Bulk Cooking/Batch Cooking Ideas, Tips and recipes

  • Hello this thread is about managing home cooking by making a bigger batch of food so it lasts a few meals.

    We can make our own 'easy meals' that we can get out of the fridge or freezer and warm up.

    Everyone likes different foods, has different tastes and need things that suit their kitchen and lifestyle, so the more people contributing what works for them, the more we are likely to cover all angles. Do join in!

    By making our own meals we can save money, we can cook to our specific needs, we can make things delicious and healthy. When we are expert, we can do this so quickly and efficiently we don't exacerbate our symptoms (much 😉 ).

    If this idea is new to you, do your research. Plan, plan, plan. It will save time and precious energy.
    Start small. There are lots of tips and ideas on line.

    Okay, let's go!

  • @Dot I love this thread and will definitely have something to add 😀


    This is one to keep in mind for the end of summer when all these ingredients are cheap and wonderful. It is so easy and delicious.

    1 zucchini
    3 onions
    1 eggplant
    2 tomatoes
    2 bell peppers
    6 cloves of garlic
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
    a sprig or two of rosemary

    Turn the oven on high
    Cut all the vegetables into chunks, about 3cm pieces (it should make at least 10 cups full, more like 12) and put into a big roasting pan.
    Chop the garlic and mix in
    Toss through the olive oil, salt, pepper and add in the rosemary sprigs. Everything should be shiny with oil.
    Roast in your hottest oven about 15 minutes.
    Stir (don't burn yourself!) and roast for another 20 minutes. Stir again and then one more roast for 5 - 10 minutes by which time everything should be juicy and tender and a little bit caramelised on the edges.

    Goes with almost everything and can be eaten hot or at room temperature.

    This one I don't like so much frozen and then thawed, but it lasts well in the fridge. (It is less than 10 cups once cooked, but makes maybe 4-6 serves)

  • @Dot I love this thread too! Roasted vegetables are wonderful. That would be so good with couscous!

    This Ottolenghi recipe makes about 5 bowls of soup and is from his Simple book.

    Curried lentil and coconut soup

    2 tbsp oil (coconut, olive, sunflower etc)
    1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
    1 tbsp mild or medium curry powder
    ¼ tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (Use the jarred or paste versions if it's easier)
    150g red lentils, rinsed and drained
    400g tinned chopped tomatoes
    25g coriander stalks chopped, plus 5g picked leaves, to garnish
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    400g tin coconut milk
    *I use a small 200g tin of lite coconut milk
    Lime wedges, to serve
    *I use half a lemon's juice stirred in instead of lime wedges quite often

    Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium-high flame, then fry the onion for eight minutes, stirring often, until soft and caramelised.

    Add the curry powder, chilli flakes, garlic and ginger, and fry for two minutes more, stirring continuously.

    Add the lentils, stir through for a minute, then add the tomatoes, coriander stalks, 600ml cold water, a teaspoon of salt and a very generous grind of pepper, and leave to heat through.

    Shake the coconut milk tin to mix, then tip into the soup pot. Bring the mixture up to a boil, turn down the heat to medium and leave to simmer gently for 25 minutes, until the lentils are soft but still hold their shape.

    If adding lemon or lime, add half a lemon's juice or to taste and stir through.

    Here's the original recipe on the Guardian - scroll to find it

  • @emsarah @Lau_EA_Aus I have to admit this is @coco's idea! But isn't it a good one!

    Ooh yum, an Ottolenghi recipe is sure to be good, and so wonderful to have some lentils here 😄

    Can't wait to see what you post @Lau_EA_Aus

  • @Dot Oh great! Well done @coco!
    I already suggested the ratatouille recipe to my partner for dinner ideas. I think this will be a great thread!

  • Hope I don't overload this thread too much! This is the other Ottolenghi soup we make from Simple. It's really quick and cheap to make in summer when zucchinis are in season. Great if you or someone you know grows zucchinis and ends up with lots! Freezes really well.

    Zucchini, pea and basil soup
    From Simple
    Guardian link (scroll to end of page)

    The way to keep a green soup green is not to overcook it. Once you’ve added the peas and basil to this, take it off the heat and blitz it straight away. Make the soup more hearty by using chicken stock and topping with fried bacon. Serves eight.

