Batch cooking – the lifesaving strategy for the busy folk. For most people, the week can creep up on us, and getting home late, forgetting to pack lunch or having no time to prep a healthy morning breakfast can completely throw off a week. That’s where batch cooking and a little thinking ahead can be incredibly helpful. Batch cooking is the practice of choosing 2-3 recipes and making them once per week to store for busier days. This could be something like a large vegetable frittata for breakfast, a pot of a whole grain salad or whole roasting a chicken for quick dinner protein. At least once a week, take a few minutes to plan out what you’d like to eat for a couple of meals (especially those meals when you know you wont have the time to prepare them) and go ahead and make all of them ahead of time when you have 1-2 hours on the weekends or a slower week night. This means you’ll always have at least one thing you can quickly grab that’s not fast food, snack food or sweets when you’re in a rush.
One of my all time favorite (and most frequently recommended) batch cooking tips is to roast 2 large pans of root vegetables once per week to add to your meals throughout the week. If there’s one thing most folks are omitting from their lunches and dinners, usually due to time constraints or nothing readily quick and available, it’s the vegetables. With this simple “once and done” recipe, you’ll have delicious, nutrient dense seasonal vegetables always available! I love this recipe because it’s easily adaptable to whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand. Below is my favorite root veggie combination, along with savory seasonings that you can adjust to your taste. I like to add these to morning eggs, lunch salads or as a quick side to dinners in the fall.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cubed
- 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 5 large carrots, peeled and cubed
- 1 head of broccoli, coarsely chopped in florets
- 2 large beets, peeled and cubed
- 1 head cauliflower, coarsely shopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp fresh or dried sage
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 375F. Add all chopped vegetables to a large bowl and add oil and herbs. Mix well with a large spoon so they are coated well. Transfer to 2 large pans (lined with a non-stick baking surface) and spread evenly, exposing as much surface area as possible for each piece. Bake for at least 30-40 minutes, until the butternut squash and beets can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove from heat, stir gently and let cool for 10 minutes. Store in glass containers and refrigerate for the week. Add to lunches and dinner for extra color and nutrients!
Want more batch cooking tips that fit into your lifestyle and budget? Consider scheduling a free 30 minute health coaching appointment with me on Thursday nights! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN | HealthCoach@EllwoodThompsons.com