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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 25,116
9/11/10 6:26 A

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Big Batch cooing is not really new to me.
Over twenty years ago, I was using the original Once A Month Cooking cookbook by Mimi Wilson & Mary Beth Langerhorn
They have newer, healthier versions of their cook books out, which I bought a year or two ago.

I like this method, because there is less waste of veggies, and you are not eating the same thing over & over.
www.amazon.com/Once-Month-Cooking-Mi
mi
-Wilson/dp/0312584784


Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

"To lose a healthy one pound of fat per week, all it takes is a 500-calorie deficit per day."


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JANNYMACK's Photo JANNYMACK SparkPoints: (0)
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8/31/10 7:03 P

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Wow, there are so many great ideas here! I am one of those who cooks big batch accidentally since I don't always know how many will be coming to dinner. So I love the convenience of having it for lunch the next day.

Favorite Quotes:

"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."---Charles Reade

"Food is not love, comfort, or an anxiety pill."

"Eat to live, do not live to eat!"

"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become." ---Carl Gustav Jung


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ERNOINACTION's Photo ERNOINACTION Posts: 3,064
8/23/10 3:57 P

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I'm thinking more and more about doing this. One problem I have is just eating the same thing over and over which leads to me cheating. I think if I batch cook a couple of items and freeze them I won't get so sick of everything. Just a bit worried about it because I don't want to waste anything. Can't hurt to try.

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VICTORYDANCER1's Photo VICTORYDANCER1 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/21/10 12:46 P

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I recently started cooking more so I have more left overs. I freeze them an pull them out when I'm to tired to cook after work. I don't have a specific day I do batch cooking I just do is as I'm doing my normal cooking, and I'm making something that freeze well.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

MZBAYOUSLF's Photo MZBAYOUSLF Posts: 496
8/18/10 5:58 P

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For me batch cooking is a snap. This is because I've never learned to cook for ONE person! LOL My family has always eaten big, so what do now is just plan to have it for 4 meals, and if I get down to 1-2 remaining and don't want it, I'll toss it in the freezer.

"Try? Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try." Master Yoda

12/28/2017 Nutritionist Goal Weight - 167 in 1-2 Years
12/20/2017 SW 264
06/1987-HW 299


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HAZEL422's Photo HAZEL422 Posts: 103
8/17/10 9:06 A

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Yep, great plan... that's what I hope to do! I miss the bigger meals that can't be portioned down. Thanks emoticon

Stop by my foodie blog!
thatcookingchick.com


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JAZZYJAS's Photo JAZZYJAS SparkPoints: (0)
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8/16/10 10:58 A

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I think the trick is to potion it up right away and get it in the freezer in appropriate portion sizes (in your case two portions for a meal for the both of you)

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HAZEL422's Photo HAZEL422 Posts: 103
8/16/10 9:59 A

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I don't cook big batches anymore. I've learned that my husband and I have a much harder time controlling our portions that way! I cook every day anyway (I have a cooking blog so I like to keep a nice supply of new recipes to post), but I do miss having meals in the freezer for busy days. I started cooking meals and reducing them to 2 or 4 servings. That has helped a lot, but sometimes they don't come out as good when reducing the size. Also, I think we have done that long enough to handle some big batches. I'd love to make a veggie lasagna or a huge casserole so I think I am going to give this a try next week. If we can still eat our normal sized portions, then I will for sure make it a habit!

Stop by my foodie blog!
thatcookingchick.com


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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 56,826
8/9/10 3:47 P

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I try to stay away from freezing fruit unless it us berries individually flash frozen on cookie sheets. That way you can enjoy them frozen. Once thawed your only options tend to be smoothies or desserts needing additional high calorie bases. Pies Muffins etc. Of course you can make them into tasty muffins, use the right flour reduce sugar and then freeze them individually. Proteins, meat and cheese do well in the freezer especially grated cheese. Vegetables are the best use of space for us. Blueberries are always in there to just take out 1/4 cup and eat right away. Pat in Maine.

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.
Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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FAIRYANNE3's Photo FAIRYANNE3 Posts: 3,650
8/9/10 2:19 P

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Fruit smoothies?

My hublet makes them every morning with protein powder!!

Watching salt intake also trying not to buy foods that have high fructose corn syrup, sugar, rice syrup, corn syrup, fructose, sucrose etc. in the first three ingredients.

No foods that have more than 3 ingredients that I can not pronounce.

If an item has more than 10 ingredients I put it on the Do Not Buy List as it is too processed.




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JAZZYJAS's Photo JAZZYJAS SparkPoints: (0)
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8/9/10 11:31 A

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I need to find a use for all of the frozen fruit in my freezer so that i will have apace for batch cooking.

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HEATHER1969's Photo HEATHER1969 Posts: 2,763
8/8/10 10:58 P

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I love big Batch cooking.. I do a lot of it in the fall and winter months.

I also love to spend Sunday's cooking for the week... I make up ALL the meals and then all that is left to do is to heat it up each night and maybe make a veggie or two. I try to do that often but sometimes I take a Sunday here or there off.

Freezing left overs into single serving meals is a great way to not waste food... they make a great dinner when your in a pinch or for lunch when you don't feel like making it that night/day.

Edited by: HEATHER1969 at: 8/8/2010 (22:59)
"Fitness isn't about a crunch or a push up, it's about taking your power back!"-Jillian Micheals

Team leader for the
BC GIRLS Spark Team

&

British Columbia Spark Team

No Regrets, just move forward!
Heather V




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


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ICANDOTHIS79's Photo ICANDOTHIS79 Posts: 28
8/8/10 9:23 P

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My goal this week is to do freeze some of our leftovers. It is just my husband and I and we usually have so many leftovers that goes to waste so I am going to get over my fears of freezing (I know strange lol) and do it!

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CD5290304 Posts: 447
8/6/10 9:09 A

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I'm still working on cooking in batches. It would make it soooo much easier.

JAZZYJAS's Photo JAZZYJAS SparkPoints: (0)
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8/6/10 12:32 A

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I love the idea of big batch cooking but there is rarely room in my freezer.

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JANINEWHITE Posts: 74
8/2/10 8:36 P

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Thanks for the tip on freezing egg whites. Never knew you could!

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BERNIESSOAPS's Photo BERNIESSOAPS Posts: 96
8/2/10 3:56 P

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It is harvest time in the basil so made up some pesto (no nuts) measured it into ice trays and freeze. Each cube is about 1 serving so put the frozen cube into baggy and have on hand to add to soups, pasta or just thaw for toast. Yummmoooo

Bernie Living Life on Puget Sound WA

www.impressionsbybernice.com/


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TRISHA26's Photo TRISHA26 Posts: 15,105
8/2/10 7:36 A

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Well no weight change but gosh the exercising is doing good i did another 1.1/2 hrs this morning sweated buckets i was soaked so that has to be good, having a great day no grandchildren just me and hubby, last nights ceaser salad was yummy and the light ceaser sauce was really good...today i must clean out the freezer as it is long overdue and i have no idea what is in the bottom of it lol should help with this weeks shopping as there is bound to be lot's to use up.

Weather today is dry and sunny typical now we don't have the kids, but we will make the best of it..

Wishing you all a great week





success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obsticles one has overcome. Booker T Washington


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FAIRYANNE3's Photo FAIRYANNE3 Posts: 3,650
8/1/10 10:21 P

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To day the batch cooking beat me. I will have to finish tomorrow.

I made hamburger patties and froze them with the wax paper in between each pattie. Then stacked them in freezer bags.

With another 10lbs of hamburger meat I brown with onion and spices and sectioned that out so we can use it for anything, taco's, spaghetti shepherd pie etc. I also made the evening meal from that batch.

I was so hot and knackered that I did not even get to the 20lbs of chicken breast meat that I was going to make....it waits for me tomorrow!



Watching salt intake also trying not to buy foods that have high fructose corn syrup, sugar, rice syrup, corn syrup, fructose, sucrose etc. in the first three ingredients.

No foods that have more than 3 ingredients that I can not pronounce.

If an item has more than 10 ingredients I put it on the Do Not Buy List as it is too processed.




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JMADAMS3's Photo JMADAMS3 SparkPoints: (75)
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8/1/10 6:45 P

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I love big batch cooking - it saves so much time! I whip up soups, chili, fruits, etc - put them in our plastic yogurt containers and freeze. Amount is perfect for two of us. I also freeze apples, fruits in the pie pans and then remove from pan and re-wrap to use in pies. I freeze rice in the 8 oz yogurt containers. I freeze egg whites also that I use in recipes substituting for whole eggs. Buy eggs when they are on sale and make your own EGG BEATERS! -

He must increase and I must decrease. (John the Baptist!)

