My new friend, Sylvie, from The Simple Paleo Life has some awesome stuff to share with you all on batch cooking. This is great, practical advice that Sylvie proves to be so much less daunting than what it really is. I know you will love what she has to share!
Save Time in the Kitchen by Batch Cooking
When we first made the switch to the Paleo lifestyle, one of the things we struggled adjusting to was how much more time it took to make real food versus boiling water for some pasta and opening a jar of pasta sauce. It felt like hours from prep to dishes. We soon learned that spending a couple hours on a Saturday or Sunday would make the weekly meal prep a whole lot easier! It also saves dishes to be washed since I, strategically, use the food processor in a way that I only have to wash it once or twice during the big cookfest! This is multi-tasking at its best. I actually much prefer doing this than cooking one individual meal since I feel the cost-benefit time wise is much more favorable!
Here's what I made during a day of mad kitchen prep on a weekend :
- 2 roasted chickens with potatoes
- braised kale (with bone broth) from our garden
- steamed broccoli
- ghee (from grass fed butter)
- burger patties with hidden liver
- bacon (vanished same day, oh well)
- 2 gallons of kombucha started (for upcoming BBQ)
- chopped carrot sticks for snacks
That sounds like a lot! But so many things can be done simultaneously that it really doesn't take more than a couple hours! Here's what it looked like:
The night before:
- Plan what you will be prepping if you haven't done so earlier in the week
- Set your frozen meats out to defrost
Start with the things that will take the longest to prep/cook.
I started by brewing tea for my kombucha (I only have one kettle, one mesh strainer and one big glass bowl so I did this in 3 batches). Just writing this makes me realize I should get a couple more strainers and bowls to speed up the process!
While that was brewing and cooling, I got the chickens rinsed off and in the oven with potatoes. I usually add other root veggies as well. Use timers, timers are your friend. I have my eye on this triple timer for days like this!
Then I placed the butter in the pan to make the ghee and started the most hands on task: the “hidden liver” burgers. (Grind liver, add ground beef and spices and fry them up!)
While keeping and eye on ghee and burgers, wash and cut up carrots for carrot stick snacks during the week!
Add one more pan with bacon to cook up. Warning: if kids and canines are present, your chances at having leftovers are ZERO.
If you have another burner available use it to steam some vegetables (I usually have all 4 burners going!)
Braise some kale or collard greens in bone broth. As the bone broth evaporates the minerals and “goodness” (I believe that's the technical term) are left behind.
That's it! Several meals and snacks in just a couple of hours! Sip some booch while you're doing it and you've got yourself a little party! 🙂
What are your favorite tips and tricks to reduce your time in the kitchen?
About The Simple Paleo Life: Sylvie is a celebrity personal assistant and mom of 3 by day, paleo enthusiast and blogger by night. She and SAHD hubby, Eric, each lost over 60 lbs with paleo and continue to improve their family’s health with food and lifestyle tweaks. Sign up for their newsletter at www.thesimplepaleolife.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.