Author Topic: Bulk Cooking Challenge  (Read 4623 times)

Bolshevik Artizan

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Bulk Cooking Challenge
« on: February 08, 2015, 05:37:42 PM »
Hi All

Thought I would get the ball rolling to see what other recipe-heads are out there. So I just made a lasagna, total cost = $7 for the extra lean ground beef; $1.69 for the tomatoes and tomato paste, $2 for the mushrooms and $3.95 for the (organic) sheet pasta. Oh and probably a dollar for the onion and garlic. So say $14.40 all in. But for that outlay me and the wife will eat dinner tonight, plus get five portions in the freezer and then use the rest of the pasta in the pack with some (already purchased) pasta sauce and the leftover mushrooms for lunch tomorrow - nine meals in all for $14 and change, or maybe $1.60 per tasty meal. As we live in Canada, this saves us $10 per lunch apiece over the food court, or $100 across a week between the two of us.

Anyone else got any good bulk cooking for refrigerating and/or freezing tales? One little extra I wanted to share for the Canadians on here - given the high cost of food compared to the US, wife and I have found that taking in our lunches, stopping Starbucks or similar and cycling to work saves us around $1200 per month as a family...

Cheers -

Bolshewik

Cookie78

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 07:13:03 PM »
I have some lunch sized soup portions in the freezer, but I'm running low. Makes it easy to grab something for lunch in the morning if I don't have leftovers to take.

I need to find a good chili recipe to make, and chicken curry too. And other fun lunch things. I have the habit of making the same old things that I know how to make, then getting bored with them.

4alpacas

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 07:58:19 PM »
I love this!  I bulk cook on the weekends because I don't feel like cooking after work.

This weekend, I cooked 5 pounds of chicken breasts in the crockpot.  I made about 12 cups of shredded chicken.  I also made naan, rice, and pretzel rolls. 

In my freezer, I have single servings of a few different meals:
1. Sweet and sour meatballs with rice
2. Vegetable red curry with rice
3. Chicken taco bowls (Budget Bytes recipe with double the amount of beans!)
4. Chicken and black bean quesadillas
5. Chicken noodle soup

I'm always on the look-out for an easy, inexpensive recipe that my DH will eat. 

Bolshevik Artizan

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2015, 08:09:51 PM »
I have some lunch sized soup portions in the freezer, but I'm running low. Makes it easy to grab something for lunch in the morning if I don't have leftovers to take.

I need to find a good chili recipe to make, and chicken curry too. And other fun lunch things. I have the habit of making the same old things that I know how to make, then getting bored with them.

Hey Cookie

Here's my fail-safe curry recipe (some measurements obviously to taste!) - makes around 4-6 portions. We usually boil up 2x the amount of rice, which gives you the next day's lunch plus two portions for the freezer.

1x white onion
2 cloves garlic
big handful mushrooms
1 bell pepper
protein (usually chicken for us; can also be beef, pork or tofu)
1x stock cube
1x coconut milk can (we buy organic; it's expensive)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
1/4 - 1/3 teaspoon red hot chili powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
We only ever cook with coconut oil also for health reasons.

Method:

Brown meat protein thoroughly. Set to one side.
Finely chop onion, mince garlic, roughly chop other veg. Saute all veg together for 5 mins on a medium heat.
After three mins add spices and ginger if using, stir constantly.
At five minutes, add browned meat protein. Keep cooking for another 2 mins.
Add stock +250ml/1cup boiling water (you've mixed the water and stock cube before)
Stir and allow to reduce a little.
Shake the can of coconut milk hard and well. open it and pour it in.
Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so, during which time you can get your rice on.

Enjoy! :=-)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 08:16:17 PM by Bolshevik Artizan »

Bolshevik Artizan

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 08:13:54 PM »
Sorry Cookie, should have said that we normally buy 1 chicken breast, organic/no antibiotics, from a butcher we trust that costs us around $8 because we have cut down our meat consumption by 50%. That's why we bulk up on veg in this recipe - all in, including the veg and the can of coconut milk, which is the expensive item, again you are looking at around $15 for 4-6 portions depending on how hungry you are; somewhere between $2 and $3/portion. Cheers - Bolshewik

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 08:15:11 PM »
My favorite batch cooks are spaghetti sauce and chili. I basically use the pioneer woman recipe for spaghetti sauce, but with less beef and more hot italian sausage. And the chili I do with 1/2 steak and 1/2 heart, and a little bit of liver stuck in there. Organ meats are cheap, and easy to hide in a big batch of thick sauce!

Cookie78

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 08:23:51 PM »

Bolshevik Artizan

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 08:38:32 PM »

Hey Cookie
<snip>

Thank you!

Welcome - oh and by the way, my chili is almost the same except: no coconut milk, no ginger and spices, replace spices with chili powder and tabasco, add kidney beans, large can of tomatoes and a small can of tomato paste. All of these dishes - chili, curries, stews - emerged in different parts of the world as common answers to the same problem of how to cook fresh meat in a way that meant it could a) be stretched out over a few days and b) stay fresh while being made to last.

Enjoy your cooking -

bolshewik

Retired To Win

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2015, 11:59:39 AM »
How many portions do I need to cook at once for y'all to consider it "bulk cooking"?

4alpacas

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2015, 02:39:41 PM »
How many portions do I need to cook at once for y'all to consider it "bulk cooking"?
Enough to have leftovers?

Since I cook for two, almost every meal has leftovers.  I also do the majority of my cooking in one day (usually a weekend) and reheat through the week. 

I've been making homemade granola bars for breakfasts.  They're a huge hit.  I spend about 15 minutes making a double batch (about 15 bars).  I've also been adding things that I haven't been using up--Honey Nut Cheerios, sliced almonds, etc.

NotJen

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Re: Bulk Cooking Challenge
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2015, 04:39:41 PM »
My "secret" is that I freeze absolutely everything.  Right now, my freezer has: bread, cheese, fruit, vegetable, raw meat, cooked meat, soup/chili/stew, chicken stock, chicken bones waiting to be made into stock (incl veg scraps), almond pulp, whey, yogurt starter, burritos, pocket sandwiches, baked goods.  Nothing prepackaged (and nothing years old wilting away), I love it!

I've got beef stew with mashed potatoes on the stove now.  I don't usually add up the cost of my meals, but I'll give it a try (this will be an expensive one, but I only make it about twice per winter season because it takes a while).

Beef (shoulder roast - my meat guy didn't have much of his cow left) - $28.95
Olive Oil - $0.25
Onion - $0.26
Garlic - $0.25
Tomato paste - $0.99
Beef stock - $2.50
Carrots - leftover from last fall CSA
Turnips - leftover from last fall CSA
Parsley - $0.59
Potatoes - $0.81
Cream - $0.25
Butter - $0.30
Spices - negligible, nothing exotic
==============
$35.15

Obviously, the driving cost is the beef, which can be had for much cheaper if needed (I love my local beef, though!).  I got pretty good deals on the onion and potatoes because of a new grocery store opening up in my town.

For 8 servings, the cost is $4.40 each.  With a bottle of wine ($22), this meal will be $30 for the BF and I - worth it because it's so good!  And I'll have leftovers in the freezer for lunches for 5 weeks (I generally have enough in the freezer that I don't have to repeat my lunches during the week).
« Last Edit: March 22, 2015, 07:46:10 PM by NotJen »