Bulk cooking recipes that are tasty, healthy and help you to stick to a budget

I have put together a selection of my favourite tried and tested recipes for you to cook up and enjoy throughout the week, and best of all with no added fuss and without breaking the bank.

 

 When you are tired from working and networking and travelling the last thing you feel like doing in the evening is knocking together an extravagant feast. I am a great believer in bulk cooking, firstly you can guarantee that will be something nutritious, balanced and tasty, and secondly it will save you a great deal of time during the week, removing the stress from planning, and preventing you from ‘munchie’ buying and spending even more money.

My mother taught me to cook, and I have taken these recipes with me to every city I have lived in, in part because these recipes are excellent for portioning out and storing in the freezer, so you can easily cook an entire week’s worth of food in an afternoon!

Just take note that as these are bulk recipes the proportion of ingredients will be very much to personal taste. So my recommendation with every recipe is to taste, start to feel out what you think should be added and you will end up with bowls of delicious steaming food!

 

Chili Con Carne

This is a hearty and classic meal choice, simple to make as a batch it is a delicious served with a bit or rice of the side and a cooling yoghurt dip.

Ingredients:

1kg Minced beef

2 cans of tinned tomatoes

1 large brown onion (thinly sliced)

2 large red peppers (sliced)

1 tin of kidney beans (drained)

1 cup beef stock (mix 1 or 2 stock cubes with boiling water)

1 beef stock cube (for crumbling)

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp turmeric

3 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Fry the onions in olive oil until they are slightly brown and translucent, then mix in the crushed garlic.
  2. Add the minced beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon, turning and browning and mixing with the onions. Then add all the spices. Allow the meat and onions to marinade in the spices for a few minutes until it starts to smell aromatic.
  3. Tip in the stock cubes mixed with water and keep stirring and combining.
  4. Add the peppers
  5. Tip in the 2 tins of tomatoes and the drained can of kidney beans. Crumble in the final stock cubes.
  6. As it continues to cook and simmer keep tasting and add salt/spices/chili to taste.
  7. Leave to cook and reduce for pretty much as long as you think is necessary; you should have a rich, tasty chili con carne by the end.
  8. Serve with rice, maybe some yoghurt mixed with chopped coriander and a little salt if you have made it a tad on the spicy side.

 

Bœuf bourguignon

This is my mother’s best recipe and an absolute must try for those of you who have a liquor license or relatives coming through duty free! This is a rich beefy stew with a strong flavour of red wine running through it, completely moreish.

Ingredients:

1 kg stewing beef – diced (I recommend buying good quality NZ or Australian beef)

1/3 bottle of red wine

1 large brown onion

3-4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

3-4 beef stock cubes dissolved in boiling water

1 tsp salt

1 decent handful of mushrooms, quartered

1 tbsp. plain flour

1 tsp black pepper

Method:

  1. Take a bowl or a plastic bag and place the diced beef, flour, salt and pepper together. Either stir the beef until it is nicely coated or shake the (sealed) bag until the beef is nice and coated.
  2. Fry the onions in olive oil until they are slightly brown and translucent and then stir in the crushed garlic.
  3. Tip in the beef and gently brown on a lower heat.
  4. When the beef if still soft and has some colour add in the beef stock mixture and stir together.
  5. Then add the red wine, I recommend a 1/3 however, you can add more if you think it needs it.
  6. Throw in the mushrooms and stir everything together.
  7. Simmer and reduce for as long as you think it needs, occasionally tasting to see if you should add more wine or stock.
  8. When the mixture is a rich deep brown and smells wonderfully beefy, serve it up with rice and some purple sprouting broccoli (or vegetable of your choice), this is a recipe guaranteed to impress.

 

Ratatouille

This simple dish should be in everyone’s cooking repertoire, healthy, hearty and a great addition to any meal. One of my favourite simple dishes is a whole roast chicken from the super market, a wrap and some ratatouille, quick, easy and delicious.

Ingredients:

2 aubergines (egg plants)

1 large brown onion

2 courgettes (zucchinis)

1 head of garlic (crushed) – or more if you love garlic!

A handful of cherry tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt

Fresh basil (shredded)

A sprig of thyme

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 175°C
  2. Chop up the aubergines and courgettes, you can either cube them or simply slice.
  3. Halve the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Take a large flat baking tray with deep sides and lay down all the vegetables, onions, garlic and tomatoes.
  5. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the mixture (not so much that it is swimming but enough to coat everything).
  6. Sprinkle on salt to your specific taste and the sprig of thyme and basil.
  7. Give everything a good stir together and place in the oven.
  8. I recommend leaving in the over for about an hour and a half (maybe a little more if you want a bit of caramalisation) occasionally stirring the mixture to make sure it all cooks together nicely.
  9. Once everything is soft and cooked through you can dish it up as a delicious accompaniment to any meal.

 

Vegetarian chili

This is a great cheap stew if you are looking for a bulk-cooking recipe. It is supposed to be vegetarian, however, I usually add beef stock cubes instead of vegetable for a deeper flavour. There is a reasonable amount of preparation involved, however, once cooked it is absolutely worth it.

Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 large brown onion (thinly sliced)

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 tsp chili powder

1tsp paprika

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 red peppers (sliced)

1 carrot (diced)

2 celery sticks (diced)

1 large sweet potato (diced)

1 tin of kidney beans (drained)

2 tins of tomatoes

½ tsp cinnamon powder

2 beef stock cubes dissolved in boiling water

1 beef stock cube to crumble

Salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Fry the cumin seeds in hot olive oil until they start to pop. Then fry the onions in the olive oil until brown and then add the crushed garlic.
  2. Add in the sweet potato and carrots, stir in with the onion and then add the spices and the beef stock mixture.
  3. Once this has had time to cook a little and the spices are coating everything, add the celery, peppers and the tins of tomato.
  4. Stir together before mixing in the kidney beans. Keep tasting to see if you need to add more chili, salt or maybe a couple of pieces of dark chocolate if you want it to be a little richer.
  5. To serve simply whip up some yoghurt with a little chopped coriander for a light accompaniment to this hearty vegetarian chili.

 

Salsa Verde

If you are cooking some kind of fish and are really struggling for a tasty sauce then give Salsa Verde a try. It can be whipped up in minutes and is cheap enough to make large amounts to freeze for later.

Ingredients:

3 cloves of garlic

2 handfuls of flat leaf parsley

1 handful of basil

1 handful of mint

2 tbsp. capers

Half a tin of anchovies (keep the other half if you need to add more)

1tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar (you may need a little extra)

A good slug of olive oil

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a blender and turn it on.
  2. When you have a fine sauce stop the blender and give it a try.
  3. You may need to add a little more vinegar if the olive oil is too strong, or a few more anchovies if it needs more salt.
  4. Cook yourself up some tuna steaks and some boiled baby potatoes, put a decent spoonful of the Salsa Verde on the side and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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