Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Batch Cooking

I've never been organized enough to have a weekly menu planned out.  At most, we come up with four meals that we're going to make throughout the week, when we create our grocery list.  The rest of the meals are either leftovers, something from the freezer or something simple like breakfast for dinner or grilled cheese.  But, realistically, this plan doesn't always pan out well.  Often, I am okay with R's meal idea, in theory, and we buy groceries for it. But, when R wants to make it for tonight's supper, I don't actually want to have another random lentil dish.  

When a friend mentioned having a batch cooking day, I was eager to join in.  My freezer has been a bit barren lately.  I think it's because it has been so cold here and most of the foods that I freeze are cold weather foods.  So, they're getting eaten up pretty quickly.  

Three of us got together.  Since we all have kids around the same age, we knew we couldn't do a marathon session, so we kept it moderate and made triple recipes of four dishes (took about 3.5 hours): lasagne, taco soup, slow cooker ribs and butter chicken.  

The lasagna was made according to how my friend usually makes it.  I won't write out the recipe, but want to make note of the differences so that I can remember it down the line if we end up really liking this approach.  She uses a very thick meat sauce.  She also only puts cheeses on the top layer.  Then she  uses a full container of cottage cheese and adds two eggs to the cottage cheese for a creamier consistency. 

I also need to remember to cook the ribs at 400 for 15 minutes on each side before putting the slow cooker on low for 6 hours.  I can also put the ribs back in the oven after slow cooking if I want things to be more caramelized.

Here's some of the math. It total, we spent $174 on the food.  From that, we got:

9 - 8X8 lasagna (estimated three meals/tray since the tray isn't very deep) = 27 portions
6 - slow cooker ribs (estimated three meals -- one rack per bag) = 18 portions
various container of butter chicken (6 portions given to each person) = 18 portions
various containers of taco soup (6 portions per person) = 18 portions

Total = 81 portions (27 each)
Overall cost/person = $54
Overall Cost/portion = $2.15

I think that's a pretty decent cost considering that each portion has meat.  The taco soup was particularly cheap.  I got all of the ingredients for $25 (already had the spices) -- so about $1.40/portion.


1 comment:

That Girl said...

Seeing that makes me wish I had a bigger freezer! I barely have room for non-batch cooking!