ago, but it wasn't as healthy as it is now.

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CD3364740 Posts: 1,632
2/2/11 9:55 P

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I made a big batch of chicken noodle soup in the crock pot yesterday. It was very tasty!

RONDAJO56's Photo RONDAJO56 Posts: 6,635
2/2/11 9:25 P

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I do a lot of batch cooking. Saves me time later. Plus makes great pack lunches for work.

“Stay committed to your decisions; but stay flexible in your approach.” ~Tony Robbins
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2. Minimum 10 min daily fitness & 90 min weekly
3. Positive self-talk daily
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5. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily
6. Develop a plan for eating out at restaurants.
7. Plan & follow menu


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***DEBRA***'s Photo ***DEBRA*** SparkPoints: (74,466)
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2/2/11 9:03 P

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Yesterday I slow cooked a large pot roast ( venison ) on the wood stove that we use to heat the house.
It came out so tender and delicious.
In addition we saved on the electric bill. WooHoo!
We have enough leftover for another meal plus one for the freezer.


FRUIT:
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For extended nutritional information click on the name of each fruit.

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OMAMARY5's Photo OMAMARY5 Posts: 9
2/2/11 2:07 P

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Since I went from cooking for eight to cooking for 2 in less than a couple months, I seem to always be batch cooking! We did invest in an upright freezer, so that does hep. And, I'm fortunate enough to only work part time, so I take one day every week and cook a pot of soup from leftovers. That usually goes to my kids, who are out on their own, and always appreciate "homemade" food from mom!

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JEANUT's Photo JEANUT SparkPoints: (118,462)
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1/31/11 9:22 P

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today I baked 15 chicken thighs (skin & fat removed) did the legs in the crock pot with home made sauce (used artificial sweetner instead of sugar)
Now I have 8 meals of chicken in the freezer for later

Jeanut in Ga
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CEIGSTI's Photo CEIGSTI SparkPoints: (71,845)
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1/31/11 1:04 P

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baked a half ham and made some crockpot chili for the week. Only have one meal I actually cook during the week. Mango chicken. I like the thought of big batch cooking. Need to work on putting leftovers into containers and freezing and dating though. (I cook for 3 of us.)

Edited by: CEIGSTI at: 1/31/2011 (13:07)
Carole
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1/30/11 9:01 A

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I do a lot of big batch cooking, esp in the summer when it's too hot to heat up the kitchen every day.
My big no no in the past was not portioning it out in the correct amounts... that is def. something I'm going to improve.

Jeanut in Ga
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1/24/11 6:31 P

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Can you post a link or post the recipes for your miso soup and muffins? Both sound great!

CD1711297 Posts: 3,588
1/24/11 5:02 P

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Just made a big batch of miso soup and later on I will be making a batch of turkey meatballs and apple & pumpkin muffins for easy breakfasts and lunches/dinners.

I am a grad student and live alone so cooking in batches helps save time (that I can dedicate to school work) and I always have something healthy to eat.

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1/24/11 11:30 A

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I just made a big batch of Turkey Chili. We'll be eating that for the next few days.

JSPEED4's Photo JSPEED4 Posts: 1,701
1/23/11 11:05 A

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In 9th grade Home Economics, I learned to mix-up dry ingredients for a simple pancake/biscuit recipe and use this as the base for any quick breads/sweets. Just find a recipe or two that uses the basic flour, leavening, salt, sugar. Adding the amount of sugar needed for the least-sweet recipe makes that recipe stir-together more quickly.

Write-up instructions for using the mix for various recipes and keep instructions with the jar.

I have even added oil to some batches so all I need is a bit of water and a hot spot for cooking it. Some people add wheat germ and keep this in the fridge. Some add powdered milk.

If a child has a favorite recipe, mixing the dry ingredients and putting them into jars with the recipe to complete the project, decorating the jar with a bow, and using it as part of an allowance for a child, is better than children taking money to go buy junk-food.

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CELESTIALGIRL's Photo CELESTIALGIRL Posts: 149
1/23/11 10:49 A

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I don't do a lot of big batch cooking simply because I have a small fridge and freezer. I do often cook up a big batch of soup and freeze it. Now that I make my own, I realize canned soup sucks. lol I also make larger batches of steel cut oats (cooked with apples and cinnamon) that lasts me the week. Sometimes I freeze a bit of that as well. It definitely makes the week go easier! I wish I had a larger freezer. :-)

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RHONDAH315's Photo RHONDAH315 SparkPoints: (0)
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1/22/11 7:07 P

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'Made a big batch of granola bars, brownies and snack mix to use in place of more expensive and less healthy store-bought versions! emoticon

PAULASTRAS's Photo PAULASTRAS SparkPoints: (0)
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1/22/11 1:32 A

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Me too Nellie I am a diabetic....and preparation of foods are different adjusting recipes and making good choices.

The food links are great.....thanks.



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CD1951302 Posts: 44,306
1/22/11 12:29 A

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I'm usually cooking for just me nowadays, so I roast my large meat choice and divide it up into servings and have it several times a week with variations. Makes cooking less arduous when I need to eat soon. (I'm diabetic, so need to eat on a schedule.

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1/21/11 11:39 A

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Two here to cook for.....I do much the same thing and freeze alot of thigs. Even cookies.
Always have something in the freezer.

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LUCKY-13's Photo LUCKY-13 Posts: 11,837
1/21/11 11:32 A

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Thanks for sharing the links to Food.com! I found a lot of new vegetarian recipes that I'll be trying!

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Life's an adventure ... take it one step at a time and don't underestimate yourself! You're capable of more than you think you are! How do I know this? You're still here aren't you? That means you haven't given up!


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1/21/11 8:07 A

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How were the applesauce oatmeal muffins? Is the recipe on here? That sounds yummy.

I also pre-cook everything and then single portion it. I then have my own "freezer meals". Never a reason to pick up fast food then!

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1/21/11 6:39 A

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Big Batch cooking helps me stay focused on my eating plan. I made the Applesauce oatmeal muffins and I have 12 servings of food already measured out. I make soups and chilis freeze them in single serving containers. Ready for lunch or dinner. Since I froze them I don't have to eat the same thing over and over again I can switch up.

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SHELBSYD's Photo SHELBSYD SparkPoints: (0)
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1/20/11 8:14 P

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So when you batch cook, you bake most of the foods first, then heat to serve?

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2920
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peanutbutterandpeppers.com/


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MTGITZ Posts: 39
1/20/11 10:48 A

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Thanks for the great link!

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MTGITZ Posts: 39
1/20/11 10:44 A

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Planning on making a big batch of chili this weekend and freezing part. I am also going to make my mother's chili recipe healthier by using ground turkey instead of ground beef!

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SLEEPIGRL's Photo SLEEPIGRL SparkPoints: (0)
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1/19/11 11:28 A

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I've found lots of great recipes in the OAMC (once a month cooking) section of food.com.

www.food.com/recipes/oamc-freezer-ma
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There are also OAMC plans for specific menus/foods in the community forums. Those are great when you just snagged 10 or 20 lbs of ground beef for a great price!

www.food.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=2223
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And, since one of my goals is to make bentos for myself and DH at least 3-4 times per week, I sometimes cook a little extra and portion it out in the freezer for that.

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