Batch Cooking for Busy People

If you tend to be on the road quite a bit, or are trying to juggle way too many things during your week, batch prep will be your new best friend.

You can keep several things prepared in the refrigerator. This will allow you to assemble “bowl meals” very quickly and either heat them up or eat them cold.

– Potatoes and/or sweet potatoes
– Whole grains like brown rice, farro, hulled barley, or whatever you enjoy
– Cooked beans (one or two pounds per week per person for recipes and snacks)
– Washed greens stripped from the main stems and popped into large ziplock baggies
– Prepped colorful veggies, ready to use
– A variety of sauces: balsamic vinegar, low-sugar barbecue, sriracha, dressings

Having these things in the refrigerator will allow you to assemble a bowl of food in under a minute, either in a bowl or in a to-go container. Layer one of each type of food: root veggies, whole grains, beans, greens, and veggies. Add a bit of sauce for extra flavor, and heat it up or eat it cold, either version will be delicious.

You can also make several salads ahead of time. Use 1-quart plastic ziplock containers (blue lids) and put all the non-wet ingredients in, with the heavy things at the bottom—

– Grape or cherry tomatoes
– Carrots
– Celery
– Green onions
– Radishes
– Cucumbers
– Chopped kale or other greens (lots)
– A little bit of chopped leaf lettuce

Pack these containers full. They will keep just fine in the refrigerator for a week. You can either take a bit of homemade dressing in a separate container or just take out some of the lettuce, put the dressing in, and put the lettuce back on top. When you want to eat it, shake the dickens out of it and it’s ready to go.

Another way to make life easier—Use dinner leftovers for lunch by doubling recipes so that you have plenty of leftovers.