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Batch Cold Foods
Old 03-10-2011, 11:31 PM   #1
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Batch Cold Foods

I haven't been able to find any old threads using the search function, so hopefully I'm not dredging up a topic that's been gone over enough already.

I've heard of batch cooking for a week or more, where you reheat whatever you'd cooked previously. I was wondering about foods on the opposite end, that you cook once and can serve cold, or don't have to cook at all.

So far, my two favorites have been homemade hummus and yogurt cheese. For the hummus, I only have to cook the chickpeas or white beans once, and the yogurt cheese is simply straining a pint of plain yogurt wrapped in cheese cloth or coffee filters for eight hours with a plate and a can or brick on top to add some pressure (and fan of Alton Brown may know what I'm talking about here). Easy, easy food that tastes great, takes almost no time at all to make except letting it sit in a pot or fridge for several hours, and lasts for weeks.

Even better, they can be had for about a combined total of $15/month.

I can't really seem to find any other recipes that allow this. I don't care for hot foods all that much, but most batch recipes I find are for hot foods.

Any chance at some variety?

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Old 03-11-2011, 12:52 AM   #2
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I would say many kinds of cooked meat could be served cold—for example roast a turkey breast, freeze in portions, thaw out one or more at a time as required for meals. If there are several of you it might keep in the refrigerator, but with only one person I find it tends to get dried up before I can eat all of it. Slice it to make sandwiches or roll up the slices, dip in mustard or mayo and eat as finger food .... The same idea would work for a whole or cut-up chicken. Cube the leftovers, add to chilled pasta shells (that have been marinated with herbs or a little Italian dressing) with some chopped onions and celery and mayo for a tasty salad. Or use a can of tuna instead of the chicken or turkey. Baked ham and maybe other meats are also good cold, in a sandwich or not.

Something I like to make in the summer is vegetable salad. Nuke some mixed veggies in the microwave, using vinegar instead of water if you like your salad rather tart. Add some Italian salad dressing, or just herbs and a little oil and marinate in the fridge until chilled through. Add sliced green olives, marinated artichoke hearts, a bit of marjoram, and mayonnaise to taste. Mix well and serve cold. Extra-firm tofu cubed small can be added if desired for some protein. It will be good for at least two or three days and a nice bonus during hot weather is that the microwave doesn't heat up the kitchen. A big bowl of potato or pasta salad (as above, with or without the chicken) will also keep for several days in the fridge. I imagine coleslaw would too, and would expect deli-style three-bean salad to keep even longer, as it has no mayonnaise in it. Steamed artichokes are also good served cold with the leaves dipped in mayonnaise. You could cook several and keep them in the fridge. IIRC I have successfully frozen cooked artichokes to store them for longer than they will keep in the refrigerator.

There's also gazpacho, which is a chilled tomato soup. I don't know how to make it but I'm sure there is a recipe somewhere online.

For dessert, there's a huge variety of cookies, cakes, pies and the like that only need to be cooked once and can be eaten cold or at room temperature afterwards, and also fruit which doesn't need to be cooked at all.

That's about all I can think of at the moment for cook once eat several times later. Other than fruit, and food that was bought already prepared, I don't recall ever having made any dish that requires no cooking at all, but I've heard of raw-food diets and even (I think) seen a raw-food cookbook at the library. You might get some more ideas from there.
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