Getting the family involved in cooking is easier to do on a weekend afternoon than on a weeknight between martial arts class, spending time outdoors after the long day in the classroom, and forgotten “I need 50 things for the 50th day of kindergarten tomorrow!” Bulk cooking is an efficient way to use this quality family time for week-long benefits.
When I just have to pull pre-made meat and veggies out of the freezer and then make a side dish, we’re more likely to eat a good variety of veggies and protein all week long. Because we’re not on GAPS, I often serve rice, potatoes, or occasionally gluten free muffins with these. If you’re on GAPS, these recipes are still GAPS legal, you’ll just eat more of them.
I’ve reduced to just bulk cooking meat and veggies on Sunday afternoons once or twice a month, and I make a gallon of yogurt some other time during the week most weeks. Stocking the freezer with coconut flour waffles, grain free scones, and the fridge with lactoferments is helpful when we’re especially busy (see my Grain Free Freezer Cooking Guide for a whole setup like this including detailed prep instructions, reheating instructions, and tips to save dishes), but right now I don’t mind making breakfasts and lunches, it’s just the dinners I appreciate a little help with.
This is what we cooked in 3 hours:
(dishes listed below serve approx 4)
3 lbs of veggie-packed meatballs to use on their own, in spaghetti squash bakes, and in soup (3-4 meals)
4.5 lbs of crockpot pulled pork I used a boneless cut, and divided this into thirds to put in the freezer before cooking. I have a small crockpot that is perfect for not having a ton of leftovers. (4-5 meals)
4 lbs baked skin-on chicken thighs, seasoned with sea salt and lemon pepper and then sliced. I add this to the kids’ lunches often, with mustard to dip. We usually eat this with kale on cooking day, don’t substitute skinless chicken, the skin prevents the chicken from drying out. (3-4 meals)
1 gallon (4 quarts) whole milk yogurt
4 lbs roasted carrots with cumin and cinnamon. Carrots are inexpensive, sweet, and a family favorite. (4 meals)
1 pound kale, cooked with bacon drippings, lemon, and coconut milk. We all need more greens in our diet, and having them pre-cooked helps. (4 meals)
1 bunch celery with 1 package mushrooms, sliced, and cooked in stock. (2 meals)
1 recipe Superhero Gummies for sleep and immunity (servings to last all week)
If there was more time (my max is 3 hours, with a generous hour allowed for after the 3 for cleanup):
- 4 lbs roasted beets. Beets are so good for you. If you’re peeling and turning your hands purple for one meal, you may as well do a bunch.
- 4 lbs of just the chicken and sauce from this recipe for Toasted Sesame Chicken Stir Fry. It’s easy to heat up the chicken and add veggies. I cheat with organic frozen veggies – whatever looks good- from Costco.
Having the freezer stocked not only keeps you from hitting takout or patching together something last minute, but it also keeps produce from rotting in the back of the fridge because you forgot to use it.
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