The Power of the Cook Up

Tonight's Cook Up...Dukkah Crusted Lamb Cutlets, Butter Chicken, Provencal Beans, Mash, Pumpkin and Leek Soup and the Apple Cobbler in the background...
Tonight’s Cook Up…Dukkah Crusted Lamb Cutlets, Butter Chicken, Provencal Beans, Mash, Pumpkin and Leek Soup and the Apple Cobbler in the background…

Everyone I know is busy and it’s sometimes difficult to juggle home, work and family and manage to get a home cooked meal on the table every night, but is it is possible. The answer is harnessing the power of the ‘cook up’.

By cook up, I am simply referring to cooking several things at once and basically employing the concept of economies of scale. One big shop weekly or every few days, instead of daily. Preparing and chopping vegetables for several meals at once. Cooking meals ahead so they just need to be reheated when you get home. Double batch cooking and freezing one for later. Yes, it’s common sense, but how often do you do it? 

Simply by having things cooking side-by-side you are saving time as you can monitor them simultaneously – stirring one, while checking the other or maybe baking two things at once. If you employ these time saving techniques, even though you may need a little practice, you will be surprised how productive you can be with your cooking and the bottom line is you will eat better and stress less.

Tonight,  I rustled up Butternut Pumpkin and Leek Soup, Indian Butter Chicken Curry, Beef Burgundy Shepherd Pies, Dukkah Crusted Lamb Cutlets, Provencal-style Beans in Tomato Sauce, Roasted Vegetables, and a Cinnamon Apple Cobbler for dessert in the space of an hour.  

Yes, I had a little help from the kids to peel, chop and set the table, but we are now set for the week. It’s quite a satisfying place to be.

Just beware, with big cook ups, there is often a big wash up, so make sure you mobilize the troops to help you out with that one!