Cook for a whole week in a day and free your passion for cooking from time limits
You have quality ingredients available. You know how to cook them. You have a well equipped kitchen. You know the rules for cooking delicious dishes that are healthy at the same time. You are really Serious About Food. Yet you do not always have the culinary experience that you would like and maintain a healthy diet every day because you lack the most precious resource: time.
Recognise yourself in this description? Don’t worry, you’re most definitely not alone. Who hasn’t had to prepare meals in a short time for themselves or for the family such as during or after school, work or sport? The good news is that there is a cheaper and more realistic solution than going to a restaurant every day. It’s called prepping.
Prepping (or batch cooking) was inspired by the needs of the busiest people. The concept is to spend 2 or 3 hours one day for preparation only to prepare many different dishes to be eaten during the week. It is an excellent way to save time, and to eat healthily, maybe even preparing portions to eat at work or while you are travelling. For the preparation, choose the day that you have some free time. Generally, it is over the weekend, but any time you can dedicate fully to cooking will do, without having to rush.
Begin with the shopping
Naturally, to achieve the best results a little organisation is needed, beginning with the shopping. First of all make a list of what you have in the fridge or pantry, it will help you find inspiration and, above all, to make the best use of what you have before it goes over the use by date and, at the same time, to find space for the food you will cook. Then, try to think of a list of dishes you would like to cook, make a list of the ingredients you need and, finally, go and do the shopping.
The right tools Now you have all the ingredients and there is a lot of work to do but don’t be scared. Basically cooking is your passion, isn’t it? To save time and improve the quality, get help with the right tools. There is a fantastic, almost magical solution. Your Stand Mixer KitchenAid can become your real “Culinary Center” thanks to its many accessories which allow you to optimise many different preparations, from kneading to whipping and from mincing to chopping up the vegetables.
What to cook?
There are no fixed rules; obviously much depends on your preferences, your culinary traditions and level of cooking. Sure, preparing large quantities of cereals (rice, quinoa, hulled wheat, couscous) in advance can be a good idea for using them in many different ways during the week. The same applies for vegetables: cook them, boil them, slow cook them in turn can seem easy but when you think about the time needed to clean, peel and slice them you end up leaving them in their compartment. Instead, thanks to the food processor or spiral cutter, you can prepare many of them all together in the form and type of cooking you prefer.
For example, you can prepare large quantities of vegetable or meat broth with no problems which you can then freeze or keep in the fridge to keep them available at any time. Or you could enjoy yourself with soups of vegetables, cereals and legumes. You only have to cook and blend and they will be ready to heat and eat on any day of the week. A special idea? Try carrot and ginger soup, with a Cook Processor is even easier!
You can also test yourself with homemade pasta, it cooks faster than the dry types and will surely give you more satisfaction. Thanks to the special pasta accessories you can transform your basic dough into all forms such as tagliatelle, spaghetti and lasagne. You can also make filled pasta such as tortellini, ravioli and crespelle.
Another idea is to prepare muffins or pies, both sweet and savoury. They will last the whole week and are very versatile for eating at various times. Homemade sauces can also give you great satisfaction. If you like hummus you will discover with pleasure how easy and cheap it is to make in large quantities to accompany your dishes or as a quick and healthy snack. Meat can also be cooked in new ways thanks to batch cooking. For example, have you ever tried chilli con carne? You can prepare all the ingredients in advance and quickly combine them with mince meat. Or make delicious meatballs combining cheese and vegetables. The list is almost endless. Stews of various types or boiled meats are preparations that require hours of preparation but can also last a number of days if they are kept correctly.
Preservation Let’s finish with some advice about preservation. To achieve a professional result, the perfect ally is KitchenAid Chef Touch: a stainless steel column that combines a vacuum machine, a steam oven, and a shock freezer. The KitchenAid Vacuum Machine is equipped with an intuitive LED control panel that simplifies the packing operation. Simply put the ingredients or your cooked food into the appropriate KitchenAid bags and press the "Bag Cycle" command, otherwise, if you prefer the jars, select "Container Cycle". These accessories are durable and vacuum sealed, washable in the dishwasher and usable in the steam oven which, if necessary, will complete the preparation cycle in a healthy and delicious way. If you do not finalize your recipe immediately, you can shock freeze the food to preserve it longer.
Thanks to these few hours of commitment you will be able to enjoy great dishes all week and widen the horizons of your cuisine with quick and delicious dishes for the whole family!