Family Cooking

Batch Cooking Vegetarian

Tight on time because of your busy schedule? If you’re anything like us, you might find that cooking hearty and nutritious vegetarian meals for the whole family on an evening feels like a bit of a chore. But, there’s no reason why you should feel the strain while cooking dinner.

By batch cooking vegetarian meals in advance, you’ll relieve the pressure of cooking and create meals the whole family will love. So, take a look at the vegetarian batch cooking recipes we’ve outlined below to cook a meat-free feast everyone will love.

Batch cooking for families with busy schedules

>Batch cooking for families with busy schedules

Filling your freezer with vegetarian batch cooking recipes is a real time saver. By investing a couple of hours of your weekend, you can create tasty and nutritious vegetarian meals that will last you the whole week.

By cooking in bulk, you can save some serious time. After all, you only need to do one trip to the supermarket, one lot of chopping and one lot of washing up. If you love home-cooked food, but you don’t want to cook from scratch every day, then batch cooking is perfect for you. Plus, all you’ll need to get started are some large pans, plenty of containers and some freezer space. With a range cooker, you’d never be short of cooking space no matter how many meals you’re cooking.

3 Nutritious vegetarian batch cook recipes for families that are tight on time

To help inspire you to start batch cooking vegetarian meals, we’ve provided three of our favourites. They’re all simple to make and don’t require too much of your time. When you’re tight on time after work, all you’ll need to do is reheat them.

Veggie shepherd’s pie

You can make a big batch of this comforting pie and freeze it in separate servings. This way, you only need to defrost what you need.

Veggie shepherd’s pie

Ingredients

For the lentil sauce

  • 50g butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 head of celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200g pack chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 500g pack dried green lentils
  • 100ml red wine (optional)
  • 1.7L vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée

For the topping

  • 2kg floury potato, such as King Edwards
  • 85g butter
  • 100ml milk
  • 50g cheddar, grated

Method

  1. Heat your butter in a large pan and then fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 15 minutes, stirring regularly until they’re soft and golden.
  2. Turn up the heat and then add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for a further 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bay leaves and thyme, and then add the green lentils. Give everything a good stir, and then pour in the wine and vegetable stock. Stir again and leave to simmer for 40-50 minutes.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, tip your potatoes into a pan of water and leave them to boil for 15 minutes. Once boiled, drain the water and mash the potatoes with the butter and milk before seasoning.
  5.  Once the lentils are soft, take your sauce off the heat, season the mixture and add the tomato purée.
  6. Assemble the pies by dividing the lentil mixture between the dishes you’re using and topping them with the mash and grated cheese.
  7. When it’s time to cook, defrost the pies and place in the oven at 190°C/170°C fan assisted/Gas Mark 5 for 30 minutes.

Aubergine chilli

This aubergine chilli contains four of your five-a-day. Plus, you can serve it with a range of accompaniments and make dinner different every night.

Aubergine chilli

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 70g puy lentils or green lentils, rinsed
  • 30g red lentils, rinsed
  • 400g can kidney beans
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 20g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • ½ lime, juiced

Method

  1. Heat your grill to its highest setting and cook your aubergine until it’s blackened on all sides. Then, leave the aubergine on a plate to cool before you peel off the skin, remove the stem and chop it finely.
  2.  Heat your oil in a large pan before adding the onions, carrots, and a pinch of salt. Cook this mixture for 20 minutes, or until everything has softened.
  3. Add the aubergine, both types of lentils, the kidney beans (and the liquid from the can), soy sauce, tomatoes, chocolate, chilli powder, oregano, and the spices. Stir everything to combine well, and then pour in the stock.
  4. Bring the mixture to the boil and then turn the heat down to a low setting. Cover the mixture with a lid and cook for 1.5 hours, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and let the mixture simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Stir in the lime juice and season.

Green burgers

These veggie burgers are healthy, nutritious and a big family favourite. Best of all? You can prepare them in around half an hour.

Green burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 250g spinach
  • 5 slices white bread, blitzed into breadcrumbs (or 150g dried breadcrumbs)
  • Good grating of fresh nutmeg
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • 40g parmesan, finely grated
  • 1-2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp plain flour

Method

  1. Heat half of your oil in a frying pan and then fry the onions for around 5 minutes, or until they’re pale and soft.
  2. Finely chop the spinach and tip it into a bowl before adding your onions, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, cheddar, and parmesan. Mash everything together, and then add your beaten egg a little at a time until the mixture holds. Don’t worry if you don’t use all of your egg.
  3. Divide the mixture into 8 large burgers.
  4. Pour your flour and some seasoning into a shallow bowl, and then dip the burgers in one by one until they’re all coated. You can store them in a plastic container between layers of baking parchment until they’re ready to cook.
  5. When you’re ready to cook, fry the burgers for 5 minutes on each side and serve with your favourite accompaniment.

Range Cookers

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