Batch Cooking / Meal Preparation Easy Recipes

If you have found that you simply don’t have the time to enjoy home cooked meals anymore, then you are probably also finding that you are missing out on getting some vital nutrients. When you consider the chaos of modern life, it is no surprise that so many people resort to ready meals and takeaways rather than cooking from scratch.

However, with the help of a slow cooker, you can enjoy home cooked meals with little to no work involved. If you are really stretched for time, then you can even cook your meals overnight so that they are ready for the next day. The great thing about a slow cooker is that it allows you to cook large batches of meals with ease.

This means that you are able to freeze the portions that you don’t eat and then simply defrost them when you want to reheat them. This takes so much work out of cooking from scratch and allows you to enjoy home cooked meals with none of the stress. In order to get you started with batch cooking in your slow cooker, here are a couple of easy batch cooking recipes to try for yourself.

Bolognese Mix

Bolognese has always been a firm favourite in British homes and that does not look set to change anytime soon. The great thing about batch cooking a Bolognese mix is the fact that it is so versatile. You can use the mix to make a pasta bake, a lasagne, or even just a spaghetti Bolognese. Here is a simple recipe that will allow you to create a large pot of the mix for freezing.

Ingredients:

  • Big Pack of Minced Beef
  • 2 Onions
  • 1 Celery Stick
  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Pack of White Mushrooms
  • 2 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • Big Handful of Fresh Basil

Here is the cooking method:

  1. Add the minced beef, onions, celery, carrot, garlic and mushrooms to the pot, mix well and set the slow cooker to a low heat.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and stir all of the ingredients together.
  3. Half way through the cooking process, mix in the fresh basil.
  4. Cook for around 4-6 hours.

Once the dish is cooked, add to freezer containers. When you defrost the mix, you can simply add it to any other dish.

To Make Into Lasagne:

In order to turn your Bolognese mix into a lasagne, the first thing that you will need to do is to create a béchamel sauce. Here is the method:

  1. Add a tablespoon of butter to a pan.
  2. Once it is melted, add a tablespoon of plain flour.
  3. Gradually add milk to the mix until it has thickened to the desired consistency.
  4. You can either simply add salt and pepper, or if you want to you can even add cheese to create a cheese sauce.

Once you have done this, it is simply a matter of alternating between Bolognese mix, lasagna sheets and your sauce. Top with grated cheese and bake in the oven until golden brown.

To Make Into a Pasta Bake:

Turning a Bolognese mix into a pasta bake couldn’t be simpler. Here is the method that you need:

  1. Boil as much dried pasta as you require until it is al dente.
  2. Drain the pasta and mix in the Bolognese mix.
  3. Sprinkle over grated cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Chili Con Carne

Again, this is another great slow cooker batch meal because it allows you to create a mix that can be used in many other dishes. You can use your chili mix for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or simply serve it with a salad and jacket potato. Chili is one of the most popular Mexican style dishes in the UK and the fact that it is so versatile makes it perfect for batch cooking. Here is the recipe that you will need.

Ingredients:

  • Big Pack of Minced Beef
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
  • 1 Tin of Kidney Beans
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Handful of Fresh Coriander

Here is the method that you will need:

  1. Add the minced beef, onions, garlic, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper to the slow cooker and set it to a low heat. Mix all of the
  2. spices into the meat well.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and kidney beans and mix together.
  4. Cook for 6-8 hours on a low heat.
  5. Once the cooking process is complete, stir through the fresh coriander and it is ready to serve.

Freeze into portions and simply defrost when you are ready to use it for the dish of your choosing.

To Make into Tacos

Tacos are a great use for a chili mix and something that the whole family will love. Here is the method:

  1. Fill taco shells with the chili mixture.
  2. Add shredded iceberg lettuce.
  3. Add salsa, guacamole and sour cream.
  4. Add grated cheese.

To Make into Burritos

The burrito is much the same as the taco. Here is the method for a basic burrito using a chili mix:

  1. Add the chili mixture to soft tortillas.
  2. Add lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
  3. Fold the tortilla into a burrito.

These are just two examples of some great batch cooking slow cooker recipes. The best way to batch cook is to choose a dish that can be used as a base for other dishes. This keeps things interesting and provides you with numerous dishes out of one batch cooked meal.

By batch cooking your food in a slow cooker you are able to save yourself huge amounts of time and money as well as make sure that you and your family are able to eat healthy, nutritious meals all year around. You don’t have to miss out on healthy home cooked meals just because life gets in the way. Slow cookers have seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years and this is largely down to the many benefits that they are able to offer. There are some fantastic budget models available too, so there is something for everyone no matter what budget you are working with.

 

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