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KYMMADCHOPS's Photo KYMMADCHOPS Posts: 41
10/9/11 2:28 P

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This morning I found a great breakfast recipe that fits in well with the Big Batch Cooking challenge. My down fall is normally breakfast. If I don't plan what to eat I wont eat until lunch time, so bbc is going to work great for me! In case anyone is wondering abour the recipe I put the link at the end of my post for the Hash Brown Casserole. I did tweek it just a little in regards to the meat choice.

www.myrecipes.com/recipe/hash-brown-
ca
sserole-with-bacon-onions-cheese-100R>00001120354/



“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” Thomas Edison


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10/4/11 6:13 A

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I got into doing this when I was working 3rd shift *7p-7a* My rotation, I always worked on Mondays...so when I had weekend shift, I was working 3nights in a row...so this was my solution. I'd throw dinner in the oven when I got off work in the morning and set the oven timer to come on about 45 minutes before my hubby came home.

You can make super healthy foods AND save your sanity! I still do it even though I am not working (taking a break while my son starts kindergarten). I am taking online classes starting in Jan. so I will use it again!

MARSHA1956's Photo MARSHA1956 SparkPoints: (369)
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9/28/11 9:20 P

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I have't done a lot of big batch cooking but have started to do some with sauces. Now that it's just my DH and I (we're now empty nestors), I'll make a full recipe of something and freeze half of it, especially sauces. During the summer we do a lot of grilling so don't do as much batch cooking. will do more during the late fall and winter months.



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EMLUBRANO's Photo EMLUBRANO Posts: 21
9/28/11 9:33 A

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I love cooking and freezing, and usually do it on the weekend, so I'll have an extra meal or two during the week. Some of the recipes I double; all soups, stews, meatballs/meatsauce, chili, beans, even dips and things that won't separate when thawed out. I've found that freezing in 1 gallon bags is a great space saver - if you don't over fill the bag and lay it flat on the freezer shelf it stacks really well on the shelves.

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ADGIRL618's Photo ADGIRL618 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/26/11 5:58 P

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I live by myself with my 2 dogs and I'm a huge fan of batch cooking. I like to do it with marinara sauce that I use for chicken parmesan (the lighter version), quick pasta's, or meatballs. At the same time I'll go ahead and cook up a batch of meat sauce that I use for spaghetti, ghoulash, squash & veggies. Start the lean (93/7) meat cooking with your onions and garlic, add some crushed tomatoes and take part of it out to put in the freezer for chili...then add your italian seasonings for your meat sauce. While you cut up onions, garlic and any veggies you are using for the sauce, go ahead and chop extra to make a big batch of soup! Eat some and freeze the rest in individual size bags for a quick lunch or dinner.

Sarah
Indiana

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

We learn something from everyone who passes through our lives...Some lessons are painful, some are painless...but, all are priceless.


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POETLKNG2LOSE's Photo POETLKNG2LOSE Posts: 10,538
9/17/11 9:16 A

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I like to cook meals that will last for 2 or three days. Sometimes we freeze left overs. Or we'll make chicken and use it for 2 or 3 different recipes to save money.

My name is Laura and I live in Wisconsin. I am a Powerful Prism Panther.

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SSMCGILLICUTTY's Photo SSMCGILLICUTTY Posts: 6
9/13/11 3:03 P

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My husband loves to make breakfast burritos by the dozen. He wraps them in foil, that way he can throw them on the defroster of his work truck. They heat up great in about 1/2 an hour of driving. I take them with me to work. I love cooking in big batches, but its just the 2 of us and if it is a huge casserole, I get tired of it long before we finish it. I do cook up a whole lb. of bacon and freeze the extra. I'll be freezing shredded zucchini from the garden to speed up making the zucchini bread. Little things here and there to fit your own lifestyle/family size is the best way to go.

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GETTINGFITMOMMY's Photo GETTINGFITMOMMY Posts: 402
9/12/11 12:13 A

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My dad and I canned salsa today. I love bottling the taste of fresh summer produce and enjoying it all year long!

