Melissa’s Batch Cooking Recipes and Tips for Busy People

 
 
When time isn’t on your side, it can feel quite overwhelming to keep yourself nourished and cared for so here are some tips & recipes you can batch cook or prep when short on time or in need of some love.

Batch cooking is such a saving grace for busy times and befriending your freezer is a game changing tip for new mums, busy parents, times when you’re sick or recuperating or you’re caring for others; you can really give the gift of care through nourishing and simple food.

Here are 6 tips for prepping your food to help you in a busy period:

  1. Boil eggs, lots of them!  These are always a great base for a salad or throw them into a noodle soup or just pack for an on the go breakfast or snack.
  2. Roast some veg. Whatever veg you have lying around, chop it all up and roast with some garlic and oil. It’s great on it’s own or mixed into quinoa or with leftover chicken.
  3. Cook some quinoa, lentils or noodles. Quinoa keeps really well and is great mixed in with veg, a leftover curry or even with berries and compote in the morning. Soba noodles also work really well cold, just make sure you rinse them under lots of cold water & drizzle them in some oil after they’re cooked.
  4. Make a pesto, dressing or dip. Mine changes all the time depending on what I’ve got lying around, so blend up whatever you’ve got- it makes a lovely addition to any dish. Try this herby drizzle which instantly makes everything delicious. 
  5. Prep something sweet. No matter what, I’ve always got Happiness Balls in a glass jar in my fridge (recipe below). Perfect for hungry visitors and to take out with you. Or you could prep some cookie dough and freeze it so when you want a cookie or have any visitors, you can pop it in the oven for the ultimate warm gooey delight!
  6. Double or triple your soups, stews, curries or whatever one-pot meal you’re cooking, then divide up leftover portions into containers and label and date them so you don’t forget what’s in them. If you don’t have a saucepan that’s big enough, you can divide your ingredients between two medium pans. (Recipes below)
 

Batch cook Recipes for Busy Lives:

 
 

Store Cupboard Kale & Bean Soup
This Kale & Bean Soup is a simple store cupboard hearty soup in just 20 minutes & is also vegan if you use coconut oil instead of ghee. Any dried herbs would work well here, if you grow some winter ones like rosemary or thyme, add a few fragrant sprigs. Swap the kale for spinach, chard or any leafy greens.
Get the recipe.

 
minestrone melissa hemsley
 

Monday Minestrone
Minestrone is such childhood comfort for me. Here’s my recipe inspired by the OG Italian minestrone but it’s always a bit different each time, depending on what I have that needs using and it always has cheese on top. I like making it on a ‘zapped out day’ as it’s easy to get a good dose of veg in and it’s hearty and chunky. Make extra to reheat for tomorrow.
Get the recipe.

 
 

Quick Coconut Lentils
Pickled onions makes everything better and this is a fast, cheap and cheerful dinner. Red lentils are tender in less than 20 minutes so they are always on standby at mine. Pop any leftovers in the freezer so you’ve always got something lovely to look forward to.
Get the recipe

 
 

Cosy Lentil Veg Chilli
Lentil Veg Chilli is a cosy crowd pleaser for all the family. It’s easy to make, simple to adapt, good for batch cooking & it’s easily transportable in a hot flask or transfer to a big mug for warming up with. This is a great one to add in any pre-roasted veggies or leftovers.
Get the recipe.

 

Super Speedy Meals for Busy Lives:

 
kale pea food waste melissa hemsley
 

Cashew Kale Pasta Sauce
This Cashew, Kale, Garlic & Pea Pasta Sauce is the ultimate feel-good, comforting and creamy green sauce. It’s smooth and creamy from the nuts and makes for a lovely vegan pasta sauce. You can make this in advance and freeze it so that when a quick dinner of pasta calls, you can re-heat this and stir into your pasta.
Get the recipe.

 
no waste melissa hemsley
 

Cauliflower, Kale Noodles
 This is my go-to when I’ve got veg that needs using up, so do feel free so swap for broccoli, cabbage or any other greens you’ve got lying around that need some love. Add a fried egg on top or feel free to leave out if you want to minimise washing up. A delicious dish, ready in no time.
Get the recipe.

 
kale baked beans eggs melissa hemsley
 

One Pan Kale Baked Beany Eggs
This super simple and speedy one pan Kale baked eggs with black beans is a quick and cheerful bright green one pan brunch. For those days you think you have nothing to eat but a quick rummage through your cupboards and you can make something yummy in no time.
Get the recipe.

 

Sweet Snacking for Busy Lives:

 
tahini cookies melissa hemsley
 

Tahini Choc Chip Cookies
These cookies from my cookbook Eat Green are so easy and so delicious. The dough freezes well so double up and save half for a rainy day. Just defrost, then slice into portions before putting in the oven.
Get the recipe.

 
Banana Bites Melissa Hemsley
 

Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites
These are great to enjoy all summer long. They take minutes to make and then store in the freezer so you’ve got a little frozen snack to enjoy whenever you fancy.
Get the recipe.

 
happiness balls edible gifts
 

Happiness Balls
These choc truffles from my cookbook Eat Happy have only 5 ingredients and can be thrown together in a matter of moments. Great to have in the fridge to snack on or impress any last minute guests with.
Get the recipe.

For more recipes and tips, head to my website www.melissahemsley.com or keep up to date with me on Instagram @melissa.hemsley

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