One practical tool for those on the go is to get cozy with bulk cooking. Cooking in larger quantities that can be frozen or consumed throughout the week can be a wonderful way to save time in the kitchen, cut back on food waste, and always ensure that there is a healthy meal option waiting for you at home. The key with any bulk cooking is knowing what you can and cannot freeze. The good news is that you can freeze almost any food! The bad news is that not all foods freeze well, and therefore you may not always walk away feeling pleased with the quality of certain foods you prepare and freeze (lettuce, for example). But with a little guidance, anyone can successfully navigate the world of bulk cooking with ease. Check out our tips below for some easy ways to cook food in bulk that will leave you excited to make it and save it!
- Set a Date with Your Kitchen – The best way to get comfortable with bulk cooking is to dive right in! Start by setting aside 1-2 hours on ONE day of your choosing during the week to prepare your bulk meals. (Sundays are often a good day for those with busy weekday schedules.) Pick your recipes and have all your ingredients ready so that you don’t get frustrated or delayed by missing items. If you feel overwhelmed by what meals to make for a bulk cook, start by picking one type of meal – for instance Dinners. Cook all your dinners for the week and then try for other meals as well once you get the hang of it. Don’t forget to put on good music, have on your favorite TV show, or cook with your spouse or child. It’s ok to make bulk cooking a fun experience!
- Have all your supplies ready – when cooking in bulk, you often end up needing more supplies than your realize. This can include mixing bowls, cutting boards, measuring cups, a blender, freezer safe Ziploc bags, airtight glass containers, and other Tupperware containers. Bulk cooking can also sometimes make your kitchen a disaster zone, so don’t forget cleaning supplies! J
- Know the Basics: Soups, Stews, and Casseroles - If you are a novice bulk cooker, start out by trying your hand at tried and true bulk staples. Soups, Stews, and Casseroles are generally easy to prepare, retain their flavor after they have been stored, and are good options if you want to bulk freeze or simply have them again for a few days after they’ve been prepared. Check out our recipe below for Creamy Artichoke Soup, a savory soup that is perfect for bulk cooking!
- Bulk Cooking Can Have Range – so many items can be cooked in bulk! Once you feel comfortable, try venturing out into healthy pasta/dipping sauces, marinated meats and poultry, veggie chilis, and meat or vegetable fillings for easy tacos. You can even package up meal kits with sliced vegetables prepped for cooking fajitas, stir-fries, or for grilling. These can be stored in the fridge for a couple days to keep easy cooking options handy or can be frozen and pulled out as the need arises.
- Prepped Vegetables and Fruits are Friends of Bulk Cooking – healthy add ins like fruits and veggies are perfect for bulk. Simply prepping fruits and veggies by peeling, slicing, and chopping them will save lots of meal prep time during the week and can provide easy snacks that are ready to go in any lunch bag!
- Appreciate what your body can DO! Can it walk, run, dance? Do these things contribute to your enjoyment and quality of life? Does being regularly physically active enable you to do them more? Look for progress that isn't appearance-based. Can you cycle a little farther, lift a little heavier, dance a little longer? Are you more flexible? Appreciate what your body does daily, and how your abilities increase with practice.
- See yourself as a whole instead of in parts. When you look at yourself in the mirror, rather than focusing on the areas that you feel insecure about, step back and find something you like. Compliment yourself on your better qualities (someone else wishes they had them.) You are more than a collection of "trouble spots", you are a whole person, and you are amazing.
- Wear clothes that make you feel good about your body. Fashions change, but comfort and confidence are timeless. Work with your body and dress yourself in a way that builds your self-esteem. The most important opinion is your own, so be sure it's positive!
- Protest body negativity, inside and out. Challenge stereotypes. Silence the voice in your mind that says your body isn't good enough, and show yourself and the rest of the world what it can do! Fitness comes in many shapes and sizes, many ages and stages, so celebrate what you're made of!