Therefore the Lord, the LORD of hosts,
will send among his fat ones leanness. (Is 10:16)


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KELLOGIRL's Photo KELLOGIRL Posts: 5
8/1/10 9:18 A

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I buy boneless, skinless chicken when it's on sale for $2/lb. I cut it into chunks and cook a ton in the crockpot. Then I divide into freezer bags and have it on hand for quick meals. It works well for soups, stirfry, chicken tacos, etc.

I also make a big batch of brown rice or more recently, quinoa up over the weekend. This works great for a quick lunches during the week. I can add beans, salsa or other veggies. Last night I added fat-free feta, a little olive oil and sliced grape tomatoes to the quinoa. Very satisfying.

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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 56,826
8/1/10 6:34 A

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That is exactly
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
WHAT THEY LOOKED LIKE BUT IT WAS A GOOD LESSON TO LEARN.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Dont try it with eggs either, no I did not, but what a mess that would be.Pat in Maine.

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.
Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (48,842)
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8/1/10 3:31 A

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LOL Muffin discs - did they look a little like this: emoticon

Laurie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge

Co-Leader, Official Healthy Cooking Challenge


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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 56,826
7/31/10 11:58 P

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I also use my vacuum sealer a lot.
On the issue of soups and juices, it is not wise move to attempt to vacuum seal anything liquid if it gets in to the vacuum slot it will suck in to the machine and it will never work again . I read the book, friend did not and it cost her another sealer.

I freeze my soups in rectangular containers and once frozen I remove it from that container so I can use it again. I put frozen contents in a sealer bag and the rectanlges stack on one side of freezer and sweet things like juicey fruit stack in frozen rectangles on the other side. Remove from bag and put in original cotainer to serve. I do that if I make pies, freeze remove from pan and stack them up with DATES and type of pie otherwise who knows.
I make big batches of scones for DH-English scones of course. Thay are frozen as soon as they cool in a container I use just for this purpose or a cookie sheet. Then i drop a dozen in a sealer bag. As you take out a few you have room to reseal the contents. Works good with frozen muffins too, NEVER vacuum unfrozen muffins or cupcakes if you dont want a laugh.
When I bought my sealer there was a canister set, I put muffins inside and sucked all the air out of cannister AND muffins, I turned them in to muffin discs and we laughed at my foolish mistake. Love my sealer Pat in Maine.

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.
Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (48,842)
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7/31/10 8:53 P

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emoticon emoticon everyone! Batch that cooking!

Laurie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge

Co-Leader, Official Healthy Cooking Challenge


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BONNIE627's Photo BONNIE627 Posts: 7,061
7/31/10 4:21 P

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well I have ground chuck cooked and in the freezer and chicken cooked and in the freezer and a big pot of fresh green beans cooked so I am ready for the week now..woohoo!

Bonnie in Cincinnati


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CD7891266 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/31/10 3:45 P

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When I make things like chili or chicken noodle soup, or taco meat, I always make enough for at least one more meal if not 2. Sometimes freeze it and sometimes just stick it in the frige for tomorrow. Even low fat cookies are frozen in small bags so we are not tempted to eat too many at once.

BERNIESSOAPS's Photo BERNIESSOAPS Posts: 96
7/29/10 11:21 A

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This is not a new idea for me. I like to buy my meat items in bulk and cook them ahead and freeze in a vacuum sealed bag. Hamburger is cooked for use as spaghetti, tacos, or soup. Chicken is cooked for any kind of chicken dish later. Muffins we make for just the week (we eat muffins for breakfast all week long because we are on the go but with a family of 4 large batches are needed). I am looking forward to continue with this challenge.

Bernie Living Life on Puget Sound WA

www.impressionsbybernice.com/


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NOTSPEEDY's Photo NOTSPEEDY SparkPoints: (0)
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7/29/10 6:41 A

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I love your idea of pre-freezing anything with juice. Our vacuum sealer has done away with freezer-burn.



