Dinner,  Frugal Living,  Musing,  Parenting,  Recipes

Batch Cooking

The key to having your meals planned for the week ahead is organisation. That is why I prepare a pile of veg over the weekend and get batch cooking.  Don’t be under any illusions now, I’m no food preparation machine, but it is so easy to lash a dinner together during the week when I’ve put the time in at the weekend.

It goes a bit like this: 

Saturday morning I set aside an hour in the morning. The vegetable peeler gets used, alot. I peel a pot of potatoes and set them to boil on the hob.

I peel a good few carrots and a turnip, then chop them into equal sized pieces.  Half of which goes into a second pot, just about covered with hot water to simmer into a soup. I add in some black pepper and coriander seeds to add to the flavour.

At which point the spuds (potatoes) are cooked. I drain them off and add in a good slurp of milk only, no butter. Then mash with the potato masher. The pot gets covered and left to cool to room temperature.

The remaining chopped carrots and turnip gets divided between 2 plastic takeaway containers. They then go in the fridge for meals during the week. They’ll last for between 4-5 days.

Soup is ready. I turn off the heat and leave it to cool for 3 minutes before wuzzing (technical term) with the handheld stick blender. The soup is lunch and the remainder goes into a jar and is left to cool before sealing and putting in the fridge for a lunch during the week.Batch Cooking - Wholesome Ireland - Irish Food & Parenting Blog

The hour is up. I clear down the surfaces and put the peelings into the brown compost bin.

It’s another hour or so before the potatoes are cold enough to decant into more plastic boxes with lids. Potato doesn’t keep so well in the fridge so they get frozen instead. There’s enough there for 3 weekday meals.

For 1 hour and preparing 3 different vegetables I have:

2 soup lunches

3 sets of mashed potato for weekday meals

3 meals worth of chopped vegetables

That’s a whole load of homemade convenience food for relatively little effort.Batch Cooking - Wholesome Ireland - Irish Food & Parenting Blog

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • Una Jordan

    HI there, sounds like my saturday. I roast or boil three types of veg from which to garner five portions of soup for me and him, I make loads of bolognese or curry for the kids 5x midday dinners, and then lash out a load of bread and scones to keep us and the freezer going. I love it though, wouldn’t change the day!

  • clairemac

    How do you defrost/reheat the potato? I would love to have the spuds all prepped and ready to go!

  • Better Living Guide

    Love these ideas! I can easily chop away while spending time
    with kids on the weekends. And, actually feel prepared for the coming week. You’ve
    removed the most common excuse that many of us use to not eat as healthy as we
    should – “I just don’t have time in the evenings”!

  • kathryn

    And if (when) you have hens the peelings go into another pot for a five minute boil to mix into their dinner and turn into eggs/compost heap activator. Don’t batch cook much now we are retired but it was a lifesaver when I was combining children, work and all the other stuff. And if I’m using the oven I fill every corner

  • Fiona

    Hi. Just to let you know I scoop the potatoes into balls (with an ice cream scooper!) then open freeze. As soon as they are frozen I pop them into a ziplock bag and keep in freezer for up to a month. When required I can take out as many scoops as needed and zap straight from frozen at 1 min per scoop on high. Very handy.
    Must start preping my veg like you do too – it’d make dinner time super fast with the added benefit of a healthy quick snack on hand at all times 🙂

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