~GettingFitMommy

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9/9/11 1:31 P

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I use batch cooking so I can have something to grab in the morning for lunch instead of eating out. Whether it is brown rice, or black beans, or soup it really helps save time in the mornings. I don't really do it as much for dinner meals.

CD8737775 Posts: 2,802
9/6/11 4:42 P

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I cook a ton of rice in advance. A ziplock sandwich bag holds about 2 servings. I put the rice in the bags, flatten them down, stack 'm in the freezer.

I do the same with onions - some minces, some shredded, some sliced. With the pkg pressed flat, I can break off a piece as needed.

Ditto soups, sauces - anything that can be zipped in then flattened. I have an entire freezer shelf filled with flattened sandwich and quart size zip lock bags.

LINDALOU29 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/2/11 3:08 P

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I love big batch cooking and freezing. I am now learning to use healthier recipes for the freezer. I too especially love to have soups and sauces ready to go for a busy day. I plan to make cabbage rolls with ground turkey this weekend and get them into the freezer in meal size portions.

I also love how this challenge incorporates a couple new habits for us to learn into each week.

Step by step my friends and onward and forward we go.

~Linda~

Step by Step my friends!


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IFFYIFFY's Photo IFFYIFFY SparkPoints: (0)
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8/31/11 1:18 P

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I've been freezing spaghetti sauce and soups for years. I started making extra on braised meats too, for casseroles and sandwiches.



SCRAPPINAMANDA's Photo SCRAPPINAMANDA Posts: 184
8/12/11 11:32 A

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I have never tried big batch cooking at home. I had visited Supper Suppers a few years ago a couple of times to pre-assemble meals to freeze which was so convenient. I had foot surgery a month ago and I have been busy researching recipes, resources etc for big batch/freezer cooking. I found a great book: "Big Book of Freezer Cooking" by Nanci Slagle and Carol Santee, which does a nice job of explaining different ways to go about big batch cooking. I also like how they show the recipes in different sizes from 1 recipe to up to 6, so you can more easily plan.

I hope to be up and around soon, so that I can begin to try it out on a small scale. Buy some meat that is on sale and maybe make 2 dinners from that - 1 to eat and 1 to freeze.

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SPUNKYJOY77's Photo SPUNKYJOY77 Posts: 483
8/9/11 12:32 P

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I find that big batch cooking saves both time and money. Before she went into the nrsg home, I cooked for my mother in law. I still have the containers and use them for porpotioned froozen meals. If something is left over and not being used, my puppies enjoy it for their dinner.

Spunkyjoy " The joy of the Lord is my strength."


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CD4027953 Posts: 1,625
8/2/11 11:40 A

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This week was not really a challenge. I am already doing most everything suggested. Keeping a grocery list on the fridge, I never buy single serving stuff, very seldom buy prepared foods; I always cook to have leftovers, I just think it's a waste of time to have to cook every time you want to eat; and the only kitchen appliance listed we don't currently have is a juicer and a toaster oven, we used to have both and don't really miss them.

So I'm ready to see what week 3 has in store!

SASSAFRASY's Photo SASSAFRASY SparkPoints: (0)
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8/1/11 11:58 P

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I do big batch cooking on the weekend for all of the lunches we take to work with us every week. It really has helped both of us tremendously by keeping us from being tempted to stop and grab fast food for lunch. We both take coolers filled with the prepared healthy lunches, a couple of snacks and lots of filtered water on ice packs each day.

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CD4091560 Posts: 1,754
7/27/11 7:24 P

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Big batch cooking i do but it is in 2 day meal portions. The only big batch we have done at my house has been for lunch lately.

CHOPPER_1's Photo CHOPPER_1 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/25/11 8:15 A

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I also dont big batch because I would have to make enough for an army with all the kids that we have in our household....lol

But when I do shop for meat I buy in bulk and also break it down into portions.

