Call me crazy, but if I know the exact meal I am supposed to be eating, I don’t want it.  However, if I simply know which ingredients I have on hand, I don’t mind eating the same meal on repeat. This is why I prefer batch cooking to meal planning.

 

What Is Batch Cooking?

Batch cooking basically allows for quick, on-demand meals, as compared to meal prepping, which is all about pre-planned meals that are often packed for the week. Batch cooking offers flexibility in meals that sometimes lacks in weekly meal preparation. This is helpful for some people and not for others.

 

It’s kind of like different approaches to working out. You have people like myself, who have certain things they do on certain days. Some days are for yoga, walking/hiking, strength training, cardio, and so on. Yet what each of those looks like is defined on demand, based on how my body feels.

 

I start every day with a quick dance to see how my body is feeling and what might need some extra attention. Based on that outcome, I develop my workout routine for the focus of the day. This is analogous to batch prep, where you have a variety of ingredients on hand to create whatever specific meals you want.

 

Prepare Ingredients for Flexible Meals

But who’s to say what is the best for you? Not me. Therefore, I recommend trying each approach on for size. That is how I learned how to maximize my own success as a conscious eater.

 

Here are some of my favorite batch cooking recipes using beets. Beets are a great winter food that offers color, taste, and texture to any meal plan. They’re also a powerful source of antioxidants for athletes of all disciplines. I spiralize the beets and store them in the refrigerator, grabbing handfuls to add to meals throughout the week. You can use them in smoothies, salads, and as a simple side. 

 

Beet Week Batch Prep

Beets are an excellent source of iron and folate.

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Makes enough to create all the recipes below.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic medium beets, spiralized (you can also chop the beets if you don't have a spiralizer)

 

Method:

  1. Spiralize (or chop) the beets and place in refrigerator. I place a paper towel or kitchen cloth over the bowl. 

 

Beet Smoothie

Beets help lower high blood pressure and elevates low blood pressure.

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Single serving

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of preferred leafy greens
  • 1 cup of spiralized beets
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 date
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Filtered water

 

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend to desired consistency. Enjoy.

 

Beet Side Dish

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Single serving

 

Ingredients:

  • Handful of spiralized beets
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

 

Method:

  1. Drizzle olive oil over the beets and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Enjoy as a great side dish to beef, pork, and turkey.

 

Triple-B Salad

Beets contain tryptophan, which relaxes the mind and promotes well-being.

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients:

  • 1lb grass-fed ground beef (or ground meat of choice)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 avocado, smashed
  • 2 strips of sugar- and nitrate-free bacon, cooked (batch this as well)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • Handful spiralized beets
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

 

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a cast iron pan or desired cooking skillet over medium high heat.  
  2. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes, or until golden.
  3. Add garlic and asparagus and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the ground meat and cook for about 10 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Grab a handful of spiralized beets and place on a plate. Once above mixture is done, place a heaping pile on the center of the beets. Top with smashed avocado. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy.

 

More Reasons to Eat Beets:

 

Photos courtesy of V. Capaldi.

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