Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29

Thread: Food Batching

  1. Top | #1
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    9,268
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    18,782
    Rep Power
    46

    Food Batching

    I've been wanting to up my cooking game for a while but finally.. actually have the time to do so. After some deliberation the direction I want to go is less in the vein of 'fine dining' more in the realm of practicality: how to make my partner and I's life easier, better, healthier, and more efficient through what we cook.

    And that's where food batching comes in. We already do this to an extent: almost every week we cook many cups of rice, legumes, and a whole chicken to supplement our lunches at work. As expected, this cuts down on the time we need to spend preparing food.

    With that said I'm curious what kinds of stuff others do here in the same vein. What kind of practical foods do you make in large batches to keep yourself fed, not necessarily to impress?

  2. Top | #2
    Formerly Joedad
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    PA USA
    Posts
    5,376
    Archived
    5,039
    Total Posts
    10,415
    Rep Power
    75
    I make all my lunches for work on Sunday prior to that week. Generally it's just a mix of vegetables with a grain, some olives and capers, and olive oil. And I'll take some fruit along, either fresh or dehydrated.

    We don't eat the same foods that often because of my dietary restrictions but she's fond of making vegetarian chili that lasts all week.

    We make our version of nutribars which is a mix of ground nuts, flax, pumpkin seeds and honey. Those last a week in the fridge at least.

    We usually have prepared oatmeal in the fridge that gets some frozen fruit and yogurt to make a great snack. I'll regularly make a bunch of brown rice just to snack on.

    Making large meals for dinner just doesn't happen anymore because of our work schedules. When it did, it was usually something tossed into the slow cooker in the morning before leaving for work.

    With winter approaching it will be soup/chowder time again, which means find the largest pot and make at least a gallon of something.

  3. Top | #3
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    1,477
    Rep Power
    14
    Spaghetti and meat sauce, chicken chili with beans, turkey meatloaf with red bell peppers, chicken stock for making soup or whatever will all freeze well. I've kept the first two for at least a month without going bad. For instance during the summer I'll make a pot of chili and freeze it in 12 oz re-useable deli style containers. 25 serving is 5 weeks of lunches for me. In the winter I make chicken soup once a week and keep 16 oz portions in the fridge. I also make greek style yogurt once every two weeks. Longer than that in the fridge and it goes bad. That's been the best investment in time and money so far as a gallon of 1% milk is about $2.09 at Costco and I get 64 oz of very thick and exceptionally tasty yogurt. I use an Instant Pot 6 quart multi-function electric pressure cooker that has a yogurt function. They go for about $90 currently and I've used it constantly for the past 4 years to make all the above. You also need a setup for straining the yogurt and I use something called a nut-milk straining bag that seems to last forever. It's paid for itself many times over when you figure it costs me about 30 cents per 6 oz serving. I've also tried some stews but they were nothing to talk about. One thing I found though is that potatoes don't seem to freeze well.

  4. Top | #4
    Veteran Member TV and credit cards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    muh-dahy-nuh
    Posts
    2,498
    Archived
    174
    Total Posts
    2,672
    Rep Power
    25
    A large pot of chicken vegetable soup. It’s nothing fancy but it’s my recipe, it’s good, and I’m proud of it, especially since getting the noodle part right.

    Occasionally I’ll burn a couple of nice beef fillets, make a little au jus from what’s left in the pan, grill some onions and mushrooms and use this to make about four bagel sandwiches for meals. I like to toast the bagel and then suck up a little au jus on the open face. I make a point of boiling a couple broccoli heads too. It keeps me from grabbing chips as a side.

    Another quick and easy is just to bake some buffalo wings in low sodium soy sauce. I’ll have them with brown rice and my homemade Pico de Gallo. I use white wine vinegar instead of lime juice. I make about two Mason jars. It keeps for up to two weeks.
    Dwight

  5. Top | #5
    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    6,763
    Archived
    7,568
    Total Posts
    14,331
    Rep Power
    40
    I try to fire up my smoker at least once a month. Since it's about an 8 hour process, I have to plan ahead. I usually have a pork shank (the piece that's used to make a picnic ham) and a couple slabs of ribs. Sometimes 3 or 4 chickens in place of the ribs.

    The chickens cook through in about an hour. The pig leg will take at least 5 hours. They get wrapped in foil and stay in the smoker. This is a "rest at temperature." The meat doesn't get any hotter and doesn't lose any moisture, but the connective tissue continues to soften, which makes it much more tender.

    Once everything is out of the smoker, it cools to handling temperature, still wrapped in the foil. The ribs are chopped into serving portions and frozen individually. Same with the chicken. The pig leg is trimmed of fat and deboned. It gets bagged in 8 oz servings. Everything goes in the freezer. With minimum planning and a microwave, there's always some protein for supper, with little work.