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COLLINSCJ2012's Photo COLLINSCJ2012 Posts: 2,193
7/25/11 6:37 A

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I don't have space in my freezer to big batch bake, but I buy meat, fish and vegetables in bulk and break them down into individual meal sized portions. Just as good I guess I only cook for two these days.

Jessica
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LUCKYSWIMGIRL11's Photo LUCKYSWIMGIRL11 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/20/11 9:11 A

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I try to big batch cook with chili, tacos, baked pasta, and a roasted red pepper sauce I make to serve over pasta and chicken. Friday night is our family's leftover night, and my girls are learning to quickly claim their favorites from the week for that night.

I'll check out the article on Big Batch cooking. I can always use new ideas!

Thanks,
Amy

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GET10HEALTHY's Photo GET10HEALTHY Posts: 2,525
7/19/11 8:26 A

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Good morning. I love big batch cooking! I grew up in a large family and big batch was all we knew. Of course there were never any leftovers. However when you are used to cooking for a large family, it is difficult to earn to cook small. Meatloaves and roast freeze very well. My main problem is not labeling, thinking "oh I will rmember that", well, guess what? I don't. Then I end up not eating the soups, sauces and casseroles that are frozen. I have become better at that and at keeping an inventory of the soups & dates in the freezer. We are all busy and tend to forget when we put something away.
Have a great Spark day!



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ELOPEZ17 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/18/11 9:00 A

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Hello-- I have not yet done the batch cooking, but with fruit I cut it up and place in smaller containers for easy access. The containers help me when Im on the go!

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STRI23's Photo STRI23 Posts: 299
7/18/11 2:41 A

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I thought I would be saving time later by big batch cooking, however this was the first time trying this recipe and I would not suggest doing a big batch for the first trial. I just made a 13 x 9 dish of baked ziti and didn't like it, and now I'm stuck with this ridiculous amount of gross pasta.

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7/6/11 9:05 P

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I don't make big batch full recipes, but I cook big batches of beef, chicken and pork, shred it and freeze it in smaller batches. I can use it for tons of quick dinners.

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7/6/11 11:04 A

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I recently made a recipe I found here on SP for chicken pot pie...one of my fav's. It made two pie's so I was able to freeze one for another meal. I really enjoyed not having to cook and just sticking the pie in the oven! I am hooked on "big batch cooking" and intend to do this more often with other recipes. Here is the recipe if anyone is interested:
http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/recip
e_details.asp?nutrition_id=4674135

THELILMERMAID's Photo THELILMERMAID Posts: 953
6/29/11 11:02 P

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Hi, I'm new to this group! Ok, anyhow..my favorite thing to make in big batches is breakfast burritos. I feel more satisfied when I eat a hot breakfast so the burritos work for me. Just cook up turkey bacon or sausage with eggs and cheese. Then roll up into tortillas. I'm sure a lot of you do this already. Then freeze in baggies. Takes a min. to warm in the microwave. yum!

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LISA-OHIO's Photo LISA-OHIO SparkPoints: (0)
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6/27/11 10:32 A

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I would like to start big batch cooking. it makes me feel like I will become a cook, which is something I have never called myself. But I like the idea of it. It just sounds like a lot of work. I only have to cook for my husband and myself and he is a good eater, so there is usually little to no left overs. This should be a better way to make our portions more consistent, instead of just eating as much as I have cooked. I hope it is not too much work though.

It's possible!


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ALLEYBUG319's Photo ALLEYBUG319 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/22/11 10:04 A

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This morning I've gotten two Weight Watchers meals that I love in my two crock pots and this evening I'm making soup which can be used for lunches tomorrow! emoticon

Airen

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MILLYMOUSE1's Photo MILLYMOUSE1 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/22/11 9:02 A

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There is only my-self to look after and I make big batches of soup and freeze them. It is so handy on a cold winters day to defrost and microwave instant meal.

