Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you are all enjoying your long weekend – thanks for stopping by today!
This week, I am going to be plunging headlong back into working after a long summer break. I am excited to get back to work, but this will mean I need to get back to being organized again. It’s a never ending cycle, isn’t it?
For MPM this week, I wanted to tackle something that has intrigued me for quite a while – bulk cooking. The premise is that you take a day and you cook for for a week or, if you are particularly ambitious, an entire month.
I work really hard at being organized enough, but meal planning is always where I fizzle out. After looking into this concept, I think this is something that could work for me.
Here’s where I started:
Once a Week Cooking – This is a good site to start with, but since it’s a pay for subscription site, unless you are willing to drop $10 a month, it won’t take you too far.
Frugal Mom – Learn Once a Month Cooking in 7 Easy Steps – This is a GREAT introductory article. It gives you a specific (though not too in depth) overview of how to cook once a month, including planning sheets. This is a fantastic place to begin.
Simply Saving – Once a Month Cooking Recipes – This blog give a few good ideas for easy to cook meals that you can prepare early, but don’t necessarily have to cook ahead of time.
Organized Home – Feed the Freezer – Has very good links on how to get started
Once a Month Mom – THE authority on cooking once a month. She seriously makes it sound easy. I mean, easy enough that I might be able to do it. New menu plans posted at the beginning of each month.
For me, I hate cooking. I mean, I really loathe it. While I LOVE the idea of cooking less during the week, cooking for an entire month seems too overwhelming for me.
Cooking for one week sounds a little better, as long as it meets a few requirements:
- It doesn’t take up all of a weekend day.
- It isn’t too overwhelming.
- It can be food allergy friendly – I have a feeling this will be a sticking point.
- My kids will actually eat it – this may be an even bigger sticking point.
So, not too challenging, right?
Here’s what I came up with:
- I started at the Once a Month Mom site for three reasons – I am somewhat familiar with the layout, I like the structure of the menus and I like the printables.
- After looking at the menu, I took a long pause. I am not a cook. I admit it. The thought of making Ratatouille is intimidating as hell. Then I reminded myself that I only had to find a few recipes, since I was only trying this out for a week.
- Then I remembered it was a short week, since Monday is a holiday and Wednesday we are taking our son out to dinner for his birthday.
- If I vacuum seal the food, all I have to do is drop the bags in boiling water to heat up. This, by the way, rocks.
- Many of the meals were heavy on the cheese and pasta – two big no-nos for me.
- I really hate that so many recipes use cream of ____ soup. I am not a purist (hell, I use Rice A Roni), but with a dairy allergy, it’s important. And no, I don’t have time to saute mushrooms and do 9 other steps to get a cream of mushroom soup.
So, what to do?
Here’s the recipes I selected:
Tostada Goop – I am going to check Trader Joe’s for a non dairy cream of chicken soup.
Ribs – These I can cook in the crock pot, then freeze to reheat during the week. The challenge will be not eating them when they are cooked the first time!
Neat Sloppy Joes – If you know me at all, you know I LOVE Allrecipes.com. This is a recipe from their site.
Phew! Here’s the question of the day – have you ever done this? If so, what works for you and what doesn’t. If you haven’t tried bulk cooking, would you? As always, leave it in the comments.