After the blur of the summer, it is time for me to start getting organised for the coming months. A big part of that is restocking my pile of homemade ready meals.
As my working hours are all over the place, I don’t always have time to cook in the evening and sometimes I am just so tired that I just can’t be asked. However, I don’t like eating too much processed food. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy junk food from time to time but I certainly wouldn’t want to eat it all the time.
My solution? Batch cooking. Every so often I spend a couple of days in the kitchen and I cook large quantities of one or two dishes. I then divide them in single portions and freeze.
It’s a great system that works for me as I never know how many people are going to be eating on any given day. It also helps with students who don’t eat some foods: I fancy a nice pork roast with yummy crackling? My muslim students can still have a nice, hot meal.
Another advantage is that it works out very cheap.
Yesterday, I made a huge batch of Chili. I used mince I had bought on offer and put in the freezer (about £3), red kidney beans (about £4), 4 tins of rinsed baked beans (£1), 5 tins of tomatoes (£1.50), 1 bag of frozen onions (80p) and some dark chocolate (17p). I already had all the spices.
For just over £10 I managed to make 24 servings of around 350g each. Add some rice and you have a tasty meal for less than 50p per person.
I’m happy with that.