Yvonne
Mountain Time

Focus on what you DO want to eat and what you WILL accomplish

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Prov 4:25

Started Walk America 3/29/10 and finished 1/18/13



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GAYA2081's Photo GAYA2081 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/28/10 1:18 P

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I recently found an upright freezer for $50 off of craigslist. Before I got it I did my best to keep my freezer stocked with frozen foods (veggies and meats), but there was never enough room for everything, especially when meat went on sale. I finally sucked it up and bought my freezer-slightly used, but works PERFECTLY. I recently got about 30 lbs of ground turkey at the farmers market. This week 90/10 ground beef was on sale, so I bought 20 lbs of that. When BSCB went on sale I bought 20 lbs and trimmed them up. What also makes a HUGE difference is my vacuum sealer. Not only is it GREAT to keep frozen foods fresh (I just celebrated my 1 year wedding anniversary and the cake tasted just like it did fresh!) It is AWESOME for marinating meats. I have plastic containers and dump the meat (chicken or pork usually) and the marinade and vacuum seal the jar. In as little 20 minutes it is ready to go.

The biggest tip I can give is to pre-freeze anything with juice. For example, ground meat-I divide it up and put it in pre-made 'bags' I then line them up on a cookie sheet and stick them in my fridge freezer for up to an hour. One the outside is harder to the touch I pull them out and seal them and don't loose any of my juice. The same would go for soups.

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STAYONTRACK79's Photo STAYONTRACK79 Posts: 49
7/28/10 12:25 P

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I've never cooked big batches. I am starting classes in the fall so I am going to try this and see how it goes. My problem is the freezing part. For my wedding I received a food preserver which has been sitting on my counter for the past 6 months. I am a little intimidated by it I just need to bite the bullet and do it!!!!

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
- Edward Everett Hale


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TRISHA26's Photo TRISHA26 Posts: 15,105
7/28/10 7:13 A

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I usually big batch cook anyway, as we often eat different things i make hubby his and freeze at least 3-4 portions...i find it a great help when either i am not here or when i don't feel like cooking, there is always something for hubby to defrost and eat...



success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obsticles one has overcome. Booker T Washington


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CD3343212 Posts: 6,007
7/28/10 1:57 A

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U know when I got into this I got most ALL of the extra gadgets- its getting awfully crowded here now- emoticon

JANINEWHITE Posts: 74
7/28/10 12:56 A

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I'm with Zacksmom and prefer cooking every day or every other day. I have tried the big batch cooking and it usually gets wasted or freezer burn.

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ALWAYSME-JAN's Photo ALWAYSME-JAN SparkPoints: (0)
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7/27/10 12:07 P

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I have been a widow for 13 years and have cooked in big batches for years and freeze in individual portions. There are many days that I really do not care to cook or am busy and it is so handy to go to the freezer and take out a good meal. This beats grabbing high calorie food and beating yourself up over gaining.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths. Prov. 3:5-6


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ZACKSMOM7 Posts: 1,612
7/19/10 4:38 P

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i have tried the batch cooking and prefer to cook things everyday!!

Keep it up and start everyday as a new day!!!


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DONNABRIGHT's Photo DONNABRIGHT Posts: 12,509
7/19/10 12:44 P

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I often do big batches of soup and will freeze leftovers if we can't eat them fast enough but I will definitely take some of the suggestions here like browning ground beef and freezing in batches - great idea!

Donna
Winter Haven, FL
EST
We CAN do this!


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WALKMAMMAWALK's Photo WALKMAMMAWALK Posts: 185
7/19/10 9:11 A

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I do enjoy cooking in big batches - but not in the summer. Too hot to spend any time in my kitchen, and our food is more perishable when the garden and farmers market is overflowing :)

My favorite big batch recipes are for soup and chili! Freezing them into serving size containers, then popping them all into a large freezer container. When needed for tomorrows lunch I just pick as many 'pucks' as needed :)

Also doubling up most pasta dishes, and freezing the second for another time :)

" Walking is man's best medicine" ~Hippocrates~


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LOPEYP's Photo LOPEYP Posts: 20,546
7/18/10 8:07 P

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I am pretty good at big batch cooking. I usually make big batches of turkey chili that we end up having every day (or most days) for lunch. It makes it easy to pack up and go.
I do the same with fruit for the week. Cut up a bunch and then just throw into containers for lunch.

