How about we start batch cooking? There are so many benefits to this method: pre-preparing several dishes at the same time means you save time and it stops you wondering 'What should I make for dinner tonight?' during the week. But how do you go about it? It is very simple, but just takes a little organisation, as you will see when looking at these 5 recipes that make up a week's meals:
Recipe for day 1: Ratatouille, quinoa and chickpeas with paprika
Recipe for day 2: Yeast dough tart topped with Mediterranean vegetables and pesto rosso
Recipe for day 3: Sweet potato stuffed with quinoa, broccoli and peanut satay sauce
Recipe for day 4: Pasta salad with roasted Mediterranean vegetables
Recipe for day 5: Salmon and broccoli shepherd's pie
Preparing and cooking vegetables is a step which is often very time-consuming. Several of the recipes provided are based on Mediterranean vegetables, so it may be a good idea to prepare them before making the actual meals (on day 0). The recipes for days 1 and 2 require vegetables to be cooked in a pan, while the recipe for day 4 suggests roasting them. It may therefore be appropriate to cut up the vegetables for these 3 recipes at the same time, then separate them to cook them in parallel (in a frying pan for the recipes for days 1 and 2, and in the oven for the recipe for day 4). It will also be possible on day 0 to cook the potatoes for day 5's recipe.
For the pan-fried vegetables (recipes for days 1 and 2):
- 2 aubergines
- 3 courgettes
- 1 green pepper
- 2 red peppers
- 2 onions
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the oven-baked vegetables in day 4's recipe:
- 1 courgette
- 1 aubergine
- 1 yellow pepper
- 300 g cherry tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper
For the potatoes in day 5's recipe:
- 3 potatoes (about 550 g)
For the vegetables in the recipes for days 1, 2 and 4: Peel and slice the onions. Rinse the courgettes and aubergines, and cut them into large cubes. Rinse the peppers, peel them if you would like to. (Place them under the grill in your oven and wait until the skin blisters to remove it more easily). Remove the seeds from the peppers and cut them into strips or cubes.
For the vegetables in the recipes for days 1 and 2: Saut√© your onions over a medium heat in a non-stick frying pan for 5 minutes, stirring regularly with olive oil. Then place them in a bowl. Then fry the peppers, courgettes and aubergines in turn, separately for 5 minutes each, then place them in the salad bowl when cooked. If the vegetables tend to stick to the pan, feel free to add a little water or olive oil as they cook. Leave to cool and store in the fridge.
For the vegetables in the recipe for Day 4: Preheat your oven to 180¬∞C. Take a large baking dish or the drip pan in your oven, lined with greaseproof paper. Place the courgette, aubergine, yellow pepper, onion, garlic cloves and chopped cherry tomatoes on it. Add olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper to all the chopped vegetables in the baking dish or the drip pan and mix well. Cook for 1 hour, mixing every 15 minutes.
For the potatoes in day 5's recipe: Peel the potatoes and cut them into large pieces. Place them in a saucepan of salted water and cook them for 20 minutes after the water has boiled. You can also use the Curver Smart Microwave to steam cook them: place your potato pieces in a steamer, pour a little water up to the demarcation, close the lid and press the valve before starting your microwave to cook them for 8 minutes at maximum temperature. Set aside.