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Meal Prep - Opinions

Discussion in 'Spotless Kitchen' started by Vedhavalli, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Gold IL'ite

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    I prep simple things like
    1) ginger garlic paste
    2) tamarind paste
    3) grind coconut and store in freezer
    4) clean and store greens like mint, cilantro, spinach in tissue wrapped boxes.
    5) soak and drain - whole lentils like garbanzo beans, kidney beans etc.
    6) idli/dosa batter for 3 days.
    I make in small batches all these lasts for a week.

    I see many people cook 'toor dal' (pigeon peas), chapati dough, cooked veg gravies and chutneys for more than 10 days. One person even made tadka and stored in fridge.

    With so many lifestyle diseases, is it really healthy to eat cooked frozen meals or cook once a week?
    According to ayurveda the food should be warm not over night cooked one.
    We don't eat over night 'cooked' food as 'prana' energy in the food is lost.

    As of now making a veg / lentil based gravy for lunch and dinner. And different side dishes.
    Breakfast is definitely separate cooking, no cereal.
    What are the opinions to fasten the cooking process if one don't want to eat over night food.
     
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  2. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    Tadka and freeze it??

    Wash garbanzo beans and soak for 8 hours..but don’t drain the water.Steam the beans in the same water.

    Also,use slow cooker to cook the side dishes for chapathis.It will be hot and fresh in the morning

    try cooking rice in or even morning 10 minutes in the cooker.Make bell pepper,peas,coconut or lime rice.Honestly..it did not consume time.
    I used to work before and leave early and did all this and it did not take time.I never try to freeze food coz I am a foodie and did not compromise when it comes to food :)

    As for stuff like sambhar,I soak the dals overnight.Very healthy that way.Tamarind also I soak and keep.
    What I do is, morning I make the sambhar..steam rice and dal together..did not take much time.Evening it will be idli or dosa,veg upma,Rava dosa Or sago upma it even yogurt rice.


    cut the veggies and keep it in fridge.

    weekend make elaborate dishes.
     
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  3. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    Yes. People who do OPOS, or use InstantPot, have (al)ready-made Tadka. And various other "premixes" that need to be 'fridged.

    Sometimes I blanche the green vegetables, i.e., put them in boiling water for a minute or so, take them out, cool and put it in plastic bags and store in the fridge. It makes them last longer without wilting. Perhaps this is a bad idea, and the vegetables ought to be cooked and not stored.
    Low prana energy food is a compromise people make in order to spend the saved time in other pursuits that make up the loss of prana energy. This has to be the reason why packaged foods that only need to be microwaved to come alive on the plate are being sold these days. When people have the time, as in a retired pastoral life, they ought to go back to cooking every day; but then, life long habits take over:frown:, and we give in:facepalm:.

    And as for .....
    :worship2: I bet, whoever the customer, fully deserves.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  4. MalStrom

    MalStrom Platinum IL'ite

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    Learn OPOS. You can make some staples and then cook fresh quickly every day:
     
  5. Brevity

    Brevity Gold IL'ite

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    Ayurveda texts were written in an era when refrigeration was not possible. Hence it couldn't consider that. Cook fresh or eat stale food left out were the options then. Of course things stored in fridge and reheated, lose its nutrition gradually and fresh everything is the best. But food prepared at home and stored in fridge/freezer is next best to bring out on a day when you are bogged down by other commitments. I think it is better to depend more on this than buy food from restaurants or other processed food.
     
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  6. MadhuRK

    MadhuRK Bronze IL'ite

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    OP, I certainly don't believe in storing cooked food for 10 days and eating it. Even without any scientific basis, I can say that just by seeing that fatigued old food, I feel drained. But then people have survival issues to deal with, long commutes, grueling office hours, children requiring more time and attention and one person having only so much energy to spend standing in the kitchen everyday. So each person's mileage and value-system is different.

    I would encourage you to really take the time and understand what your boundaries are and what are some compromises you and your family can adjust with.

    It is understandable that all of us would like to come home to plate after plate of delicious piping hot food. Having said that baseline, here are two compromises I make on a regular basis:

    I'm lucky. In our house, all of us prefer simple freshly cooked food so I don't bother with making elaborate chutneys, masalas, spice powders to make every dish perfect like amma's food back home. This might be a bit of a moot point if the palate in your household has been set to a high bar and they won't compromise. I tell everyone that it'll never hurt to control one's tongue and focus on nutrition/health from freshly cooked simple home food. So if I make simple dal for dinner but finally give it ghee-tadka or squeeze a lime and we eat it happily. If I want to make curry, instead of doing the traditional recipe, I steam it and garnish with salt and pepper in the end. So easy, fresh and delightful like a salad. Maybe we just need to think about food in non-traditional ways.

