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CAMOGIE3's Photo CAMOGIE3 Posts: 904
5/17/11 7:40 P

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I usually cover to opening with a paper towel and have started keeping a pot holder in my lunch bag

Optimism is the foundation of courage.
--Nicholas Murray Butler

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.
--Charles Darwin

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
--Theodore Roosevelt


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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY Posts: 5,346
5/17/11 6:03 P

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Good plan. I have not used the glass jars in the microwave. Are they pretty hard to handle when hot or do you use a oven mitt for a pot holder?


"The Three P’s of Success: Planning, Prediction, and Performance." ...inspiration from sparkpeople Daily Blog


“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥
♥¸.•*¨♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥~.•*´¨ ) ♥
♥Lady Cares A Lotx♥*¨
♥ .•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨ ♥ 'sparking since August 2007!'


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CAMOGIE3's Photo CAMOGIE3 Posts: 904
5/17/11 5:36 P

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My ex (prior to being ex) got me started on big batch cooking. We'd fire up a huge pot of salsa soup (a thick/chunky tortilla soup) or chili and freeze several quarts of it in mason jars. Now, in addition to those, I do stews, curry, soups, etc. and use either quart size for meals at home of pint size for taking to work for lunch. I'd much rather put glass in the microwave than plastic and I don't have to worry about the lid coming off in my lunch bag. It's been working out pretty well as long as I don't over-fill the jars.

Optimism is the foundation of courage.
--Nicholas Murray Butler

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.
--Charles Darwin

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
--Theodore Roosevelt


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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY Posts: 5,346
5/13/11 9:19 A

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We have a chest freezer in our garage. I like using the new freezer bags from Ziploc. It has a quilter inner liner and protects the food better. I like to lay things flat and also see what I am getting!


"The Three P’s of Success: Planning, Prediction, and Performance." ...inspiration from sparkpeople Daily Blog


“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥
♥¸.•*¨♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥~.•*´¨ ) ♥
♥Lady Cares A Lotx♥*¨
♥ .•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨ ♥ 'sparking since August 2007!'


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DANIJOHNNYLOVE's Photo DANIJOHNNYLOVE Posts: 693
5/13/11 7:45 A

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This article renewed my interest in batch cooking. Ive done it sporadically but it never took off for me. I think the key for me was not freezing in portion sizes. How does everyone store all this food in their freezer, do you some of you have a second freezer? I also loved the list of ideas the article provided for foods to batch.

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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY Posts: 5,346
5/10/11 3:24 P

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Great idea for variety~


"The Three P’s of Success: Planning, Prediction, and Performance." ...inspiration from sparkpeople Daily Blog


“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥
♥¸.•*¨♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥~.•*´¨ ) ♥
♥Lady Cares A Lotx♥*¨
♥ .•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨ ♥ 'sparking since August 2007!'


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TRI4HEALTH's Photo TRI4HEALTH Posts: 2
5/10/11 1:09 P

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I like to use similar ingredients to make multiple meals. For instance, I boiled shrimp last night, then sauteed half in a spicy buffalo sauce, and the other half in a lemon pepper sauce. This way I have a tasty meal for tonight and something different for later in the week and it doesn't take any extra time (just one extra pan to wash).

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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY Posts: 5,346
5/7/11 10:44 A

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Mary that sounds good. I have not heard of Monastery Lentils, can you share the recipe please? Thanks. It is rainy today; I am glad I have all that stew I made this week to rely on again.


"The Three P’s of Success: Planning, Prediction, and Performance." ...inspiration from sparkpeople Daily Blog


“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥
♥¸.•*¨♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥~.•*´¨ ) ♥
♥Lady Cares A Lotx♥*¨
♥ .•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨ ♥ 'sparking since August 2007!'


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MARY0001's Photo MARY0001 Posts: 2,094
5/7/11 9:08 A

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This weekend I am making big batches of monastery lentils and split pea soup in the slow cooker. I then put them in plastic pint soup containers and freeze those I will not be using in a few days. I take one of these each workday for lunch, along with a fresh salad or piece of fruit. This makes for healthy, delicious, and economical lunches that I enjoy eating.

~Mary in Fairfax, VA

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

BLC29 - RESOLUTE RENEGADES


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LDEVANY SparkPoints: (0)
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5/2/11 2:32 P

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When Freezing noodles, it is best to undercook them. They do get softer when you freeze them. Other than that they will do great.