  6. Top | #6
    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    5,020
    Archived
    3,884
    Total Posts
    8,904
    Rep Power
    58
    Years ago, I used to make big batches of food, some of which was frozen in containers I would take to work and heat up in a microwave.
    This works well for beef stew, chicken curry, dirty rice, and chicken chow mein. I used to do large batches of spaghetti sauce and live off of that for a few days. That also works well for big batches of chicken curry, and chicken egg drop soup.
    Cheerful Charlie

  7. Top | #7
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    South Pole
    Posts
    9,713
    Archived
    3,444
    Total Posts
    13,157
    Rep Power
    70
    I started doing this recently, with vegetables mostly. I discovered I bought too small a steamer / rice maker, thinking since I live alone there was no point in getting a big one. Now I wish I had a big one.

  8. Top | #8
    Elder Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Located 100 miles east of A in America
    Posts
    24,472
    Archived
    42,473
    Total Posts
    66,945
    Rep Power
    100
    Seitan is really the only thing I make in batches. Make three batches of the recipe which is equivalent to about 12 to 16 packages in the store.

  9. Top | #9
    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    11,413
    Archived
    39,172
    Total Posts
    50,585
    Rep Power
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I've been wanting to up my cooking game for a while but finally.. actually have the time to do so. After some deliberation the direction I want to go is less in the vein of 'fine dining' more in the realm of practicality: how to make my partner and I's life easier, better, healthier, and more efficient through what we cook.

    And that's where food batching comes in. We already do this to an extent: almost every week we cook many cups of rice, legumes, and a whole chicken to supplement our lunches at work. As expected, this cuts down on the time we need to spend preparing food.

    With that said I'm curious what kinds of stuff others do here in the same vein. What kind of practical foods do you make in large batches to keep yourself fed, not necessarily to impress?
    Mainly chili con carne and Japanese style curry.

    Both freeze very well, so you can cook up a large batch, divide it into smaller plastic containers, and stick it in the freezer for some night when you just don't feel like cooking.

    Japanese curry tastes fine as leftovers and can be eaten on rice and is surprisingly good as open-faced sandwiches on toast. I've already posted a recipe in the recipes thread assuming you don't already have your own preferred variant.

    American chili tastes better and better each time you reheat it, so the leftovers will actually taste better than the first night.

    Both chili and Japanese curry work spectacularly as take-to-work lunches. You can just take it out of the freezer (along with a plastic container of cooked rice if you're doing the curry) on your way out the door, then leave it in the 'fridge at work and it'll probably be mostly thawed out by the time you start lunch.

    Pastas that don't involve a cheese sauce (e.g. alfredo) or otherwise complicated sauce that can break on you (carbonara?) also work well batched and frozen, although the texture of the pasta itself won't be as good when you reheat it. I definitely batch that angry butterflies recipe I posted in the recipes thread, although I'm thinking of adjusting it soon. It just has too many ingredients for what's supposedly an Italian(ish) dish.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly_Penguin View Post
    I started doing this recently, with vegetables mostly. I discovered I bought too small a steamer / rice maker, thinking since I live alone there was no point in getting a big one. Now I wish I had a big one.
    Little ones are better at making smaller amounts of rice. Cooking smaller amounts of rice in a big rice cooker don't always turn out quite right, at least for me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Years ago, I used to make big batches of food, some of which was frozen in containers I would take to work and heat up in a microwave.
    This works well for beef stew, chicken curry, dirty rice, and chicken chow mein. I used to do large batches of spaghetti sauce and live off of that for a few days. That also works well for big batches of chicken curry, and chicken egg drop soup.
    ZOMG I love dirty rice. I have to try some recipes at some point. How can you go wrong with rice + sausage?

  10. Top | #10
    Mrs Frizzle gmbteach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    At home, when I am not at work.
    Posts
    9,835
    Archived
    1,499
    Total Posts
    11,334
    Rep Power
    39
    We do some bulk cooking. Recently, I have made large meat pies, cottage pies, and I usually make bulk curries, stews etc.

    The only problem with cottage pies is the mashed potato, so I shan’t do this again, instead, I will make large batches of multi purpose savoury mince, and make cottage pies for two when desired.

    Good luck in your endeavours.

Similar Threads

  1. Tastes change as you age (food)
    By Underseer in forum Foods and Recipes
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 11-27-2019, 10:01 PM
  2. Food porn street food videos
    By Underseer in forum Foods and Recipes
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-08-2018, 03:22 AM
  3. Is your food Kosher?
    By repoman in forum Miscellaneous Discussions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-14-2018, 02:53 AM
  4. New Way To Fast Food
    By Trausti in forum Political Discussions
    Replies: 113
    Last Post: 05-24-2016, 02:15 PM
  5. New food labels
    By Deepak in forum Political Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-22-2016, 01:37 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •