In a bid to get myself organised and back on track with eating healthily, I’ve been taking on the #cookonceeattwice challenge with Colmans. Since I’ve been on maternity leave, I’ve become absolutely rubbish at eating my lunch. I just forget or I don’t find the time to sit down and make myself something decent to eat. I’ve tried to buy in items of food for lunch that take a matter of minutes to put together and cook but it’s not helped, I still skip lunch far too often.
So, when the lovely folk at Colmans asked me to take part in their challenge, I thought it was an ideal time to get myself back on track and batch cook up some dinners which we can eat as a family and then again for lunch the next day or whenever time was against me. Makes sense really.
Colmans say: “wasting food costs families up and down the country money and has an impact on the environment too. Bulk cooking is a simple way to reduce this, as it can help with meal planning and provides a solution for those mealtimes when you just don’t have the time or inspiration to cook. So join us in making your family’s favourite dishes go further and save yourself time and money in the process!”
I was sent a selection of packet mixes to try out and I was so pleased to see some of my favourite meals in there especially Sausage Casserole and Chilli Con Carne.
This week we’ve made a start in cooking up a couple of the meals and as there’s only two of us plus Little Mr (who we’re weaning) there is more than enough to go round so we’ll be cooking once and earing perhaps two or three times.
The sausage casserole used up 8 sausages and a handful of vegetables. It made up a great batch of casserole so we ate half the batch (2 sausages each) and froze the rest into two single portions. This is ideal for when hubby comes home late from Parents Evenings and he wants a nice, hot meal and all we need to do is serve it with mashed potato or some doorstep wedges of bread and butter.
We’ve also cooked up a batch of Chilli Con Carne using the packet mix and this has made us meals for the next few days. I had a big bowl full of chilli for lunch yesterday whilst Little Mr napped and we’ve got Chilli on the menu this evening. It’s great to know we’ve used all the fresh ingredients and made enough meals to last us a few days.
Next week we’ll be buying the ingredients to make up the Chicken and Beef Casserole recipes and I’m actually really looking forward to eating yummy food that both me and hubby enjoy. It’s reminded me that actually batch cooking food is a great way to use up all the fresh vegetables in the cupboard and will save us money we don’t have looking for quick alternative dinners.
I go back to work next month and so I will want to spend my free time in the early evenings with my hubby and my Son, not slaving away in the kitchen for hours. I’ll definitely cook up in batches and freeze plenty of meals so I’ve got more time on my hands. We just need to remember to get the portions out of the freezer in the morning.
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.
Emma Shilton, is a UK Family Lifestyle blogger from the West Midlands, UK, Emma is Mummy to two little boys; Olly aged 5 and Freddie born in January 2018. The blog follows their adventures as they capture life as a family of four.