Going back to school later in life was not an easy decision to make. It was even harder when you are still working a full time job, going and seeing your nieces and nephew once a week, and trying to maintain a house. I am not complaining, I loved school, and I love to be busy! The hard part was making sure that we were still being fed at home, and healthy cooking isn’t always easy cooking. It is all too easy to stop and pick up something on the way home after a busy day at work. Then I found my solution: batch cooking. I myself do not get many days off, but I do have a couple of hours once or twice a week to cook and prep to ensure that we are eating healthy foods at home and not drive thru French fries.
Quinoa and brown rice are staples in our house. We eat them almost everyday, and I don’t know about you, but I hate cooking rice. Perhaps one of these days I will invest in a rice cooker. But until that day I will cook enough brown rice for us to eat for multiple days so I am not worrying about coming home and making it. It is also way cheaper to buy these in bulk then to buy the individual boxes that they sell at the store! I will also throw some leftover quinoa in my salads for lunch for a little protein. Now dinner and lunch are taken care of!
Another good trick for batch cooking is take advantage of your slow cooker! Chicken can be a useful and versatile ingredient to throw in the slow cooker to use later in wraps, salads, soups, etc. We eat a plant-based diet in our home so I will throw beans in the slow cooker to use or freeze (another good way to save money), or sweet potatoes (so I don’t have to have the oven on forever). Stews and soups are great in the winter, and usually feed us for days, score!
Snacks are key to prep in batches and have at the house. My husband eats a detox salad pretty much everyday, and I’m not going to lie, it is a mess to make! I prep enough on Monday morning for him to eat for the week, and then I don’t have to think about it for a week. I will also make our own trail mixes to bring when we go places that I am not sure about what will be available to eat. It’s also key to have cut up vegetables and hummus around for when I get off of work so I grab those and not a bag of chips!
These batch cooking tricks have literally saved my life during this busy time (and my waistline!) I can come home from work, cook up some tofu and veggies to throw in with my quinoa or brown rice, and have dinner on the table in no time. To be able to cook once, and eat multiple times will change your life! It’s such an easy concept, and yet so effective. For recipes like the detox salad and more, please check out the recipes section on my webpage.