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LISAKAY73 Posts: 613
5/2/11 2:00 P

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Last week was the first time I batched cooke did not freeze any of it as I had three places to give food for That weekend. This week I plan on trying the freezing of meals I am going to batch cook my husbands favorite Baked Spaghetti and then when I have healthy food for me I can just whip up what i made and hopefully it will be aright.

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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY Posts: 5,346
5/2/11 10:33 A

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That is mostly how I do my big batch cooking too. It helps so much!


"The Three P’s of Success: Planning, Prediction, and Performance." ...inspiration from sparkpeople Daily Blog


“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥
♥¸.•*¨♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥~.•*´¨ ) ♥
♥Lady Cares A Lotx♥*¨
♥ .•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨ ♥ 'sparking since August 2007!'


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LDEVANY SparkPoints: (0)
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5/2/11 9:32 A

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I already do the big batch cooking. I make cabbage rolls but I only cook one batch and freeze the other uncooked and they come out great. I also make lasagna and I freeze what is left over into meals for two. I also love to make my own soups and stews and freeze or can them. It does help especially on days you are very tired or just don't feel good.

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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY Posts: 5,346
4/30/11 9:40 P

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I watch for sales too. TJ Maxx or Ross sometimes have them too.


"The Three P’s of Success: Planning, Prediction, and Performance." ...inspiration from sparkpeople Daily Blog


“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥
♥¸.•*¨♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥~.•*´¨ ) ♥
♥Lady Cares A Lotx♥*¨
♥ .•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨ ♥ 'sparking since August 2007!'


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LIFER74 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/30/11 9:11 P

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I started week 2 tonight, and found the "Big Batch Cooking" article. Guess what I was doing all morning? Cooking for my freezer: turkey noodle soup, split pea soup, veggie broth, and bran muffins. What a coincidence!

My biggest problem with big batch cooking is how to store everything. With all the bad press that plastics have been getting these days, I've been trying to get away from plastic and into glass or stainless containers, and those aren't cheap. I stock up whenever I see them on sale. Anyone here know of a good source of affordable glass or stainless containers? I really love the durability of stainless -- for my kids' and husband's lunches, I use stainless bento boxes. My daughter left hers at school over spring break. After 10 days of sitting there in the school, it cleaned up like new. I bet I would have had to toss a plastic container!

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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY Posts: 5,346
4/30/11 5:21 P

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One of the main reasons I like to freeze or pack portion sizes from big batch cooking is that if I have a portion, I know I had the portion. If there is a full pot or open bag it is a differerent mindset. Some of the frozen entrees at the grocers have an odd bit of seasoning or after taste and one nearly needs to over heat them to where it takes so long to cool them off or burn my tongue! emoticon Often the big batch cooking is a hearty meal anyway and is longer lasting to get ME through the afternoon.


"The Three P’s of Success: Planning, Prediction, and Performance." ...inspiration from sparkpeople Daily Blog


“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥
♥¸.•*¨♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥~.•*´¨ ) ♥
♥Lady Cares A Lotx♥*¨
♥ .•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨ ♥ 'sparking since August 2007!'


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MARY0001's Photo MARY0001 Posts: 2,094
4/30/11 9:04 A

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Big Batch Cooking of hearty soups and stews has become a mainstay of eating a healthy diet for me, particularly at the office. I take my single portion serving and heat it in the microwave for lunch. A salad or piece of fresh fruit on the side completes the meal.

This way of preparing and eating lunch is saving me money, time, and lots of calories I would otherwise be eating if I were buying my weekday lunches at work.

~Mary in Fairfax, VA

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

BLC29 - RESOLUTE RENEGADES


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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY Posts: 5,346
4/28/11 10:56 A

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Great ideas. I checked out some of the recommended recipes to try too. Thanks everyone, trying new recipes is very motivating.


"The Three P’s of Success: Planning, Prediction, and Performance." ...inspiration from sparkpeople Daily Blog


“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥
♥¸.•*¨♥ -:¦:- ♥~**♥~.•*´¨ ) ♥
♥Lady Cares A Lotx♥*¨
♥ .•*´¨ )♥ ¸.•*¨) ♥-:¦:- ♥¸.•*¨ ♥ 'sparking since August 2007!'


