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 Post subject: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:32 am 
Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)
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I'm in vet school, absolutely no time to cook. Well, I have time out of class but every time I break to cook I get stressed because I should be studying.
I want to cook some major things in bulk for the freezer. Simple one-pot meals that don't involve a lot of work in the first place. Not much pasta/rice/any grain because I'm trying not to get fat since I eat constantly while studying.
Suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:35 am 
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Do you have Appetite for Reduction? It's full of these meals--just double recipes.

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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:37 am 
Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)
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no :(
though I have tried a lot of those, they are good....


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:22 am 
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Chili! You can customize that, make a shiitake ton, freeze it and reheat a bowl whenever you want. Curry is great as well, I always have some frozen. Neither requires any rice or pasta. Is there anything you really like to eat? Are you also looking for snacks?


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:30 am 
Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)
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all i eat are snacks!!!! lol. i like pretty much anything, prefer beans to seitan or tofu (though i love them, too, just more expensive). i prefer thick stews to soups, but i'm really not picky! sorry that isn't helpful.
some good low cal snack suggestions? i'm getting sick of eating snap peas and carrots all the time (if i break out the hummus it stops being low cal, i have no portion control)


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:32 am 
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I totally am right there with you chamaeleonsky! I am currently working full time, and a graduate student. Each week I tend to make a big batch of food to survive the coming week. I am trying to keep as healthy as possible during these crazy times too, so I tend to pre-wash and cut a bunch of salad fixings or veggies that I will use throughout the week, that way it's easy to throw together a salad, or a vegan bowl from AFR. Homemade veggie burgers are really easy to freeze and great for dinners. I also make big batches of hummus each week for snacks, and toppings on sandwiches. During the weekends I tend to make at least one soup, curry, or chili for dinner that evening (while it's simmering I just open up my textbook where I left off and carry on with work). Those leftovers usually get frozen and eaten later in the week.

I am looking for more ideas too! If anyone has good ideas for meals to make ahead and freeze that would be much appreciated. I am trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay away from processed foods. Ideas for snacks, lunches, breakfasts, and dinners are more than welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:33 am 
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For my husband and myself, I tend to cook batches of simple items and spice them up in different ways.

I keep a variety of grains (millet, quinoa, various rices, etc) in the house and a variety of legumes (chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, black beans, black eyed peas, etc). I always keep a batch of each cooked and if I realize I made too much, I freeze a few portions.

Last night, I made hominy with tomatoes and chiles in the pressure cooker (chiles and tomatoes were canned, hominy was dried). I made a batch of brown rice in my rice cooker and I made a pot of soup. I also unfroze a batch of pinto beans I had made the week before last. This will be meals for myself and my husband for the next few days. I also steamed some greens as well.

You could also buy glass containers (glasslock or similar, asian stores sell them fairly cheaply) and make batches of food and then make your own frozen/fridge meals. Whenever I have gone on a business trip, I usually make individual meals for my husband for a few days.

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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:03 am 
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lavawitch wrote:
Do you have Appetite for Reduction? It's full of these meals--just double recipes.

I think this is a good suggestion. When I was working on my master's thesis, I took a weekend and cooked up several big pots of "easy" meals (beans and rice, stews, curries etc.) I had bought about 30 identical-sized plastic containers on the cheap and froze all the stuff I made into 30 individual portions, so I wouldn't have to cook dinner for the rest of the month. That might sound a bit insane, but it totally worked for me and I was able to reheat my food in the little "snack room" at the university library at all sorts of odd hours. Sad but true.

I know you said you don't want to gorge on rice, but I think any of the recipes in AFR would be OK for not expanding the waistline. You might like the Arabian lentil & rice soup, because while it's soupy right after you make it, the rice tends to soak up some of the moisture in leftovers so it's nice and thick the next day. As someone else suggested, you could also make (or even buy) a big batch of veggie burgers. Pair those with a salad (with some nuts/tofu/beans or something added in for protein) and that's a decent meal as well.

