Cooking In Bulk

I love cooking. I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen and trying new recipes, and feeding Dan healthy, delicious meals is definitely one of the ways I show my love. Lately, though, cooking has become more of a chore than a passion. I’m really busy these days, and three nights a week I’m at work or class until 7pm, so cooking dinner after that elicits a big exasperated sigh more often than not. This week I’m trying out a new strategy meant to make my life much easier: cooking in bulk.

Yesterday Dan and I braved the grocery store (along with every other human on earth–seriously, why does everyone grocery shop on Sunday afternoon? It was awful!) to stock up on piles of vegetables and some other necessities. When I got home, I proceeded to do the following:

  • bake 7 sweet potatoes
  • steam a head of red cabbage, a couple pounds of broccoli, two green squashes, a bag of baby carrots, and a bunch of asparagus (obviously I had to steam them in waves).
  • While those were steaming, I chopped up veggies for salads to have on the side of dinners this week.
  • Once I finished my vegetable palooza, I made Dan 8 breakfast burritos to stick in the freezer (I got the idea from Iowa Girl Eats) that contained ham, cheddar, green pepper, red onion, mushroom, and garlic. Much tastier than the usual bowl of cereal he rushes to eat in the morning.
  • I then cooked a giant pot of brown rice and a giant pot of pinto beans.

All of this work took maybe two hours, and it will definitely save me tons of effort throughout the week. Meals will be a bit repetitive, but so delicious that I don’t mind. Lunches are the mixed, steamed veggies with rice and beans and a sweet potato on the side. Today I drizzled it with honey mustard (one tsp honey, on tsp dijon mustard. I’ve been putting it on everything, to the extent that I dreamt that I was grocery shopping and bought a honey bear as big as my torso. I need an intervention):
This meal was really tasty, and it was a relief to have on hand as I was running late today. I barely had time to wolf this giant plate of food down before running to class.

Dinner was just as delicious:
Herb Crusted Salmon
serves 2

2 4-ish oz salmon filets (mine are skinned and boned)
1 slice of wheat bread
3/4 cup parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
1.5 Tbsp dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 450˚. Put the bread, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until you have breadcrumbs. Divide the mustard between the two salmon filets (fresh or frozen, doesn’t matter. Mine were frozen), and then divide the breadcrumb mixture between the two. Bake until the fish reaches your desired temperature (I bake until I see 131˚, but cooking times seem to be hotly debated online). Mine took about 15-20 minutes from frozen.

On the side, I used my already prepped salad ingredients (red leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes, carrots, and mushrooms) to throw together a quick salad, and topped it with a horseradish dressing I tossed together on a whim. Here’s the approximate recipe:

Horseradish Dressing
serves 1-2

1 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
1/2 Tbsp mayo
horseradish to taste (I used about 1 tsp because I like it strong)
salt & pepper to taste

Then just mix it all up. I used a tiny bit of warm water to get the dressing more drizzley. This was enough for Dan and I to share because we were just having small side salads.

Such a good day of eats! Cooking in bulk is definitely making it super easy to eat obscene amounts of vegetables, which I like to do because it’s how I feel the best. It is something that I see myself continuing to do while I’m in school.

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