    Idli batter is a more thorough/meticulous process. Although I love making fresh idly batter, if I don't have the time/energy I make adai-batter (2-3 hours soaking is enough) and grind it. Instant wheat dosa, rava dosa, oats dosa, apple dosa, pesarattu etc. I also get rava-idly mix (MTR) and make it as dinner once a week. Its a no-brainer.

    In a 7 day week, here are my choices:

    Breakfast: Upma, bread-toast with bananas, creamy oatmeal, Fruit kesari with dahlia or rava (add less sugar due to the fruits, but add a big dollop of butter/ghee at the end and serve it hot), dosai, adai, repeat something on day-7

    Lunch: Rice + Watery kootu/stew (with coconut milk), Quinoa with Rajma/chole, Brown-rice with thick rasam + curry, Pasta with veggies, Rotis and curry, repeat something from above

    Dinner: Rotis with same stew, Upma with veggies (no chutney, fresh curd and pickles/jam), rava idly with reheated rasa vandi, roti with curry, repeat items.

    On most days, my cooking has only two secrets : HEAT and GHEE. Its always served piping hot straight from the stove and I insist that we eat hot food. I store home-made ghee and use it liberally. I believe that ghee enhances the taste of any dish and takes it up one notch. I'm yet to read articles on how fat is bad for your heart etc etc.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  7. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    Good fat is definitely needed for our body. And ghee is one of the good sources of fat but should be consumed in limited quantities if it’s a high carb meal.
    And yes nothing like homemade ghee. From few months I’m making ghee at home I’m loving it.
    When I told this to my mom she was shocked because her daughter knew nothing much about cooking and now she is making ghee at home :lol:
     
  8. armummy

    armummy Platinum IL'ite

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    Just like we use technology in other areas of our life like car for transportation , fridge is technology for preserving food.

    We can find guidelines on how to preserve food and how long in both fridge and freezer. Follow the rules and we will be ok.

    more over most veg we get at stores are all cold storage ones ...

    obviously in olden times there was no way to keep food from spoiling , so fresh food was prescribed.

    but think about pickles ... which are stored at room temperature for more than a year ... it is the way you store ...

    Use pressure cooker for faster cooking , I used slow cooker a lot when needed.

    If you cut veggies for couple of days together and things like ginger garlic paste , ground masala paste like poppy seeds paste , tamarind extract ready , chapati atta ready , it should not take more time to cook.

    batters are good with fermentation , so this could be stored in fridge or freezer without any worry. I have also heard little fermentation of chapati atta is good , so storing it in fridge may be good.

    roasting stuff like puma Rava , semiya , peanuts ahead of time all help in saving time .

    I don’t do tadka for chutneys when there is no time , I add cumin and grind along with other ingredients.


    Look for curries like bottlegaurd and Chanadal curries which have both veggies and dal ... you can avoid cooking two dishes , you can get both in one dish ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  9. hermitcrab

    hermitcrab Gold IL'ite

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    So true! I agree with everything here. And amen to "it'll never hurt to control one's tongue and focus on nutrition/health from freshly cooked simple home food"
    I will start using it!
     
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  10. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you all for the inputs ideas and workaround. Definitely taken!!!
    This week I prepared idli batter,ggpaste , coconut gratings,tamarind paste and greens cleaned.
    Monday-
    Breakfast: mint uraddal chutney with idli
    Lunch : vathal kuzhambu with rice, fryums.(just finished frying)
    Dinner : pulkha with mint chutney

    Tuesday
    Breakfast: idli with sambar
    Lunch : sambar, rice(ip), carrot grating curry
    Dinner: sambar with millet upma

    Wednesday
    Breakfast: dosa with idli powder
    Lunch : bottle gourd Coconut kootu, brown rice(ip, potinpot)
    Dinner: Utthappam with idli powder

    Thursday
    Breakfast: millet upma
    Lunch: dal rice with potato Curry (ip- potinpot)
    Dinner: chapathi with dal

    Friday
    Breakfast: poha
    Lunch : capsicum rice(ip) with raita
    Dinner: adai

    Sat
    Breakfast: adai with chutney
    Lunch : veg biryani, raita and pakora gravy
    Dinner: pakora gravy with rice

    Sunday
    Breakfast: veg pasta (ip)
    Sunday lunch and dinner are decided by big authorities.
     

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