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XCYAGERX's Photo XCYAGERX Posts: 13
4/28/11 7:11 A

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I big batch cook, but with a family of 6 I end up with very little leftovers. We usually finish dinner for lunch the following day. I've been meaning to start large batches of whole grain breads, my family loves fresh baked. There, I have my next challenge! emoticon

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MCLORI1974's Photo MCLORI1974 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/27/11 10:19 A

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I've been batch cooking for years and really like it. I make huge batches of chill, pasta, breads, etc and make homemade TV dinners. It really helps out with lunches for my DH. He just graps something from the freezer each morning to take to work. He's happy because its a hot lunch and I'm happy because it saves us a lot of money.

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HELENA260's Photo HELENA260 Posts: 1,083
4/24/11 4:09 A

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Cooking in big batches really does help with time you spend in the kitchen, You also have a geat meal that you know how many calories are truly in it as well as what is in it!!

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BHOLMAN1005's Photo BHOLMAN1005 Posts: 925
4/22/11 7:57 A

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I've been doing it for years, what I really like about it along with saving on cooking time during the week or month it is great if I need a snack because I know what is in it (not a lot of preservatives) and I know the calories.

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PRIPUTA's Photo PRIPUTA Posts: 44
4/18/11 6:10 P

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I am excited to batch cook and freeze the leftovers. I've never frozen my food before so that will be a new experience, but I'm looking forward to it. I always seem to make extra food so that my husband can take some to work the next day (and I will pack other healthy food for myself and the leftovers sometimes), but I suppose I'm going to have to kick it up a notch for big batch cooking!

COUZCAT's Photo COUZCAT Posts: 4,362
4/16/11 9:34 A

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I have a friend that prepares lunches assembly line style. The food is cooked specifically for the lunches only, prepared, cooked and packaged. She does this even if it is only sandwiches. Great for portability too: simply remove from freezer and put in lunch bag as it provides its own freezer pack.

STINASTEW's Photo STINASTEW Posts: 867
4/16/11 9:08 A

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I did this in Week 1 & typically try any time I cook a meal for just me & my husband. During Week1, I went ahead & put leftovers in my lunch plans because I knew I'd have leftovers every time. It worked out great because all of the new recipes were good & I never have much time to eat since I had recess duty this week. It also helps me to avoid those goodies that may be sitting in the lounge!

"The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before" -Steve Young
*Christina*
Alexandria, VA


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CD9680928 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/16/11 12:36 A

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I enjoy big batch cooking! It not only saves time, but money. I can shop the sales and get better deals on meats, poultry and the like. And as so many have said, it makes meal planner easier. My goal is to cook enough variety that will serve as "frozen lunches" for me for 2 - 3 weeks. That way when I am short on time in the morning, I can grab and go.

Edited by: CD9680928 at: 4/16/2011 (00:37)
MRSHKM's Photo MRSHKM SparkPoints: (60,737)
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4/11/11 1:19 P

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I feel I did big batch cooking more when I lived on my own. It was so convenient to have a meal in the fridge waiting for me after a long day at work, and it was a good excuse to not go out! Now that it is my husband and me we will possibly get two leftover out of a well portioned meal. Which makes grabbing a healthy lunch easier and you know the calorie count from the night or day before!

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MOODYMOLLYR Posts: 203
4/7/11 11:26 A

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Made a skillet of pasta sauce with ground beef yesterday evening that should last at least 3 meals. I browned about 1/3 lb. of beef in my skillet, poured off the fat, 2 diced garlic cloves and about 1/4c. diced onion and most of a can of Del Monte meat flavored pasta sauce with a little hot water to wash the sauce from the instant coffee jar I had it in. LOL Used 1/2 c of the sauce on 1 c of cooked rotini pasta for dinner. No grated cheese added as I can't locate it, must be at the back of the fridge shelf and I just wasn't in the mood to dig for it. I need to write down the name and nutritional content of the pasta so I can add it correctly to my nutrition tracker. I just used something similar for yesterday's dinner.

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SEAWAVE's Photo SEAWAVE Posts: 1,421
4/7/11 10:14 A

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I guess I've been big batch cooking for most of my life. I even had a freezer when I was a student in university. One thing I've found more recently is "dump" recipes, where you freeze your raw meet with a marinade, so it's all tasty when you thaw and cook it. The other thing I did when I was single without a freezer was store liquidy meals in sterilized canning jars, in the fridge. It will keep for four weeks or more (I've never gone longer than four weeks), and is a great way to store chili, soup, spaghetti sauce, stews, etc. when you don't want to eat the same thing all week. It's similar to canning, but doesn't keep as long as doing the whole canning process. You sterilize the jars and lids and keep them in a warm oven until ready to fill. And make sure the lids seal, otherwise it's just another container.

