On Sunday I shared a glimpse into my day of batch cooking on my Facebook Page. Batch cooking allows me to fill my freezer with “homemade convenience food” and speeds up dinner prep on busy nights. For me, batch cooking is different than once a month cooking because I am not actually assembling meals. Instead I am dicing, grating, and cooking elements that will be used in meals. I don't mind cooking dinner, I just don't always have a lot of time to do it. Batch cooking allows me to cut 10 – 30 minutes off of the prep time and get right to assembling ingredients.
It's all good EXCEPT for the day that I have been doing all that batch cooking. I have spent several hours in the kitchen and don't have a meal to show for it. And the last thing I feel like doing is cooking! But it would just be wrong to go out to eat on a day that has been devoted to ensuring that we don't eat convenience food. 🙂
This is where the slow cooker saves the day! Prior to beginning my batch cooking and while I still have energy, I throw the ingredients for dinner in a slow cooker, turn it on and forget it until dinner time. This has the added advantage that every time someone pops into the kitchen commenting on all the wonder smells and asking what you are making, you can point to the wonderful smell in the slow cooker and say that is dinner. This gets a much better reaction than shoeing them out and telling them they can't eat anything you are cooking because it is all going in the freezer. Trust me, I am speaking from experience.
I made pork and sauerkraut with sweet potatoes in the slow cooker. At the end of a long day, it was nice to sit down to an easy homecooked meal that my family loves.
Do you want to try your hand at batch cooking? Below are some ideas to get you started, but don't forget the first step and start dinner in the slow cooker first!
Do you have excess produce from your garden? Chop, dice, and freeze it in useable quantities: