Monday, November 21, 2011

Once a Month Cooking Part 2: Helpful Cookbooks

I've tried cooking and freezing meals from my own recipe collection, but it's exhausting doing the math to triple/quadruple the recipe or creating the grocery list for multiple, tripled recipes. There are two books I've found helpful if you want to give batch cooking a try without having to do everything yourself.

I first read about "Fix, Freeze, Feast" on my friend Rachel's blog. She's a very healthy cook, so I thought I needed to check this book out! I've LOVED it!

The recipes in this cookbook are based off of the quantities of meat you can buy at Sams/Costco. For example: chicken breast normally comes in 6 lbs trays at Sams/Costco, so most of the recipes in this book call for 6 lbs of chicken breast.

The book then guides you through creating 3-4 of the SAME meal from that one tray of chicken. For example, one month I made 6 bags of spinach Lasagna Rollups and 4 bags of Pecan-Crusted Chicken.

It's great because it minimizes your time in the kitchen. It doesn't take much longer to make four of the same recipe, as it does to just make the original one dish.

I learned about "Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer" from my friend Brittny. It sounded like a cool cookbook, so I checked it out from the library. I haven't made any of these recipes yet, and they don't sound quite as low-calorie as "Fix, Freeze, Feast," but I plan on trying out one or two in preparation for stocking the freezer next month before Baby #2 arrives.

This cookbook gives you several options when preparing your freezer meals. It gives you the different quantities you'd need if you wanted to cook enough for three meals, six meals or 12 meals for the freezer. I love this because if I wanted to batch cook with a friend, all of the math is already done for me. Or, if I am just cooking to freeze meals for my family, they have the quantities listed for that too!

So, if you're looking to ease your way into batch cooking, or once a month cooking by just freezing a few meals, maybe not an entire month's worth, I'd encourage you to start with one of these cookbooks!

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