Cooking for one person has its pros and cons. For example, while it’s cheaper to cook for just myself, it’s time-consuming to plan a different meal each day of the week without wasting ingredients (and money). Therefore, I make one meal in bulk for the entire week. Here’s why:
1. It’s easy
I work a nine-to-five job. When I come home, I’m usually VERY hungry and exhausted. It’s almost effortless to grab a meal in the fridge, heat it up, and eat it within five minutes. This means more time to be lazy and watch cartoons in bed. Wahoo! Or, ya know, exercise or something.
2. It’s healthy
Lately, the words “easy” and “unhealthy” have become synonymous (think: fast food, microwavable frozen dinners, etc…). Making your food in bulk eliminates this confusion. For example, if I come home from work and I don’t have anything to eat, I’ll be more tempted to eat fast food, microwave a meal, or just chomp on some chips (I’ve been known to eat many chip dinners in my day). However, if I take time on Sunday to plan a healthy tasty meal in bulk, I’ll happily eat it every night without overeating or snacking.
3. It’s cheap
When you buy groceries for one meal each week, you’re more likely to use all of those ingredients in one sitting (at least the perishable ones). This eliminates food going bad the next week or getting lost in the back of the pantry. I cringe thinking of the times I’ve thrown away a pound of chicken after accidentally neglecting it in the fridge for a week.
4. You can switch things up
Cooking a meal in bulk doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself to the same meal every night. A few weeks ago, I made meatloaf; a simple meal that can quickly become boring. It doesn’t have to be this way! One night I ate it with mashed potatoes, another night with veggies, and another night as a sandwich on French brioche. Try making a different sauce for it each night. Use your imagination – this is the time to get creative.
5. You have time to experiment with your food
If I don’t cook my meal in bulk one week and have somehow managed to forego fast food or chip dinner, I’ll usually rush through a recipe because I’m so hungry after work. That’s no fun. Wouldn’t you rather take the time you need on Sunday night to experiment with your dishes? Not to mention, some dishes require research. For example, I made spicy chicken sausage with gnocchi this week where the recipe called for the sausage to be sliced into coins. If I wouldn’t have been in such a rush, I could’ve frozen the sausage, cut it up, and then thawed it for my dish. Instead, I cut it when it was soft and it came out in lumps. Don’t get me wrong, it was still delicious, but it was kind of a bummer and could’ve been avoided.
Here are a few ideas for some healthy, easy meals to make in bulk for your week:
- BBQ Shredded Chicken
- Slow-Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Slow-Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Irish Stew and Mashed Potatoes
- Korean Beef Bulgogi
- Gnocchi Skillet with Sausage and Tomatoes