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SIMONATR's Photo SIMONATR Posts: 21
6/21/11 1:31 P

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I big batch cooked for years, when my son was little. I was a single parent and worked 6 days on 3 days off. So on one of my off days I cooked big batches of food, so we had home-cooked meals that only needed be re-heated. As he got older , I freezer assembled everything . And he did all the cooking :) Now I swap between the two . Bigger batches for mostly my favorites (like German Rouladen - a lot of work, so I make a lot and freeze them) and pre assembled freezer meals for during the week. Some things just do not taste as good reheated or fall apart (fish) .

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SKAUT77's Photo SKAUT77 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/20/11 11:39 A

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I occasionally make big batches - since it's simply me at home a big batch occurs whenever the meal calls for several servings. But I have a tendency to like variety and there isn't much room in my freezer, so big batches don't work for me yet. But I think this will be a longer goal. For this week, I'm planning on making several servings of a sweet potatoe curry soup!

Nina


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MOJOANDERSON Posts: 28
6/16/11 9:30 P

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I will make pasta sause aswell. I like making lasagna when I make the sause one to eat and one to freeze. My husband makes soups and those freeze nicely. I also normally make enough dinner to have it for lunch the next day.

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CD3922103 Posts: 51,343
6/13/11 3:01 P

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I never big batch food simply because I just like having enough to make for my husband and I to last us for a few days. I'm always scared food will ruin and my husband loves to eat so everything gets taken care of.

JUSFOLK's Photo JUSFOLK Posts: 1,830
6/11/11 10:50 P

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PTCRUISIN_DEB, You can double your favorite recipes with just a bit more work than would be required to make a single batch. Chili, homemade soup, veggie casseroles, muffins, roast beef and gravy, meat loaf, oatmeal, pancakes... these are simple things to batch cook and freeze, or just have later in the week. I had some potatoes I needed to do something with, and I made up a sizeable pot of mashed potatoes; we ate a bit, and then I made about two recipes of potato pancakes, which went in the freezer for several quick breakfast meals (although we enjoy these for supper to eat with ham or roast beef sometimes, too).

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SHRINKINGSHERI's Photo SHRINKINGSHERI Posts: 3,419
6/10/11 1:11 P

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I actually do quite a bit of batch cooking. Sauces are great to make in batches and then freeze in servings for later use. On Sunday, we fire up the grill and cook pork chops, chicken breasts, turkey burgers, vegetables, etc to use all week long.

Sheri
Doing This for Me!!!


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PTCRUISIN_DEB's Photo PTCRUISIN_DEB Posts: 77
6/9/11 5:19 P

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Okay..I think I'm replying to my own email. (Is that like talking to yourself?) emoticon Anyway, I read the email about week 2, and scrolled down and saw another short article about how to Create your own Frozen Dinners! That is just what I needed! It even has recipes for every meal. How cool!

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PTCRUISIN_DEB's Photo PTCRUISIN_DEB Posts: 77
6/9/11 1:31 A

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I've never tried big batch cooking...but it sounds so interesting. Is there a website somewhere that shows how to get started? How much of what to buy? I guess it would depend on what I like to eat, and how many times I want to eat the food in a week? How long does this cooking take? Should I plan on scheduling a Saturday to cook? Thanks for any comments & suggestions!

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AMYLOVESTZU's Photo AMYLOVESTZU Posts: 11,429
6/8/11 2:04 P

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i make my own spaghetti sauce and it freezes up nice just take it out the night day b4 and let it thaw in the fridge

Some cause happiness WHEREver they go; some WHENever they go...Oscar Wilde


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KARENCHAPTER2's Photo KARENCHAPTER2 Posts: 6,407
6/8/11 1:37 P

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I used to batch cook and then stopped but I do plan on starting back up again. It does make things easier.

Karen

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

The scale does not own me!


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KNITTABLES's Photo KNITTABLES Posts: 37,117
6/6/11 2:08 P

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I never do batch cooking, don't have the space for it and there are only the two of us. My brother eats what he makes and i eat want I want. Sometimes I will make a meal for the both of us but not enough for left overs.
I like the rice idea though. I will try that one.

