Do you feel like you’re always cooking right now?
If you feel like you’re always in the kitchen cooking a meal right now, then maybe now’s the time to give batch cooking a go?
Put simply, batch cooking is just cooking smart. Cooking more than you need and saving the leftovers for another meal, either in its entirety or as a component of another meal.
Batch cooking can go hand in hand with meal planning for the ultimate meal organisation but equally it can just be a really great way of having some quick and easy home made meals in the freezer for those days that don’t quite go to plan.
If you don’t already batch cook then here are some great reasons why you should give it a go:
- It will save you time – you’re not simply condensing your cooking time, you’re being smarter with what you cook and repurposing different parts for meals.
- It reduces food waste – because you portion and store smarter you will waste less.
- Therefore, it saves you money.
- It reduces stress, whether that's because you have a plan for what you’re going to eat during the week, its just the comfort of knowing there’s always something in the freezer.
- Because you’re planning your meals in advance it tends to be much healthier, particularly than convenience food that you might fall back on when you're in a hurry.
- There’s always food in the house, and better than that, there’s always meals in the house, so the whole household is happier.
- It saves the planet, especially if we’re talking plant-based batch cooking – less food waste, less packaging, less meat, less dairy.
Here’s a recipe to get you going.
BBQ Jackfruit (many ways)
BBQ Jackfruit is so versatile because it can be repurposed in loads of ways. Enjoy it with rice, on top of a baked potato or nachos for dinner or have it cold as part of a salad or in a wrap. The possibilities are endless.
It also freezes really well so you can double up on quantities and save some for next week too.
- 2x tbsp olive oil
- 2x red onion (peeled and diced)
- 2x clove garlic
- 6x tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 5x tbsp coconut sugar
- 2x tbsp smoked paprika
- 2x tsp dijon mustard
- 2x tbsp tamari
- 4x tbsp tomato puree
- 500ml water
- 2x 400g cans jackfruit
- 1x 400g can butter beans (drained & rinsed)
- 200g sweetcorn (frozen or drained from a can)
- Heat olive oil over a medium heat, add the finely diced onion & garlic and sauté until the onions start to soften.
- Add the apple cider vinegar & coconut sugar and allow the onions to caramelise for 2-3 minutes
- Add the smoked paprika, mustard, tomato puree & water.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Drain the jackfruit and flake it into a roasting tray with a fork, holding back the hard core of the jackfruit.
- Finely chop the core of the jackfruit into thin batons. The core is just as flavoursome as the rest of the fruit, but it is much harder so needs to be smaller to cook in time with the rest.
- Drain the can of butter beans and add to the roasting tray along with the sweetcorn.
- Pour the simmering BBQ sauce over the jackfruit, beans & sweetcorn and mix everything together.
- Roast in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 20-30 mins.
- If you like the edges of the jackfruit to become slightly crisply then leave it in for a little longer.
N.B. Although jackfruit is often likened to meat e.g. pork or tuna, you must remember that it is in fact a fruit and has very little protein. That's why we've added butter beans to this recipe to increase the protein content.
Happy batch cooking!!