One homemade snack I really like is curried/roasted chickpeas. Basically you just coat some cooked chickpeas in curry/salt/oil and roast them in the oven until it's crispy. Obviously that will have more calories than snap peas and carrots, but it may be a bit more interesting and filling. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:03 pm 
Calls "cavemen" on that
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You can modify hummus to make it much more low-calorie. Basically you take out the oil, cut down the tahini, and use water to blend it. Now, this is much more of a 'spead' type of hummus, not quite as creamy as regular hummus, but still really good. I add stuff to make it more flavorable (cumin, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, curry powder, roasted garlic, jalepenos, cilantro etc)

I try really hard to do a low-calorie, semi low-carb diet. I make a big old bach of hummus each week, and do 2 different flavors, and have it for snack time all week long.

If you are really careful with the oil, you can get a pretty good sized serving (like 1/3 of a cup) for around 60-80 calories.

I use the Spark People recipe caculator to find out how many calories mine has.

Also you can make 'hummus' from lentils. You need very little oil to make a good hummus type dip from that as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:50 pm 
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get thyself a crockpot!

other than chopping stuff, all the cooking time is passive. throw stuff in, and 6-8 hours later, you have a tasty meal!

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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Try the smoky split pea soup from afr - it's thick and delicious. It also takes all of 10 minutes to do the chopping/sauteing for it and then you can leave it to cook for 45 minutes. The arabian red lentil soup is also awesome and easy (I leave out the rice and add preserved lemon while cooking and mint + cilantro at the end).

During the winter, I make one of the above-mentioned soups each week (they make 4 servings per batch), a baked pasta dish (either lasagna or the pumpkin baked ziti from veganomicon) and make a bean dip or bean salad and that makes about 6 days' worth of dinners for two people with bread, veggies, etc added. I'm not in school but my day is scheduled down to the minute during the work week and I usually have less than 20 minutes to get dinner ready, so heating things up that I've made over the weekend and adding a salad or easy vegetable side is pretty much my only option.

I also freeze big batches of homemade pizza dough sometimes. Pizzas are a little less quick but also easy options.


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:09 pm 
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From Vegan on the Cheap, there is a Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Chowder, and it is great. I water sautee the onions instead of using oil, so that is the only real fat in the recipe. It takes like 10 minutes of prep. It feeds my family of four twice (2 adults and 2 young kids). I make it and immediately put half in a bowl for the freezer. I thought I would need a starch like rice to go with it, but it is pretty filling as is. We do crush up blue corn chips into the soup. If you are cooking for one, thinking of how many single servings you could put in the freezer. It warms up great in a saucepan too.


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:59 pm 
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I would highly recommend getting either a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, or both, if you don't already have them. They really are time savers. It's awesome when you can study (or procrastinate) while your food is cooking rather than watching a pot.

Salads are pretty quick to prepare and can be made filling with beans, tofu, or nuts. As others have mentioned, chilis, lentil soups and curries generally freeze really well.

As far as snacking, drinking tea or other calorie free beverages can be a good study treat if you find you are mindlessly snacking. Carrots and hummus sounds a lot healthier than my usual snacks, though (Daiya pepperjack nachos, anyone?).


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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:31 am 
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Look into salads in a jar. You layer a salad together so that the heavier/wetter ingredients are on the bottom (like beans, tofu, tempeh, tomatoes, etc), and go up from there, so your middle layer might be cucumbers, grated beets, then sprouts and lettuce/greens, and then maybe some chunks of almond feta on top. Then you can either add dressing or put the dressing in the bottom of the jar before layering, and shake it up. Super awesome. I would add quinoa or wheat berries to mine, but it would be just as good without if you don't eat many grains.

I also really like dragon rainbow bowls - recipe here: http://domesticaffair.blogspot.ca/2009/ ... inbow.html and it's really easy to switch up the ingredients. It usually has about 1/2 cup of grains in it, but you could replace that with more veggies or seeds if you wanted.

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 Post subject: Re: Bulk Cooking
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:53 pm 
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It is good for your head to take frequent breaks. When I am doing college work I actually use cooking as a way to force myself to take a break and do something other than college work. It has been the most effective method I have used in the millions of years I've done of college. I'm doing short bursts of good quality work and still managing to eat super healthy. Since I am eating good, healthy nutritious food I am able to actually do longer hours of college work in the one day rather than wearing myself out.

On that note..... get appetite for reduction. I make my food for the week on a Sunday. I also have supplies in the freezer incase the food is too tasty and I don't get the 4 or 6 servings that I am meant to get out of the recipe.

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