Monday, September 25, 2006

My First Foray Into Bulk Cooking

Margaret wanted to know my tvp recipe. As in the past, I have to give credit to Ruthie's hubby, Russell for opening my eyes to the wonders of tasty tvp. Check out this link for my version of it. If I don't have broth available, water works fine as well.

Bulk cooking was an eye opening experience for me. The first challenge I encountered was putting together a series of recipes that my family enjoyed that lent themselves to bulk cooking and freezing. There was that inevitable moment where I wished someone had invaded my thoughts and put together a magical vegan once a month cooking book for me. I think I did ok in spite of this.

The first thing I did was to replenish my staples a bit. Out came my copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn. I put together her recipes for seasoned salt and taco seasoning. These are two spice mixes that are handy to have around. Isn't it easier to through in premixed taco seasoning than diddling around with tiny spice bottles as you frantically try to get dinner on the table?

I next grabbed The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak and put together a double batch of her All Season Blend, which works well as a vegetable broth powder, and a quadruple batch of Instant Cheez-It dry sauce mix, which I've used both as a sauce and for grilled cheeze sandwiches (use less water for the grilled cheeze).

This prep work behind me, I moved on to the main event. Here's what I made:
6 loaves of cinnamon raison whole wheat bread
2 Red Lentil Loaves
2 batches of gravy to go with the lentil loaves
1 batch of White Beans, Tomatoes and Barley (this makes a huge amount, so no need to double.)
a quadruple batch of Isa's Homemade Seitan
4 loaves of pumpkin bread with walnuts
large batch of cooked chickpeas (unseasoned)
double batch of Dr Furhman's Almond Carob Fudge although I used cashew butter because I was out of almond butter.

Here's what I learned along the way. I need to know how many onions to cut, how much garlic to mince, how much (fill in the veggie of your choice) I need for all the recipes to make the whole process go smoother. I also need to have a flow of prep work into cooking so it doesn't take forever. Finally, I need the whole family more involved so I'm not alone in the kitchen talking to my wooden spoons so much of the day.


Elias said...

i'd love to try some of those recipes! do you have the lentil loaf recipe anywhere, by any chance? thanks!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can write a vegan once-a-month cookbook for the rest of us! LOL! Sounds like you did a great job. I've often wanted to try once a month cooking, but after doing once a week cooking, I'm exhausted. And I only have to cook for two people!

Michelle said...

Katie, how long did it take you from start to finish (including cleanup) to prepare all that food? And what size is your additional freezer?

Anonymous said...

I love your organization. That's really the key. And trust me, i would NOT know of it because i am incredibly scatterbrained! I'm with jennifer c. - maybe you could write the book for us! :o)

Katie said...

I just fixed the link from the post just click on it to see the recipe.

Jennifer C. & Kleopatra,
I hadn't thought about it but maybe I will. Its definitely a missing niche.

It was exhausting although more mentally than physically. I would imagine that would improve as I got more organized about the whole process.

Great questions. In terms of actual hands on food prep, cooking and cleaning, I spent from about 1:00pm to about 10:00pm. (I would have started earlier but my sons' karate got in the way.) I had help primarily with the cleanup rather than the cooking.

My extra freezer is a very small chest freezer. I'm not certain of the size but I can check and post it later.

Ruthie said...


What wonderful timing, I was just typing up my once-a-month vegan cooking plan for today when I surfed on your site. My month plan will basically be out 10 favorite meals multiplied by 4 (hubby eats leftovers for lunch).

Russell is so very flattered for the infamousity of his TVP sausage. :) I think he also gets a kick out if it whenever I say we're eating Russell's Soy Sausage for supper. LOL


Ruthie said...

Oh, and one more thing! Have you tried the uncheese recipe on this blog?

We make it without the EB or Mustard. But I have added Olive Oil and a dab of tomato sauce.

Let me just say IT IS SOOOO GOOD. Because of it, we've been eating pasta-peas-n-cheeze like twice a week 8-)

Katie said...

Hi Ruthie,
Great minds think alike, or maybe its desperately busy minds think alike!

Russell should be flattered and proud too, he may have single handedly saved tvp from becoming a dirty word in our house.

I haven't tried that specific uncheese recipe although its very similar to the one I use.