Batch Cooking 101 + an example weekly meal plan

batch cooking 101

If you haven’t checked out my post Step by Step Meal Planning How-To Guide, I encourage you to read it first. In that post, I familiarize you with meal planning and give you tips for being successful when you start meal planning. Batch cooking is the final step that I talk about in my meal planning post. Essentially, batch cooking is when you prep and actually begin to cook meals or parts of meals for the week.

Batch cooking is a great way to cut down on cooking time throughout the week and decrease the stress + anxiety around not knowing what to have for dinner [or lunch]. Not having the time to cook is the reason I hear most often from people who are trying to get healthy but are finding it extremely difficult to “stay on track”. Once you’ve read this post and begin to implement batch cooking, the issue of time should significantly decrease, leaving you with time to simply enjoy your healthy, homemade meals.

What needs to be done before batch cooking can begin:

[1] Pick one day out the week [2-3 hours] that you can reserve for the majority of your cooking. This is most often a Sunday for me.

[2] Decide on weekly meals + recipes [and the days in which you will most likely be having those meals]. Write down the meals you’ve decided on.

[3] Write out a specific grocery list. And make sure you include groceries for breakfasts + snacks throughout the week if needed. For me, I always make sure I have my Super Green Smoothie ingredients well stocked.

[4] Shop for appropriate groceries.

[5] Get started.

Batch Cooking 101

The Weekly Meal Plan

This meal plan is designed for a family of two adults. If you are serving more people, adjust recipes accordingly to make additional servings. You’ll need to look at all of the recipes included in the weekly meal plan and create a grocery list. Once your shopping is done, proceed below and check out The Method. Get as much done as you can on Sunday so the rest of the week requires less prep + cooking time.

meal plan

 

The Method

I prepare some of my meals completely ahead of time so all I have to do is reheat them during the week. Please keep in mind that each recipe allows for at least four servings meaning there will be leftovers for lunch or even dinner the next day. Refer to the weekly meal plan above for how I use my leftovers.

Sunday

  • Peel + chop bananas in half and freeze for Super Green Smoothies [and make sure to have all smoothie ingredients on hand if that’s what you decide to do for breakfast].
  • Follow recipe and cook Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash + Sausage Soup [save about 1 cup raw cubed butternut squash for Southwest Turkey + Vegetable Skillet later in the week].
  • Follow recipe and cook Sesame Chicken Quinoa Bowl.
  • Prepare Black Bean + Sweet Potato Burgers [let cool and store in fridge for Wednesday dinner].
  • Chop broccoli into bite-size florets and refrigerate until Wednesday night dinner.

Monday

  • Breakfast: Make Super Green Smoothie
  • Lunch: Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale + Sausage Soup
  • Dinner: Heat Sesame Chicken + Quinoa Bowl, top with sauce
  • Save dinner leftovers for lunch.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Prepare Super Green Smoothie
  • Lunch: Sesame Chicken + Quinoa Bowl
  • Dinner: Heat Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale + Sausage Soup
  • Save dinner leftovers for lunch.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Prepare Super Green Smoothie
  • Lunch: Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale + Sausage Soup
  • Dinner: Heat Black Bean + Sweet Potato Burgers on stove or in oven until heated through
  • Dinner: Roast broccoli [add 1 Tbsp olive oil, sea salt + pepper to broccoli, roast in 350 degree oven on parchment paper lined baking sheet for 25-30 minutes or  until desired doneness]. Serve with Black Bean + Sweet Potato Burgers
  • Save dinner leftovers for lunch.

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Prepare Super Green Smoothie
  • Lunch: Black Bean + Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Veggies
  • Dinner: Prepare Southwest Turkey + Vegetable Skillet according to recipe directions. Use pre-cubed butternut squash from earlier in the week
  • Save dinner leftovers for lunch.

Friday

  • Breakfast: Prepare Super Green Smoothie
  • Heat any leftovers for lunch + dinner.
  • Enjoy a glass of wine and relax, you deserve it! 🙂

The Recipes

Super Green Smoothie

Make one recipe each morning for breakfast.

green smoothie 2

Creamy Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale + Sausage Soup

You can serve this soup as-is, or add a side salad or a piece of buttered whole grain bread if desired.

butternut squash soup

Sesame Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Serve this dish as-is. I like to make extra sauce to drizzle on top for leftovers the next day.

sesame chicken bowl3

Black Bean + Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Veggies

My favorite way to eat this veggie burgers is in a lettuce wrap topped with fresh avocado + hot sauce. Feel free to use a whole grain bun or just eat it with a fork. You can serve it with a side of roasted broccoli [recipe attached], a side salad or some fresh fruit.

sweet potato burger lettuce wrap

Southwest Turkey + Vegetable Skillet 

You can eat this skillet as-is, as tacos, lettuce wraps or on a salad.

taco veggie skillet

Snack ideas to have on hand.

 Success.

And there you have it! A weeks worth of meals planned and prepped. See it’s pretty simple isn’t it? And I promise doing this ahead of time and getting in the routine of doing it weekly will really decrease the stress around meal times. And as an added bonus everything is super healthy and nutritionist approved. 🙂 Now get cooking!

Let me know what you thought about this post. If you need additional help meal planning, schedule a one-on-one appointment with. Here’s my contact info.

 

Related posts from Nutritiously Rooted:

Angela Freed

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