SeaWave
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I am who I chose to be. Stronger. Leaner. Further. Fierce.

Because I love...

Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.


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COUZCAT's Photo COUZCAT Posts: 4,362
4/5/11 11:28 A

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We're a household of 2 which means most recipes are big batches. Half of the recipe is frozen so it won't spoil and we eat the other half with that being 2 meals.

A trick I use with cake recipes, since they are far too big for 2 people, is baking them as muffins instead and freeze most of the muffins. Lots of extras plus automatic portion control. This works very well with tea bread type recipes.

Cheers,
Catherine

Edited by: COUZCAT at: 4/5/2011 (11:29)
ADLINS's Photo ADLINS Posts: 5,438
4/4/11 8:02 P

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I have found most baked goods - muffins, cookies, cupcakes, etc, freeze well. A muffin cookbook told me to do this and I started doing it years ago and then just experimented with other baked goods.

I've also successfully frozen cooked meats - i.e. my mini hamburgers/meatloaves as well as purchased meats, such as chicken sausage. I'm sure cooked chicken or other meats would also freeze well.

I've not tried freezing other things.

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." -Eleanor Roosevelt-

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"
-Jean Jacques Rousseau-
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


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MOODYMOLLYR Posts: 203
4/3/11 2:48 P

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I found some small plastic plates recently that I had put away, they had frozen entree's in them at one time. I'll pull them out and use them in my batch cooking to freeze single portions in, that way I won't have all my sotrage containers in the freezer with just a little bit in each one.

I may even line them with foil before freezing so I can just lift the packet out and put two or three or so in a plastic freezer bag and then reuse the plates.

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MOODYMOLLYR Posts: 203
4/3/11 12:07 P

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When you do batch cooking how do you know a recipe will freeze well? That's my main concern as I don't want to waste the food by cooking and freezing it then having it be yucky when it's thawed and reheated.

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4/3/11 10:38 A

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I ordered a new crockpot cooking book yesterday and can't wait for it to arrive! For just two, we don't make huge batches. I don't mind cooking for one extra meal - but too much extra just goes to waste. With summer time approaching, meals will become lighter.

MOODYMOLLYR Posts: 203
4/2/11 5:08 P

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Will be doing a bit of big batch cooking this evening. I thawed out a pound of ground beef and I'll use it in a meat sauce. I'll brown it with fresh onion and garlic then add some canned pasta sauce, a can of crushed whole tomatoes, and a large can of tomato sauce. once it's done I'll put it in the fridge to cool then into zipper top freezer bags and into the freezer. Of course I'll use part of it over some whole grain pasta tonight for dinner and probably keep some for lunch tomorrow.

I use a rice blend that has wild, red, brown, and white rice in it. I cook up the recommended amount and use portions of it for different things. I make a salad based on it with canned corn, black beans, and kidney beans- all drained, rinsed, and drained again before use to lower the sodium content.

I also recently got a 5# bag of boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves that I baked then froze individually. If I use the chicken breast half for an entree I grill it on my cast iron griddle after thawing it, if I'm tossing it in the rice salad I just thaw and dice it.

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MARNIE7479's Photo MARNIE7479 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/31/11 6:24 P

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I really don't like to cook big batches. My husband and I always get tired of the leftovers, and it's way more tempting to go back for seconds. I prefer to just cook for two.

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CD2127617 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/29/11 1:59 P

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I am working on making double batches of everything so that we have enough for a dinner and a lunch the next day...with the possibility of freezing one more meal out of it. It all depends on what the item is. Last weekend I made a huge (I mean huge) batch of tuna-macaroni salad and it was gone in 24 hours.

STEPOFFAITH Posts: 105
3/29/11 12:43 P

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This is actually something we always do at home. Any time we have too much leftovers and we know that it will freeze well, we store it for another meal. We do this a lot with spaghetti sauce, chili, pulled pork...It's very convenient and time-saving when preparing meals.



