Cooking in bulk saves batches of time

Cooking in bulk saves batches of time

Video: Andrea Petritz gives a tour of her Super Suppers business in Murrieta

At the home of nutritionist and cookbook author Leanne Ely, the night’s dinner entrée – pork tenderloin with vegetables – was made months ago.

For Riverside mom Misty Boehmer, her favorite marinated shish kabobs were tucked into a zippered plastic bag weeks before and stashed in her freezer for a quick weeknight meal.

And when Rich Gregg’s wife is away visiting her sister, he’ll enjoy some of her Creole-style black-eyed peas and corn, in the freezer and waiting to be reheated.

The three families are onto something big: cooking en masse to stock a freezer with a stash of nutritious homemade meals.

“This is not really new. Your mom did it, my mother did it. We called it leftovers,” said Gregg, whose wife Sue authored “Meals in Minutes” for freezer meals.

Though the concept isn’t new, it is enjoying renewed popularity among contemporary cooks. A host of meal-preparation businesses have sprung up and numerous Web sites are devoted to the topic – variously called once-a-month, freezer, batch and bulk cooking.

“People … want to take more control of what they feed their families,” said Linda Larsen, author of “Everything Meals for a Month” and the Busy Cooks expert on “This kind of cooking really frees you up to turn your freezer into your own fast food place.”

Larsen started “feeding” her freezer about six years ago as a way to save time and money by buying in bulk.

Traditionally, the method involves a one-day cooking blitz. But increasingly, people are doubling or tripling recipes they’re making that night and putting the extras in the freezer.

“It is labor intensive, but the more you do it, the better you get at it,” said Larsen, who recommends breaking up the work into multiple days.

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