Vegetable Prep for Bulk Cooking

Taking once a month cooking (OAMC) to a whole new level. Five large families, two months worth of food and one day of cooking equals lots of fun, lots of food and an amazing decrease in my kitchen work load for  the next 2  months. I am not taking credit for this idea. I’m a newcomer to once a month cooking the large family way, but I’ve been blessed with friends who have a lot of experience in this department.

The benefits of mega once a month cooking are many:

  • It saves  money. We can purchase food in such large quantities that we get bulk discounts even above the normal bulk warehouse store prices.  (Main dishes to serve our family of 12 generally run around $5.)
  • It saves time. Each family does some of the preparation for cook day, shopping, sorting, browning ground beef, cooking chicken, etc. and then we spend about 6-7 hours cooking, but when we are finished each family has enough meals to last for 2 months.
  • It saves mental energy. Menu planning consists of picking a meal from the freezer.
  • It is fun. The children get to help, play with their friends or just hang out. Dad’s usually wash dishes and put recipes together and the mom’s talk (of course).
  • Too many advantages more to list.

This cook day our family’s early assignment was the vegetable prep. Twenty-four pounds of chopped onions and comparative amounts of zucchini, celery, eggplant, green peppers, broccoli, etc. later and we are  ready for cook day bright and early Saturday morning.

I’m so happy that our freezer will once again be brimming with food. This week was a little rough in the dinner department.

And in related news, I thought you might want to look at the monster carrots we prepped yesterday. The carrot in the middle is a  regular sized carrots for perspective.

monster carrots

You may also be interested in my post Bulk Cooking in Pictures where I explain a bit more about the process of cooking on a grand scale.

Check out Joy’s fruit and veggie prep for healthy pregnancy snacks. It makes me want to be pregnant again, so that I can practice eating more healthy snacks. Oh wait, I could start right now.

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7 Responses to Vegetable Prep for Bulk Cooking
  1. Joy
    April 3, 2009 | 10:46 pm

    Wow- did you get those carrots from your own garden? I just did a post on cleaning and cutting fruits/veggies! Very cool! I love the idea to do a big cooking thing on day a month!!!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    Joy,
    The carrots did not come from our garden, I wish. We planted carrots last year, but…

    Kimarie
    I have done once-a-month cooking in the past and liked it, but it was very difficult for me to get everything done with only small children. This is so different from the once-a-month method that I used, in my opinion much easier. Today we ended up with over 50 meals and only spent 6 hours in the kitchen. When I was doing once-a-month I would spend 12 or more hours non-stop in the kitchen and only had 30 meals at the end of the day. So in this case, many hands do make light work. It is also a fun activity to share with friends.

    [Reply]

  2. Kimarie
    April 3, 2009 | 11:55 pm

    I just love once-a-month cooking! I got a book on it the first year Dave and I were married and we loved it – back when our meals could fit in gallon ziplocs! Just haven’t done it for a while. I never thought of pairing up with other families to do it – I’ll have to talk to my other large-family-friends… Even so, we could definitely do it ourselves once a month with all the helpers I have. Would you mind sharing meal names/recipes? It would be so easy to put those recipes into Cook’n and then multiply to get the amounts and shopping lists for what we need.

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  3. Kimarie
    April 4, 2009 | 9:52 pm

    Yes, I remember the 12-hour non-stop days! That was the reason I never really got rolling with it. How I plan to tackle this right off the bat is to start making multiples of things that freeze well, and to get a stock built up of chicken and beef stock, cooked meat, chopped onions, etc., to help things go faster. This is my next “project” after all the decluttering we’ve been doing. It sure would have been nice to have frozen meals during that…

    [Reply]

  4. Kim
    April 5, 2009 | 1:17 am

    That is such a great idea! Nice looking carrots! :0)

    [Reply]

  5. Anita Chamblee
    April 5, 2009 | 9:17 am

    I was sure there would be pictures of all the food you prepared yesterday. Do you have any recipes you can post? I am shopping tomorrow with an eye to some more batch cooking in the next couple of weeks.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    Anita,

    Pictures are coming soon.

    I am hoping to make a copy of all the recipes that we prepared yesterday (22 total), available soon. We did around 5-7 brand new recipes and several of them need to be re-written in order to work more smoothly with bulk freezer cooking. Also, since we haven’t eaten them yet I can’t vouch for how they taste.

    More details to follow.

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

    [Reply]

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