Any day of the week is a good day for bulk cooking. What’s most important is that you can do it regularly (weekly) in order to always have prepared meals. I know that I hate to come home hungry without any prepared meals ready to warm up and eat.
In this bulk cooking example, I bought my groceries on a Tuesday so I could get to the task of cooking early Wednesday morning without any distractions.
Here’s what I cooked for myself that gave me about a week’s worth of healthy meals. Note that I also have fruits and other food supplies on hand for meal variety. I may have to buy more vegetables or salad later in the week, since I will usually run out of these items first.
The Meal Preparation Process
2 pound-bag organic carrots (6-8 servings)
Washed, scrubbed, cut in half, and then cut in half lengthwise.
Place carrots in a roasting pan with one large white onion, thinly sliced ginger, juice of 1 whole lemon, salt & pepper, 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. coconut oil, and approx. ½ cup of filtered water.
Cook at 350° F for about 30 minutes on the bottom rack. Turn with a wooden spatula to mix with the liquid every 10 minutes.
4 large sweet potatoes (8 servings)
Scrub but don’t peel.
Roast in the oven on the bottom rack, on top of a piece of tinfoil so that they won’t drip onto the bottom of the oven.
Approx. 1 hour cooking time at 350° F.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 30-60 min.
Store in a container in the fridge. Or you can easily remove the skin and then mash the sweet potatoes with some lemon juice to reduce browning and refrigerate.
12 thick slices of peameal bacon (3 slices/serving)
Cook in the oven on a baking sheet.
Approx. 15 minutes cooking time.
Delicious to have for breakfast with or without eggs or as a sandwich.
(This is bulk cooking: cooking as much as you can at the same time and in the shortest amount of time possible. In this example, the sweet potatoes, carrots and bacon went in the oven at the same time).
2 butterfly, boneless pork chops. (4 servings)
Cook in a cast iron pan with 1 cup frozen mango, 1 large yellow bell pepper (coarsely chopped), a few chopped tomatoes, salt & pepper, sesame oil, and some dried oregano.
Turn after 15 minutes. Cooking time about 30 min (Pork chops went on the top rack of the oven after the bacon was cooked).
3 large seasoned chicken breast (4 servings)
Roast in the oven in a cast iron pan. Turn once.
Cooking time about 25 minutes.(Chicken went on the bottom rack after the carrots were cooked).
7 red, yellow and orange bell peppers (7 servings)
Wash, cut in half, remove seeds and put face down on a baking tray covered with a little olive or coconut oil.
Cooking time 40 minutes. You can also brown the tops of the peppers by turning the oven onto broil for 5 minutes or less.(Peppers went on the top rack after the pork was cooked).
Long grain brown rice (approx. 6 servings)
1 cup rice mixed with 1/4 cup organic wild rice and 2 1/2 cups of filtered water. Cook on the stove with a little bit of sesame oil, salt & pepper.
Bring to a boil, stir, and reduce temperature to a low-simmer. Stir once more after 10 minutes. Turn off the jet after 30 minutes of cooking. Let the rice sit, covered, for another 30 minutes to completely cook and absorb the remaining water (I started the rice on the stove after the carrots, sweet potato and bacon went into the oven. This is all part of the meal preparation and bulk cooking process; preparing food while cooking, cleaning up, etc.).
Total cooking time was about 75 minutes. Whenever something came out of the over, I packed my healthy meals into containers and in the fridge, and then I washed the dishes. Cleaning your dishes and cooking utensils as you go keeps you organized and when everything is cooked, you don’t have a sink-full of dishes to wash.
Filling In the Gaps
Other healthy meals that I will eat in the week include eggs, salads made either with spinach or thinly chopped red cabbage and romaine lettuce (topped with the chicken or pork, served cold and thinly sliced or I’ll eat canned tuna or salmon).
I also have containers of 4% cottage cheese to eat with fruit & nuts, vegetables, or mixed with a couple tablespoons of guacamole and some spicy salsa. Finally, I will usually consume one super health shake per day.
Meal planning, meal preparation and bulk cooking take some practice. You may need to follow some menus and recipes, or if you keep things simple as I have detailed above, you can pick and choose what you want at the grocery store (which is what I like to do) and cook based on what’s on sale, what’s in season, and what’s fresh.