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Old 12-20-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
Charles Hwang
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Cooking for the week

I know I've read before that some people do all their cooking on a single night before the week starts e.g. typically Sunday.

I'm curious about the finer details about that --

Do you basically cook all your meats and accessories (vegetables or whatever) and then store them in a tupperware and nuke them up later in the week and whip up a quick side salad with it or do you literally cook every aspect of every meal on that Sunday?
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Cooking for the week

What's the menu and how much time do you have? A pot of stew will reheat well, while a salad will tend to get soggy by the end of the week. For a stirfry, most of the work is in the chopping; the actual cooking only takes a few minutes. There's no single answer for all situations.

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Old 12-20-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
Joe Bernard
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Re: Cooking for the week

I cook a bunch of meat whenever I am low, if it happens to be on sunday than so be it. I either cook as much as my crockpot can hold (usually like 6-7 pounds) or roast a bunch of ribs in the oven. Vegetables get made the day of, right before the meal; I don't mind eating them cold but prefer them hot.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:15 PM   #4
David Harvison
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Re: Cooking for the week

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bernard View Post
I cook a bunch of meat whenever I am low, if it happens to be on sunday than so be it. I either cook as much as my crockpot can hold (usually like 6-7 pounds) or roast a bunch of ribs in the oven. Vegetables get made the day of, right before the meal; I don't mind eating them cold but prefer them hot.
This is what I do as well.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:22 PM   #5
Charles Hwang
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Re: Cooking for the week

Hmm.. maybe I'll try preparing stews and stuff all at the beginning of the week but for most dishes just cook the meat, and then slice/dice any vegetables I forsee in the week that day as well..

I can't believe I'm going to have to start making a menu for myself.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:25 PM   #6
Andrew Thompson
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Re: Cooking for the week

As an example, yesterday, we made a big pot of pumpkin chile, and cooked a whole chicken in the pressure cooker.

I also roasted about 6 or 7 good sized sweet potatoes.

Went to the farmer's market to pick up veggies, and then Trader Joe's for the rest.

Made a menu for the week that will use leftover pulled pork we did in the slow cooker on Friday, left over chile, and uses the chicken a couple of times.

For each meal we will just cook up some veggies, and/or use the sweet potatoes to go with it.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:28 PM   #7
Andrew Thompson
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Re: Cooking for the week

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Originally Posted by Charles Hwang View Post
I can't believe I'm going to have to start making a menu for myself.
To me, making a menu seemed like more work in the beginning, but in the end it winds up being less work because you don't have to really think about meal planning the rest of the week.

If I could eat the same things over and over, day in and day out, it would be even easier. However, my wife and I, are both food geeks, enjoy great food, and probably make it a bit more complicated than we really need to sometimes.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:38 PM   #8
James Chu
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Re: Cooking for the week

I tried cooking for the whole week on Sundays and found that I really didn't care for chicken that had sat in the fridge for a whole week. Further, I really prefer hot and recently cooked meats over reheated stuff.

That said, what I found to be easier is to prep food for 3-4 days at a time. Marinate, slice/dice, whatever.. pack all the prepped ingredients into baggies and tupperware. I find this to take up most of the time when making meals. The idea is that when I get home, I can quickly whip up the meal without much hassle.

For many dishes, the actual cooking time is fairly quick. Exceptions to that would be some cases of baking, stewing, braising, or roasting. However, for situations that require < 1 hr in the oven, if you preheat the oven the moment you get home, the general wait time wouldn't be as bad as if you had to prep the meal first and then had to wait for it to finish baking.

The plus side to prep first is that you can adjust the recipes on the fly if your tastes change for that night. Chicken stir fry can turn into a curried chicken by popping a can of coconut milk and adding spices. Meatloaf can turn into burgers and steaks can turn into fajitas.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:00 PM   #9
Yahya Kohgadai
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Re: Cooking for the week

on a related note.. would anyone care to give their opinion on microwaving on a regular basis?

Oh and as far as the original question, I cook 3-4 days ahead of time. The mean reason is I just don't have big enough pots and pans. That and it's definitely different cooking in higher volumes than lower ones [at least w/what I make].
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:50 PM   #10
Foster Karcha
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Re: Cooking for the week

Charles,

I cook a complete week of meals using the Zone system. I stick with same breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks for the week, and then devise a new set of meals for next week. Because of my living situation, I buy the groceries and prepare the meals on one day (usually Saturday), freeze in an individual container for each meal, and then begin consuming them on Monday. Snacks and lunches are sometimes left unfrozen, or unprepared, because they take less time or I am in the field and cannot reheat them.

Consider that the preparation and cooking time is not significantly increased by the amount of food you prepare per meal, but is greatly increase by the number of meals you prepare individually. Using this system, I spend at most 3 hours purchasing the food and preparing, and more usually a maximum of 2 hours. At 2 hours and 5 meals per day, that's less than 4 minutes per meal. Compare this to 10 minutes to over an hour for each meal cooked individually and you get a great time savings.

Yahya,

I don't have a problem -- or scientific basis for my opinion -- with microwaving, and I rely greatly on it. Some folks prefer to use the tupperware only as containers and reheat the food on a proper plate, but I have not qualms about reheating in plastic.
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