Diane
Northeast (ET)

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leader- Walk it Out Challenges

Beautiful Amethyst Butterflies -Level 8 Silvery Blue


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RITA218 Posts: 41
7/16/10 8:59 A

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we are traveling this week, so my big batch that I always make before we leave is breakfast. I cook turkey sausage, egg beaters, milk and cheese in muffin tins and we take these in the cooler. There are three of us and the dozen I make lasts 4 days. I just add a fruit and have a good nutritious breakfast.

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FAIRYANNE3's Photo FAIRYANNE3 Posts: 3,650
7/15/10 5:48 P

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I am better at batch cooking in the Fall, Winter and Spring than I am in the Summer.

I will batch cook onions and celery, freeze, that way I have them to add too recipes. I batch cook, ground beef and freeze in the smaller ziplock bags so that is taking 20 mins or so off my cooking time.

Love my crock-pot. I will get it going and leave it in the garage to cook in the summer.

Watching salt intake also trying not to buy foods that have high fructose corn syrup, sugar, rice syrup, corn syrup, fructose, sucrose etc. in the first three ingredients.

No foods that have more than 3 ingredients that I can not pronounce.

If an item has more than 10 ingredients I put it on the Do Not Buy List as it is too processed.




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CD7432393 Posts: 339
7/13/10 8:47 A

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I am doubling the recipe for the recipes that I make, that way I have leftovers when i don't feel like cooking.

GABRIELLE42's Photo GABRIELLE42 Posts: 12,112
7/10/10 4:22 P

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I'm making black beans in the crockpot today. I'll have some for supper and freeze the rest.


Jane

The road to success always has detours.

I know every single excuse not to eat right or exercise regularly - except for a good one.
Bob Greene


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BONNIE627's Photo BONNIE627 Posts: 7,061
7/10/10 10:42 A

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I just made a big pot roast with lots of carrots..no potatoes as I do not like potatoes cooked that way..I have never tried freezing it before but plan to this time as I will be eating it for 2 weeks if I don't.. LOL

Bonnie in Cincinnati


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CD7098510 Posts: 498
7/10/10 10:26 A

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Last time I batch cooked for the freezer was when my daughter was home for the weekend from University. We made individual portions of meatball casserole and shepherd pie. They cooled down in her car on the way back (1.5 hours) and were then ready to freeze. At least she was guaranteed several home cooked, healthy meals.

At home I tend to cook one meal at a time as any excess food was being finished off by son and husband before I could freeze it!

Karen

JASONLYNNE's Photo JASONLYNNE Posts: 761
7/5/10 3:20 P

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I do a lot of big batch cooking. My kids and husband don't eat the same things I do. I am really picky when it comes to what I eat. The only meats I really eat are chicken and turkey and they will eat anything as long as it's not still alive. I make my food in batches on the weekends and freeze it so I don't have to make two completely different meals every night.

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DIANE7786's Photo DIANE7786 Posts: 6,122
7/4/10 3:54 P

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The only things I purposefully make ahead are brown rice, whole turkey breast and soup. There are just two of us so almost every recipe is ďbig batch.Ē Everything I make is divided into single serving containers for the fridge and freezer. Food doesnít stay fresh long so, to be safe, I keep food in the fridge no longer than 3 days and in the freezer no longer than 2 months. Single serving containers make quick meals and easy clean up. Healthy lunches are packed in about 10 seconds and dinner no more than 15 mins. Iíve been doing this for a few years and now I canít imagine cooking every day.

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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (48,842)
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7/4/10 11:05 A

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Marina, there are recipes right here on Spark for lighter or even vegetarian chili that might fit what you're looking for. Just go to SparkRecipes and type in chili, there will be hundreds to choose from!

Laurie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge

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CD7591302 Posts: 263
7/4/10 5:45 A

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I haven't really tried big batch cooking, so this week will be the chance to do so.

I think I will start with a chili, since Dirk loves it and its the easiest to make. Just have to find a way to make it healthier...

The only thing I have done so far is asparagus. During this year's asparagus time we cooked the peel and then froze it. This will make a great aspargus soup.I think Chili will be done tomorrow, though it is quite hot. Any ideas how to make this healthier? We don't really have lean ground beef here. Only ground beef, ground pork and mixed grounds.

But at least it is very filling!

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7/4/10 1:56 A

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I love making big batches of soup and then freeze 3/4 of it. Like to heat it up when I need a quick meal.

You get credit for what you finish, not what you start.


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