Hiii guys :)
I’m really excited to be writing this post today, but it is a question that I get A LOT… like all the time. Bulk cooking and prep for the week. It’s one of my favorite routines (just ask Joe!) During the summer (especially the scorching summer we had earlier this year), I rarely cook. It’s all about salads and grilling. But now that the weather is cool, I get to start my Sunday prep routine back up – weeeee!
The thing about bulk cooking – it initially seems like a pain in the ass, right? Cooking everything at once and portioning things out and cutting things up, rah rah rah. Sure, it sounds daunting, but if you do it right… it can quickly become one of your favorite things, too. I promise. SO. I wanted to share my Sunday bulk cooking tips here, because I am asked all the time how I manage to do it… plus, I want to make it a little less daunting.
Why cook in bulk and prep? To have everything readily available during the busy week. There’s nothing better than having cut up fruit all ready to roll when you need something sweet, or a big bowl of soup to just warm up quickly after a long day of work. Or my personal favorite – lunch for everyday of the week so you don’t have to spend too much time thinking about it every single night after dinner as you pack lunch for school/work. It just makes life easier.
Shop first thing in the morning (or the day before!) I actually do my grocery shopping first thing on Saturday morning. Joe and I love this routine – we hit a couple different places to get the best bang for our buck. Toss everything in the fridge and forget about it until Sunday morning. The reason I do this is because I love to get up early on Sundays (early bird club for life) and get right to it while in my pajamas. So, you know… I am officially settled in for the morning and comfy while I prep.
Go in with a plan. You need to have a plan before you start, so jot down your meal ideas beforehand. This will definitely help before you go shopping, too. List out your meals, any ingredients you may need, snacks, whatever.
Make a large fruit salad. I cut up all my fruit for a fruit salad (or sometimes individually). Fruit is my #1 source for sugar and for those times when my sweet tooth is dyyyyying for something. This is particularly helpful for me. Lately I’ve been prepping up: cantaloupe, mango, and pineapple.
Freeze some grapes. Just another idea if you are a fruit lover like me. I always buy grapes and freeze the whole batch. My favorite snack at night!
Freeze bananas. While you’re freezing fruit, you should also cut up some bananas and freeze in a bag for smoothies or “nice cream.”
Slice veggies and store. My favorites to cut up are carrots, celery, and red peppers. I store in an airtight container so that they are ready to be noshed on or dipped in hummus at any moment.
Make a big pot of soup. Soup is so very easy and comforting during these next few months. It’s probably one of my favorite parts of winter. Whatever your favorite soup may be, go on and make it. It will most likely keep well for the entire week. My personal go-to’s are turmeric soup, escarole soup, and green goddess soup (I’ll share that recipe very soon!)
Make a big batch of sautéed greens (and beans!). If you are anything like me, you like to get your greens in. Simply add olive oil and garlic to a pan and cook down escarole, spinach, kale, swiss chard, broccoli rabe, or collard greens. If you want a boost in protein, add a can of beans or chickpeas. This is my literal go to every weekend! My personal favorite is escarole and beans. Find what yours is, and make a habit to prep it each week. It happens to pair nicely with grains, so…
Cook a batch of your favorite grain. Brown rice, barley, millet, faro, freekeh, couscous, quinoa… whatever your choice. I usually switch it up each week to keep from getting bored. My favorites in rotation are: brown rice, barley, quinoa, and freekeh. This is especially great for dinners each night because I will usually cook/sauté some veggies up and pair it with a side.
Bake or cook your protein. My personal favorite is always a big pot of lentils on the stove. Season and store in an airtight container and you can add protein to any meal. I will also either bake tofu bites or toasted tempeh. Same situation – just store in an airtight container for the week!
Steam some veggies. My personal favorites are broccoli or cauliflower. Steam, cool, and store. Perfect for midday snacks during the week or to heat up as a side. You could also cut up a bunch of veggies and roast them. I prefer steam, but I switch it up all the time to avoid getting bored.
Throw on some music. Didn’t expect to see this tip on here, right? Well, it makes a hell of a difference. I make killer playlist based on my mood and it keeps me singing and dancing in the kitchen while I get down to business. TAKE THIS STEP VERY SERIOUS. MUSIC MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
A mug of _____. Tea? Coffee? Fill in the blank. When you are up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday and bulk cooking, it’s nice to have your favorite mug and warm beverage by your side. I prefer green tea.
So, there you have it. Plenty of tips, tricks, and ideas that may make Sunday bulk cooking easier (and much more fun) than you’d think. I hope some of my own personal meal ideas and habits inspire you to try something new. Of course, if you are not into what I cook in bulk on the weekend, simply sub out for what you’d like to have during the week. The good news is, you can do whatever you want. You will totally find your groove as you go and figure out which items are your staples.
What are some of your bulk cooking tips and tricks? I would love to hear more about your routines… I can always use a little bit of inspiration.
I hope you have the most wonderful day. xx bianca