The second week of each month I host a group called Healthy Cravings. The meeting is an opportunity for people who are interested in eating healthier to get a peek at the Plant-Based Diet and see how good it can taste. Each month I have a different theme but this month I’m going to talk to them about Meal Planning and Batch Cooking.
I focus on eating “healthy” by including more beans, grains, veggies, etc. Omnivores are welcome and feel very comfortable. I also strive to accommodate food allergies at every event, sometimes having 3 variations of the same dish.
It also happens to be Spring Break this week so I’ll be busier than normal. Batch cooking will come in handy this week. Since you probably can’t be here for Healthy Cravings I’ll attempt to give you a taste of what it’s like in person. I only wish I could convey the laughter, stories and fun we have each month.
Batch Cooking Meal Plan Possibilities
This isn’t a really a Meal Plan but I think it’s a tool to help you make your own plan.
Beans: Black Beans, White Beans, Lentils
Grains: Rice, Quinoa, Oats, Tortillas
Veggies: Carrots, Red Bell Peppers, Onions, Tomatoes, Jalapenos, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Spinach, Romaine, Cabbage
Fruit: Apples, Oranges, Lemons, Bananas, Pears
Other: Tamari, Sun Butter, Agave/Maple Syrup, Pasta
These are typical ingredients in my kitchen. I plan to cook beans, rice, and potatoes ahead of time. I haven’t decided if I’ll have veggies precooked or if we will do it in the class. It will depend on how many more RSVPs I get. I want to show my attendees how easy it can be to eat well.
Meals Based On Ingredients Above
Bean and Grain Bowls (tons of varieties)
Bean Burritos or Veggie Bean Burritos
Taco Potatoes using any of the taco varieties just mentioned
Broccoli topped Baked Potatoes or Steamed Veggies on Baked Potatoes
Veggie Fajitas or Veggie Fajita Bowl or Veggie Fajita Salad
Black Bean Quesadillas or Veggie Quesadillas or Veggie Quesadilla Salad
Bean and Potato Burritos or Bean and Potato Quesadillas
Veggie Wraps or Salads
Baked Sweet Potatoes or Baked Fruity Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Apple Crisp or Pear Crisp
I will not be cooking all of these meals. Instead I’ll show them how many different meals can be made from a fairly short list of ingredients. I didn’t even mention all of the incredible soups that could be made. Many more combinations can be made from these ingredients, these just came to mind first. I prefer to keep it simple. I might use rice in Bean and Grain Bowl, a Burrito, a Stir Fry, with Steamed Veggies, or in a soup. A pot of black beans could be used in a Bean and Grain Bowl, a Burrito, on a bed of rice, in a salad, in a soup, on a baked potato, well you get the picture.
I call this batch cooking because I’m not cooking everyday. I’ll cook large portions of beans and grains and perhaps some of the veggies or potatoes and just reheat them, in different combinations throughout the week. It is common for me to cook about 8 cups of rice, use some the first night then I store 6 cups to use in various meals. If I’m making a meal that uses a lot of rice, like a stir fry I will cook extra or plan to use other grains for other meals thought out the week.
What would your Meal Plan look like? Did I leave off a must have ingredient?