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JENNYLENNON's Photo JENNYLENNON Posts: 54
6/3/11 9:12 P

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I am thinking of making rice etc. into small serving sizes. How do you heat up the rice....just in the microwave? This will be my project for Sunday!

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GRANDMASHOUSE's Photo GRANDMASHOUSE SparkPoints: (0)
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6/3/11 9:53 A

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How thrilling it was to see on Good Morning America this morning that the chef they had on actually suggested to the world to do something I already do! His suggestion to save time while creating healthy meals was to make brown rice in bulk and use it throughout the week. Made me give myself a pat on the back for being so smart - LOL!

Once a month my daughter and I buy meats in bulk from Sam's Club, come home, and package them into meal-sized portions. This goes for everything ... even the frozen vegetables that we purchase. It's so simple then to reach into the freezer and grab out just enough frozen broccoli for the evening's dinner.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


~~~~~~~~~~~
Grandma C.
"Every day can be Day One."
AMYLOVESTZU's Photo AMYLOVESTZU Posts: 11,429
6/2/11 1:30 P

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I CAME FROM A BIG FAMILY SO I AM USED TO MAKING A LOT AND I LOVE TO FREEZE THINGS MAKE MY OWN CHILI SOUP STEW YOU MANE IT AND FREEZE THEM

Some cause happiness WHEREver they go; some WHENever they go...Oscar Wilde


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GRANDMASHOUSE's Photo GRANDMASHOUSE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/31/11 2:34 P

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Laurie ~
You need a larger kitchen (LOL!)


~~~~~~~~~~~
Grandma C.
"Every day can be Day One."
PAULADAWN4's Photo PAULADAWN4 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/30/11 8:22 A

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Cooking for two often means I have pelnty left over as some recipes serve 4 people. Also I can never seem to make some dishes small enough for just us two. The result is I end up freezing meals so I tend to do this anyway.
One thing I can do is make sure I cook up meals in advance so i have lots of meals that can be defrosted when I simply don't want to cook or havea really busy day.

I used to cook for 6. Three children, my first Husband, Father-in-law and myself.
Now it is me and my wonderful 2nd husband so things are a lot different all round. Problem is down sizing the cooking



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5/28/11 7:19 A

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Heh, I don't have a freezer, just a teeny tiny "freezer" compartment in my fridge - but I might still give this a try every once in a while. I won't be able to do it often, but I will set the goal of always having at least one frozen meal for two - that way on a "meh, I'm really not even up for taking 10 mins for cooking" day, when we are debating if we shouldn't just get takeout I can say "There's $meal I froze a while ago, we can just heat that up in the microwave and save ten bucks".

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RITZIBROWN's Photo RITZIBROWN SparkPoints: (0)
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5/25/11 10:25 P

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DH & I are both from large families so big batch cooking comes natural. Our lifestyles were quite different growing up so we've "merged" so to speak on what & how we cook. Some of our favorites are chilis (vegetarian black bean vs meatlovers), soups, pasta sauces. Anyway, we have fun, its inexpensive for 2 to cook this way, & its tasty.
Goals from this weeks reading are: keep a running list, shop "off" hours, &, while a 3rd isn't required it is if i'm going to lose weight, avoid shopping when hungry.
Happy cooking teammates emoticon

Edited by: RITZIBROWN at: 5/26/2011 (21:47)
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5/23/11 8:56 P

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I am wanting to try big batch cooking. Can't wait to try it.

My only issue is to fit it in.

FAB_IN_11's Photo FAB_IN_11 Posts: 129
5/23/11 2:06 P

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What wonderful ideas everyone has. I am going to try to incorporate some this week! emoticon

"You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be."

David Viscott


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PINKGRANNY's Photo PINKGRANNY Posts: 5,346
5/17/11 8:56 P

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Good idea to bring your own. I saw that there are some secure glass storage and microwavable dishes at Macy's yesterday. They would do for soup in a pinch too. I have been getting rid of all my plastic, even Tupperware that I have had so many years.


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