Do you ever cook in bulk? We do. Every week. Stop by our house on any given Sunday afternoon and you will find us in the kitchen getting food ready for the week.
When I use the term “cooking in bulk”, most think that I am cooking specific meals, planned weeks in advance, while spending my entire Sunday in a hot kitchen. Then the image of excel spreadsheets of recipes with quadrupled ingredient lists, freezer baggies and freezer containers spread out across the counters come to mind. Nope. I don’t do any of that. I have no desire, nor the time or energy to even think that way!
So, if I am doing none of that then what do I do?
Cooking In Bulk for the
Lazy Busy Mom
I cook the same food each week. My husband takes his lunch to work everyday, and our family eats a wide variety of simple foods, so our lifestyle drives the weekly food prep.
Here is what a typical Sunday looks like:
- chicken tenders
- sweet potatoes
- lentils or split peas
- quinoa or some type of rice (sometimes)
- prep salad box (if needed)
Baked Chicken Tenders – I keep these little guys very simple. I top with a little olive oil and then seasoned with a touch of sea salt, black pepper and powdered garlic. That is it. I’ll tell you why in another post.
Baked Sweet Potatoes – I scrub my medium-sized potatoes in the in the sink and then throw them in a pan while they are still damp. See? Easy!
Ok, now that those two are prepped and in their baking dishes, I bake both at the same time at 325 degrees for 60 minutes — low and slow keeps the juices in.
While those are in the oven, I throw my lentils, split peas, quinoa, rice or other bulk food in the rice cooker, and/or on the stovetop, and let them simmer away. (How to cook)
Here is a quick look into the “bulk” side of my pantry:
The way I choose which bulk food I cook from my pantry is by pulling out what I have the most of OR by what jar is almost empty. As you can see above, I try to keep a good rotation of options available to pick from.
Lastly, I’ll try and take a quick peek in my salad box. Here she is in action!
I grocery shop once a week and try and prep my veggies right when I get home. I found that if I wait until later, it usually doesn’t get done. (*My quick tip here is that I just throw all of the veggies into the sink and let them soak while I finish putting up groceries. After grocery duty is over, a quick scrub, rinse and time on a cutting board sends everything to the salad box and then into the fridge.)
Ok, I am finished with my bulk cooking on a Sunday afternoon. I typically start around 1:00PM and am finished in about 20 minutes. Obviously, the chicken and potatoes are baking for an hour and the rice cooker is cooking the lentils (or other item), but I am not slaving over anything. Cooking in bulk this way saves so much time and allows for a nice afternoon with the family!
Coming soon will be a post on what I actually do with all of this! Stay tuned…
Simply live. Simply Smiles.
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