If you don’t have time to cook in the evening, the batch cooking is for you! Discover all our tips to organize and plan your meals for the week efficiently.
Cooking in 2 hours for the week seems utopian and yet… This time it’s decided, you want to eat healthy every night, even when you come home late from work. No more pasta dishes taken on the run, because there is no time to cook a good balanced meal. The desire to eat healthy is there, but still you feel a bit lost on the supermarket shelves and don’t know where to start… How about getting into batch cooking? This new trend, also called meal prep, consists of cooking 2 hours at the weekend for the whole week. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? We’ll give you a few tips on how to prepare the week’s meals in a very simple way.
Although batch cooking has many advantages, it cannot be improvised. Indeed, it requires a little organization!
Plan your meals for the week
To begin with, a weekly meal plan is absolutely necessary. It will allow you to draw up a shopping list and then get into action. There are two ways to plan your meals: prepare basic items that you assemble on the day or prepare complete meals that you simply heat up when you eat them. Don’t hesitate to mix these two methods for more freedom!
Setting up a weekly meal plan
To find out what you’re going to have to buy as fresh produce and basic ingredients, there’s no secret, you need to draw up a weekly meal plan. To do this, get together as a family, select the recipes that are always a hit or those you want to try out and start keeping a detailed plan. Of course, always remember to make sure your meals are balanced, but don’t forget to treat yourself too! Add spices, sweet and sour combinations and vary the vegetables to make every day a delight!
Shopping for the week
Drawing up a weekly meal plan will then allow you to draw up a very precise shopping list. This will help you avoid unnecessary and wasteful items and save you money at the same time. Thanks to this new organisation, you only buy the products you need.
Use basic elements to be assembled
After shopping, it is best to cook in a hurry to use fresh ingredients. This can be on the weekend or on a weekday evening, depending on how much time you have. Start by cooking basic, neutral ingredients such as cereals (rice, quinoa…), legumes (dried beans, lentils, chickpeas…) that you can assemble and eat as a hot dish or salad. Then cook some vegetables, steamed or fried, perfect as an accompaniment.
In order to optimize the time, we try to cook in 2 hours for the week, so to optimize the cooking in advance, and the dishes. In addition to the basics, prepare some raw vegetables (onions, salad, raw vegetables…) as well as some aromatic herbs. On the meat side, cook a chicken or a roast that you can eat in different ways: hot, cold in a salad, in a sandwich. Also think about hard-boiled eggs that you can cook in advance and keep in the fridge. Finally, prepare some sauces to season your dishes (pesto, vinaigrette, tomato sauce) as well as a jar of nuts to sprinkle on or roast in the oven. Thanks to these basic elements, you will already be able to imagine all kinds of healthy and balanced meals.
Plan a few ready-made dishes as well
For certain days of the week, plan a few ready-made dishes so that you only have to reheat them on the day. Try dishes in sauce, simmered, such as vegetable curry, couscous, veal blanquette, lasagne… Also prepare a good vegetable soup. Finally, remember to double all the quantities, so you can freeze the leftovers to enjoy them the following weeks.