Obviously as it is January a lot of us will be trying our best to be fit and healthy. I love to eat everything homemade but I am often far too busy to actually cook from scratch, which ends in me reaching for the takeaway menus. Not healthy! With a few years of practice though I have learned the art of batch cooking and finding all the short cuts! My ally in this is the freezer, so many different sauces can be batch cooked and then frozen until needed so you won’t ever need to use a jar of sauce again. Although lets face it, you will, you will probs also buy take out but this stops it from being the only option!
I find if I am organised just one Sunday in a month I can sort myself for meals for the entire four weeks. Below I am listing my fave sauces which are always on the batch cook list! These are all simple, so great for those new to both veganism and cooking in general!
Thai Green Curry Paste
I use this recipe here. It is perfect just as it is! It also freezes easily so if you double it up, it will make the paste for 4 curries. Freeze it in ice cube trays as it allows you to take out just the amount you need!
I generally always use this to make a Thai Green Curry. Just fry up the paste for a couple of mins, add a tin of coconut milk, a tablespoon soy sauce and a tablespoon agave nectar. Once this has simmered away for a few minutes add your fave vegetables. Leave to simmer for as long as you normally would for veg. I like mine to be al dente so so 5 minutes does it for me. Once it is finished add a tablespoon of chopped basil leaves and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
For this I put a couple of handfulls of pine nuts, a garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast and a good glug of oil in the food processor. Process it until it is the consistency you like, adding extra oil if it is too thick. Once all mixed I add in a handful of basil leaves and blitz until blended. Again, freeze this in ice cube trays and whenever you can’t be bothered cooking heat a few cubes and add to some pasta, I always add some fried mushrooms and olives too, amazing!
My recipe for the best enchilada sauce ever is here. This will make enough for one meal for four, just double up and freeze for the month. There are a number of ways to use it but my fave are:
Chimichangas – mix the enchilada sauce to fried veg and cheese and stuff a tortilla wrap, fold it over, lightly oil the outside and bake in the oven for 15 mins.
Enchiladas – fry up some veg in your fave fajita spices, put in tortilla wraps in an oven proof dish and then top with the enchilada sauce and some cheese. Bake for 15 mins.
Burrito – make some rice, fry up some veg (or use leftovers of both if you have them, its a great way to use them up!) and then mix in the enchilada sauce. Put in a wrap and put in the oven for 10-15mins to bake.
Nachos – just pour it over when it is heated!
My ragu recipe is outlined in my vegan lasagne post. This is a great staple to have in the freezer and is perfect mixed in with some pasta for spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne or as a baked tattie filling. I also find if you are batch cooking this is great as it is very similar to chilli so you can make them both at the same time, you just need different spices (and to put some beans in the chilli). My fave chilli recipe is here on my Chilli Cheese Fries post, which I highly recommend making as chilli cheese fries are pretty much one of the best things ever!
I am such a vegan cliché, but seriously I love houmous! It is so easy to make and so easily adapted to make slightly different flavours. I mix a tin of chickpeas (I tend to use the more expensive ones as they do have a better flavour) with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, a clove of garlic and the juice from one lemon. Taste test to see how it is. My fave version is to add some piri piri salt and toasted sesame seeds on top of it to serve. It freezes well and can be taken out for any time you need a quick lunch.
I hope you have managed to get a bit of inspiration from this post! Going vegan and eating healthy can be a bit daunting but like with everything I honestly think preparation is the key for keeping on the right track!