Here’s a fun little assignment for you: visit Pinterest and search for “bulk cooking” or “freezer meals.” How many hits did you get? Thousands? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Cooking in bulk is more than just a trend in the Pinterest world, however. It can also be a tool for leading a healthy lifestyle in that it eliminates or reduces cooking time for those nights when take-out sounds a lot more appealing than firing up the oven.
Until today, I had never tried this way of cooking. I like to cook, and I actually look forward to cooking dinner every night. That being said, sometimes I am too hungry to wait for a pot of rice to simmer away on the stove for 45+ minutes. So I decided that for my first go at bulk cooking, I would try making large batches of ingredients rather than recipes. If I like the way this experiment goes, then maybe I’ll take a look at all those ideas on Pinterest and make a few recipes too.
I chose a few items at random to make in bulk: brown rice, black-eyed peas, and whole wheat rotini. I did a little research online to make sure that these items could stand up to the freezing process (and they can).
Then I measured out the proper amount of water for each ingredient…a step that took quite a while when you consider that the rice alone required eleven (yes, eleven) cups of water. I need a bigger measuring cup!
- 5 1/2 cups rice + 11 cups water
- 1 lb. or 2 cups black-eyed peas + 8 cups for quick-soak, then 6 cups for cooking
- 8 ounces or 2 cups rotini + enough water to cover
Then it was just a matter of simmering and boiling.
Meanwhile, I prepared some plastic bags for the freezer.
Depending on the item, I labeled them by weight or by number of servings + Calories.
This first attempt was certainly not perfect—my black-eyed peas were mushy, and I think there’s too much condensation in that bag with the rotini. But hopefully they’ll taste alright and make healthy meal preparation a little easier.
Have you ever tried cooking in bulk? Do you have any freezer-friendly recipes you’d like to share? As always, links are welcome!
Filed under: How To