One of the reasons Dani and I first started cooking together is the conundrum of big batch cooking. In theory it’s a good idea: you make a large quantity of a meal – say a soup, stew, or salad – at the beginning of the week to cut down on cooking time during the week. Just grab a portion of the dish and you’re set for lunch or dinner for the next five or six days. Are you beginning to see the flaw in this genius plan? You’re going to be eating the same thing, or some slight variation of the same thing, almost everyday for a week. Please examine Exhibit A, the photographic illustration of this very problem below.Exhibit A shows a salad of chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, and tuna that I quite enjoyed on Monday. Round 2 left me feeling like maybe I should have consulted a recipe for better ingredient pairings. By Thursday (Round 4) I was actively wishing my food ill, hoping I would find the salad moldy or otherwise contaminated. What kind of a way is that to think about your food? No way, no way at all.
So Dani and I often – when we get the timing right and come equipped with the right storage containers – share half of our big batch meals. I know Dani agrees this is excellent for at least three reasons:
- When you’re making food you know someone else will eat you try a little harder to make it taste good.
- Since you’re swapping meals with someone else, someone who probably has different favorite cookbooks, food blogs, and recipe inclinations, you get to try different recipes and food combinations you might not normally try yourself.
- Most importantly, you don’t have to eat boring boring chickpea salad four days in a row.
Do you do this? What do you make? I obviously need help in the salad-making department and if anyone else is going to eat my salads they’d probably be eternally grateful for your advice, too.