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KOGOSHUKO's Photo KOGOSHUKO SparkPoints: (566)
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3/28/11 11:27 A

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I'm not huge on big batch cooking. I live by myself, and unless I really like the meal, get tired of leftovers quickly. Oftentimes, I end up throwing out what's been sitting in my fridge for over a week because I just didn't want to eat it again.
That being said, I also LOVE soup. So this week's big batch cooking shall be a giant crockpot of Italian Wedding Soup. I will make it on Saturday, and have enough soup for lunches all week next week! :)


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3/21/11 12:02 P

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I like to throw meals in the freezer and grab them when I am no longer sick of them..... just an idea.

LINDAJ0621's Photo LINDAJ0621 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/21/11 10:38 A

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I have always done big batch cooking, especially with my crockpot. It is a great time saver, but now with just the 2 of us empty nesters, I have to be careful how often I do that because we end up with too many meals and get sick of them. Most of the time I cook enough for just one additional meal for each of us for our lunches, so I can still have the variety I crave in my diet. I love to cook and am constantly trying out new and healthier recipes.

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FIFFINA's Photo FIFFINA SparkPoints: (0)
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3/20/11 3:51 P

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I am pretty good in big batch cooking. I usually make a huge amount of grains+legumes+vegetables salad on sunday and it lasts me til wednesday or so. Then I make another variation and it last til sunday again.. It is time saving and money saving, but you have to keep your eye on changing products, since it may become a bit of routine eating the same thing over again. But I don´t freeze any food, I eat what I´ve cooked, no freezr included.

MUSTANG0421's Photo MUSTANG0421 Posts: 3,730
3/14/11 6:51 A

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I am starting week two with faux cream of mushroom soup (sparkrecipe.com). It will be the base of my lunch for this week I will have a half ham and cheese sandwich, raw veggies and fruit with the soup. It is easy to throw a sandwich together while cooking breakfast. The veggies are pre-cut and the fruit is grab and go. When I don't take a lunch, I am calling for delivery and that is a diaster. I am also going to try the quick chicken pot pie recipe this week,Wednesday. My daughter and I cook on alternate days.

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C-MERRIE11's Photo C-MERRIE11 Posts: 748
3/14/11 12:13 A

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I've started cooking big pots of veggie stock using left over vegetable bits, and then freezing the stock in portions to make easy soup-based dinners through the week. I've also bought more frozen fruits so that if I run out of my favorite fresh fruits, but am too busy to run to the store, I can snack on frozen mango and grapes (instead of before where when I ran out of fruit I would turn to less, ahem, healthful snacks)

nihil nimus!


 current weight: 145.0 
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3/12/11 11:33 P

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I help my DH cook and we try to cook enough for two meals. We can't seem to make a lot all at once. We would never eat it in time.

LINMAGILL Posts: 43
3/9/11 3:40 A

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I like to cook batches of hamburger meat, that way if I'm in the mood for spaghetti or tacos or what ever, all I have to do is add seasoning and reheat.

 current weight: 266.0 
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ALIAKAI's Photo ALIAKAI SparkPoints: (0)
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3/5/11 6:00 P

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I make large batches of most meals that will freeze well, including things like pancakes and quiches, as well as casseroles and some slow cooker meals. I'm also good at making a large batch of a main dish and then using the leftover meat/veggies the next day...there are plenty of ideas on my blog if anyone wants to check it out.

You know you can do it, because in the end, you are the one who determines your weight. That said, I'm here for support if you want it. ^^

Check out my page for some great recipes! I update it every day!
letsdietonabudget.blogspot.com


 current weight: 246.0 
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3/5/11 6:59 A

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Perfect challenge for me as I was already planning on batching meals this week. My co-worker is on vacation the week after and that will mean long hours with little time to cook. emoticon

CD8309002 Posts: 235
3/3/11 4:57 P

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Big batch cooking is something I have always done. In the past it wasn't always the healthiest of meals so now I make sure that everything I put into the freezer is a meal that I would never feel guilty eating. emoticon

COUNTRYCRONE's Photo COUNTRYCRONE Posts: 814
3/2/11 10:04 P

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emoticon I have found that big batch cooking frees up my time to do other things. I don't have to spend so much time in a day thinking about what to cook. It's already cooked in the freezer or in the refrigerator and all that needs to be done is heating it up. Now I have more time for working around the house and as soon as the weather turns for the goo I will be spending my days outside in my gardens once again.
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01-18-2011 - 219.9
01-18-2012 - 222.4
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