Why I do Small Batch Cooking

First let me describe what I think Small Batch Cooking is in the first place by starting with what it’s not. It’s not once a month cooking, it’s not doubling or tripling recipes for now and freeze for later, it’s not eating leftovers forever,  it’s not cooking long hours, it’s not your dinner every night, and it’s not boring.

It is cooking small meals, in short bursts of time,  to have on hand for times when regular cooking is impossible.

Or put simply, your emergency meals to keep you from eating junk, or eating out and blowing up your budget when you are too tired to cook.   We do not eat these meals every night. They are saved for nights we get home from the gym late, or we are tired, or we just don’t feel like cooking.  We also use these for our lunchbox.


Here’s the idea…
1.  You cook the meals in parts, not in their entirety, when you have blocks of time, such as when you are checking your emails, doing laundry, or other chores while at home. In other words, multi-tasking.  The meals are made in pieces then assembled into small  portions to grab for on the go or on nights when you are too knackered to cook.  Small batches=little time+small meals

2.  Much of what we eat contains the same ingredients with varying flavor combinations to create its unique cuisine. The meals in the photos are Sweet Potato Salad with Grilled Shrimp, Chili over Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash. Can you see the ingredient overlaps?  Sweet potatoes two ways and the bolognese becoming chili with a few pinches of spices.  One day, for one hour I roasted the veggies, the second day, for one hour, I finished the rest of the dishes on the cooktop, and assembled the meals. Two hours, over two days, to create 12 flavorful meals.  Now do you get it?

So for about 2 hours a week of cooking, I have 12 meals for emergency purposes. Sure it’s still my time, but it’s my time when I say so.  I like to think of it as passive-aggressive cooking.  Then when I am tired and sometimes lazy, these meals come together in minutes. The other nights are filled with our regular meals like roasted chicken, roast beef, taco salad, etc. Remember I am cooking for Paleos and Non-Paleos. This way of cooking comes in handy.

NOTE- If you have an aversion to microwaves, then you will have to find out on your own how to reheat these, because I would rather eat them cold than wait the 45 minutes it would take in the oven.  Plus think on how dried out they would be, yuck.  Also do not get hung up on the mason jar like many who write me about glass being dangerous and heavy. Blank stare. Yeah, well I live on the edge. Put the food in whatever you want. The point is about making the food in the first place.



As a home cook I have to play like the big boys. The big boys are the grocers who display beautiful packs of cut raw veggies for stir-fries, pre-made healthy salads, pre-mades soups, pizzas, you name it they make it so that we can save time at home. But we are giving up our waistlines and budgets.  I think with a little smarts we can do small bits of this ourselves.  Have you ever heard “Pay yourself first?” It’s a budget phrase for when you get your paycheck. It means to pay your savings account first- pay into your future first.  Let’s do that with our meals. Take a small dose of time, yes you do have it, and use it to pay yourself with a few emergency meals. You’ll be glad to cash in on those meals on crazy nights!


Every once in a while on here I’ll write out some of my methods, ways I store and package the meals, and how we pack them for on the go.  If I didn’t Small Batch Cook, we would probably eat out more than we should, and gain the weight to go with it.  I bounced this idea off the CrossFitters I train with, who often do not get home until late at night and are very tired of takeout salads and bland rotisserie chickens.  Let’s see if I can help out with some of my ideas.

Are you Packing Eat? Do you want to?


  1. Joyce Kinsey
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    Your ideas are great! Monthly meal planning is overwhelming. This is not. This also gives me peace of mind that there is good healthy food in the refrigerator for my teenage boy to eat when he gets home from school. Sometimes I don’t see him until 730 pm. His performance at sports after school is much better than if he were to eat junk or frozen food with a lot of chemicals.
    It is also great for me-who tends to gain weight just thinking about eating out. Since I travel for work a lot-sometimes I have no choice. So when I am home I need good food, but usually limited time. These ideas are truly life saving!!! Thanks!

  2. Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    Very good idea and advice Robin Sue

  3. Sarah
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    “blank stare” made me laugh. I continue to learn a lot from you. Keep it coming!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Sarah,
      Cooking up a small batch today that I hope to share soon!

  4. Cherylfnh
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Loved the blank stare comment too. I work with a woman that would say that about the mason jars. Can you give a few more examples of what you might cook? I like the concept and need a bit of inspiration.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

      I am going to start sharing more methods of my madness, and madness it is with 3 kids who are hungry all the time! I call it survival cooking!

  5. Erin
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    I’m so excited to see your recipes and suggestions for this method of meal prep. I commute through major metro traffic, and the last thing I want to do after I stagger in the door at 7pm is spend an hour cooking so we have dinner at 8. I’m sort of moving in this direction, i.e. I’ll roast a big chicken, blanch a couple heads of broccoli, saute a pound of mushrooms, and make several different sauces on the weekend. We eat from that all week, with a few fresh additions to keep things from being TOO monotonous. I’d love to inject more variety, though, and I’m eager to see more suggestions. I like the bolognese -> chili conversion!

  6. Posted September 26, 2013 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    I couldn’t even imagine trying to meal plan for a whole month! Love the sweet potato with the chili!!

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