    75ml olive oil, plus extra to serve
    1 whole head garlic, cloves separated and peeled (I reduce to about 3 or 4 cloves)
    6 zucchini, cut into 3cm-thick slices
    Salt and black pepper
    1 litre vegetable stock
    500g frozen peas
    50g basil leaves (mint or parsley is also nice, even use a combo of the three)
    200g feta, broken into 1-2cm pieces
    Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium-high flame, then fry the whole garlic cloves for two to three minutes, stirring often, until caramelised. Add the zucchinis, two teaspoons of salt and plenty of pepper, and fry for three minutes, stirring, until starting to brown. Pour in the stock and 500ml cold water, bring to a boil and cook on a high heat for seven minutes, until the zucchini is soft but still bright green. Add the peas, stir through for a minute, then add the basil, turn off the heat and blitz smooth with a stick blender (or in a blender/food processor).

    To serve, spoon into bowls and top with the feta and lemon zest. Finish with a good grind of black pepper and a final drizzle of oil.

  • @Dot and @coco I am going to try one of your recipes this week.

    I make this warm veggie bowel in large quantities and put it in the freezer. I serve it with rice, toast or just by itself (depending on how many spoons I have). In addition to Pumpkin I add random vegetables that are needing to be used up.

    Warm veggie bowl
    Serves 1
    Preparation time 00:10 min
    Cook time 00:20 mins (I cook this for hours if I have the time and spoons)

    . ½ teaspoon of olive oil (extra virgin)
    .1 clove of garlic
    . ½ red onion
    .1 tablespoon of tomato paste
    . ½ tablespoon of coriander (fresh)
    . ½ teaspoon cumin (ground)
    . ¾ cups pumpkin
    . ¾ cup of chickpeas (tinned)
    . 1 cup vegetable stock
    . 1 cup baby spinach
    . ¼ cup of coconut milk
    . Salt and pepper


    1. In sauce pan add olive oil, garlic, onion and sauté for three minutes.
    2. add tomato paste, coriander, cumin, salt pepper and then stir sauté for three more minutes.
    3. add pumpkin cubes and stir for two minutes.
    4. add chick peas and vegetable stock.
    5. cover then bring to boil for twenty minutes or until pumpkin is cooked through.
    6. to finish add the spinach and coconut milk. Stir through until combined well.

  • @Dot Whoo hoo ... a recipe thread ... now we're cooking ... looking forward to trying out some of the recipes posted... 🤗 👏

  • @emsarah yum! This is going to be Monday nights dinner. If I'm brave, I will upload a photo

  • @Lau_EA_Aus What a fabulous recipe! So nutritious and delicious sounding! That chickpea, pumpkin, spinach and coconut milk combo is just sublime. I think I would eat a big bowl of it without any accompaniments.
    I can't wait to make it.

  • @Lau_EA_Aus your recipe sounds great! I love that it has pantry staples and can use any veggies in the fridge. Will let me partner know to try that one for sure 🙂 hopefully I can get back to making food sometime in the future 😩

    Definitely post a pic of the soup if you make it! I'd love to see it! 🙂

  • @Lau_EA_Aus Fantastic recipe ... and everything on my clean food list I am able to have .... just have to leave out tomato paste; although I have discovered that tamari soy sauce with sweet potato gives a similar taste to tomato when added to recipes (just a dash of the sauce and a small amount of sweet potato)... will definitely try this out and in a bulk batch ... 🌟

  • Great idea Dot. I have been too unwell to do much cooking, so living off Chefgood ready-made meals for the past few weeks. 😆 But I used to like making up a big batch of bolognese, chilli con carne or veggie beans. I tend to forgot things are in the fridge unless I eat them so I would usually eat them 4 or 5 days in a row for dinner LOL. Same way my mum would cook for me when I was a kid. @Lau_EA_Aus I feel inspired by your recipe so maybe, soon... @emsarah I have Ottolenghi's Simple but haven't used it at all because my scales stopped working! I know it's less precise but I really wish he could include cup measurements for the brains like mine. 😕

  • @yawning Oh no that's frustrating! If we make either of those soups again I'll see if I can update the recipe with cups 🙂

  • @yawning Those UK recipe writers! They love their kitchen scales!
    When I want to keep a recipe I write it out with notes like 'fill the rice bowl to about 1cm below the rim' 'use the big saucepan!' 'microwave them for a minute first'. 😄
    (This makes it tricky if I want to share a recipe here, as it is so specific to my kitchen.)