Sometimes it’s nice to go a whole week without cooking. Sure, some people do that all the time, they just eat take out or fast food. I’m talking about a whole week eating homemade, plant-based food without having to cook it everyday. It’s possible if you do Once a Week Cooking.
Once a Week Cooking
If you want to try Once a Week Cooking I recommend that you plan meals that will reheat well, serve you for more than one meal and give yourself several hours to get the cooking done.
I’ve selected several recipes that meet this criteria, they are on this week’s meal plan.
You can adapt this to suit your time and dietary constraints.
What to Cook
- Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole in the Crock Pot
- 1 cup of lentils to use in Quinoa Lentil Salad
- 2 cups quinoa or brown rice to use in Quinoa Lentil Salad, Breakfast Quinoa and soup
- 1 pound black beans to use in Mango Salad, Burritos, Soup and other meals
- 3-4 Sweet Potatoes for breakfasts
- Enchilada Soup
- Mexican Rice for burritos or other meals
Plan to start with the items that will take the longest too cook or that you need for other meals. If you are cooking beans you will probably want to start with those. If you are using canned or already have beans cooked you can move on. I already had beans and rice cooked when I started, we usually have beans and rice cooked at all times.
I also use multiple cooking options, for instance I cook beans in my Instant Pot, the casserole in my Crock Pot, most other things on my stove and the lasagna in my oven. The sweet potatoes can be made in the Instant Pot, Crock Pot or the oven.
Steps to Getting it All Done
1. Cook beans and rice. Either ahead or start here.
2. Get the Crock Pot going with the casserole.
3. Start cooking the lentils, quinoa and Mexican Rice on the stove.
4. Start preparing ingredients for the Lasagna. (The lasagna takes a long time so you can save time by eliminating this).
5. Wash and bake sweet potatoes.
6. Chop veggies and make the soup. (Beans and rice must be cooked in order to make the soup.)
7. Prepare additional veggies for salad.
You can simplify this with a few modifications. This was more than enough food for us this week.
1. Cook fewer foods.
Instead cooking black beans and lentils just cook one and use it in place of both. Instead of cooking plain brown rice, Mexican Rice and quinoa choose one, but make sure you cook enough for all of your meals.
2. Have Foods Prepped.
You may be wondering, isn’t’ the purpose of once a week cooking to only cook once? Yes, however some foods like beans and grains take a while to cook. If you do this ahead of time you can knock an hour or more off of your cooking time.
3. Skip Difficult Recipes.
The lasagna recipe I made isn’t really difficult but it is a multi-step recipe that takes a lot of time. Replace it with a pasta dish instead and you’ll save a lot of time.
Do you batch cook or do once a week cooking? I’m considering creating a short batch cooking eCourse if there is enough interest.