By Molly Patrick and Lyndsey Hafer-Williams
Have you recently heard about plant based batch cooking and feel like all the cool kids are doing it? Do you want in but have no idea where to start? Well, no worries! Team Dirty has got you covered like your favorite, cat-hair-laden, green-tea-stained, warm blanket on a cold winter’s night!
Grab a turmeric latte and sit right on back because I am here to offer you the Dirty motherlode of batching tips and tricks, information and inspiration, and a loving kick in the pants to get you moving and grooving, rocking and rolling, and help you find your plant-powered-batching-mojo!
Let’s break it all down and start with the big picture, shall we?
- The CFDG weekly meal plans are designed around plant based batch cooking. Batch cooking (or “batching”) is when you cook most of the week’s food all in one batch so that the majority of your food is already cooked for the week. During the week all you have to do is throw together easy meals with the items you batched. You can batch cook regardless of how you eat, but when you follow the Plant Fueled Meal Plans you will be eating whole plant foods and cooking without oil.
- Batch cooking allows you to get dinner on the table in record time without worrying about what you’re going to make for dinner and whether or not it’s healthy. Most times there are super-quick meal night recipes to follow in order to tie the whole meal together, but your entire meal won’t take longer than 30 minutes to throw together – often times much less.
- When you sign in to your amazingly organized meal plan classroom, you will see 5 tabs relating to the week’s meal plan: Menu // Notes & Tips // Grocery List // Prep // Batching.
- The Menu tab is the meals that you will be making throughout the week using your batched items and a few super quick meal night recipes.
- The Notes & Tips tab highlights any special ingredients, substitution ideas or cooking / storing methods.
- The Grocery List tab is everything you will need to make this week’s plan, organized by grocery store section. We also give you exact quantities of what you will need based on how many portions of each meal you are making.
- The Prep tab is all the ingredients you need to prep in order to complete your batching items. This is optional, but it does make batching go faster and more smoothly. Chopping and dicing veggies will take up most of your time when batching so having these done and out of the way before you make your recipes is a huge help.
- The Batching tab is all the recipes you will make on your batching day, presented in the most time efficient order. Once all these items are made, you can follow along each night with the Menu tab.
Molly created a handy-dandy video that walks you through this process. It’s on your dashboard when you login to your classroom.
Once you follow our meal plans for a couple of weeks, it gets to be second nature. You will fly through them and be amazed at all the flavors and textures each night, and for lunches if you do leftovers. Plant based eating without the use of oil does not get more delicious than our meal plans. Our recipes are the most tasty recipes out there. And, we have new recipes each and every week.
All this said, there are no rules with the meal plans.
You can do whatever works best for you! No worries, no stress!
// If you want to skip batching and cook everything you need for each meal the night of the meal, you can! It will take longer each night, but you totally have that option.
// If you don’t like following the prep list, skip it!
// If you want to split up your batching in two days, go for it!
// If you only want to cook one meal from the meal plan, easy peasy – do it up!
// Need more containers to store food in? Check out your local thrift stores or order some online.
// Don’t sweat the small stuff – if you want to use up your already-opened bottle of Worcestershire sauce before buying the vegan brand? Go for it!
// Feel totally overwhelmed and need a pep talk? Email us and we’ll give you a boost!
Okay, my Dirty friend, now that you have the big picture, let’s get set up to batch our britches off!
The single best thing you can do to prepare yourself to batch is to read over our FAQs. Many moments of confusion will be avoided if you know these answers:
If you’re new to Whole Food Plant Based eating, it’s also super helpful to check out this CFDG resource guide, especially if you are new to a WFPBNO way of eating :
Every week a new meal plan will sail into your classroom with a detailed grocery list. However, you are free to check out this fantastic list of pantry staples if you want to do a preliminary shopping day to ready up your kitchen.
Setting up your kitchen and being prepared to batch is the best way to start! Here are my suggestions for turning into a batching badass:
- Prior to batching your first meal plan – straighten up and organize your kitchen. Clear your counter space, clean out cabinets and drawers, and declutter.
- Devise your strategy – grocery shopping and batching on the same day can be overwhelming. Grocery shop one day and batch the next day – this will make it less daunting.
- When a new plan hits your classroom – read that bad boy all the way through so you are mentally prepared for the yumminess you are about to create for yourself !
- Don’t worry about special equipment – use what you’ve got! I have found that, for me, a good blender, a food processor, and an Instant Pot are essential, but you should batch for a week or two and then decide what would make your batching easier.
Check out this helpful timeline to get you into a righteous rhythm, so you can become a batching-badass-babe:
- Heads Up Saturday – a Facebook post from our Dirty Meal Plan Wizards letting you know what special ingredients you will need for the following week. This will give you time to find these ingredients or order them online if you live in a small town.
- Foreplay Thursday – this is the food-porntastic teaser posted in the Facebook group that will have you drooling with anticipation for the new meal plan. It’s also a great reminder to take stock of what’s in your fridge and what you need to chow down on before your next batching session.
- Meal Plan Friday – A new meal plan drops into your classroom like a flavor bomb of love and happiness, and a bomb-diggity email from me sails into your inbox with the link to your classroom. Definitely check out the weekly Friday email because I give you the Dirty lowdown and important intel on the new plan.
- Batching Sunday – Most Dirties collectively batch on Sunday, and it’s so much fun to be part of! We are all in this together, batching the goods, and supporting one another. You have the opportunity to join our sensationally fun and hilarious batching-day-plant-party every week in the private Facebook group. I will be there like clockwork, every Sunday morning, cheering you on, making you laugh, and motivating you to get your ass shaking and shimmying to batch all the plants so that your cells will dance with delight all week long!
Our Dirty Wizards are here with their top strategizing tips to help you get your batch on:
- As soon as you get home from the grocery store, wash, dry, and store your greens to save time on batch day. Here’s a video that shows you how.
- Do your batching in the morning while you have energy.
- Follow the batching order that we give .
- Read the recipes all the way through and prep all of your ingredients before you start.
- Use your food processor to chop, slice, dice and shred your veggies.
- Keep a clean work space.
- Here are some more batching shortcuts from Molly.
- Tools are a priority! Multiple sets of measuring cups and spoons are great, so you’re not washing them every few minutes on batching day.
- A silicone baking mat and cast iron skillet are also awesome batching supplies.
- Make sure to read all the notes and tips for each week’s plan, which can be found in your classroom.
- Keep a bowl next to your cutting board to put veggie scraps in while prepping, and think of your cutting board area as Command Central!
- Try to keep your batch space as clean and organized as possible. Cleaning while you go will help calm the chaos, keeping you from feeling overwhelmed, and allowing you to sail smoothly and easily across that batching finish line.
Batching can be a workout if you’re not used to cooking.Wearing comfy shoes, comfy clothes, and standing on anti-fatigue mats are a great help, but your body may still get tired and tight from all the kitchen time.
I can usually talk my wife into a post-batch foot rub, but if you don’t have that option, I have just the thing for you!
Take a look at two incredibly talented and resourceful batching badasses from our Dirty Community:
I love to batch, but on an off day when I am feeling unmotivated or full of excuses, this is my go-to-batching inspiration! If Tammy Snowden can batch from her wheelchair, then my ass has NO excuse!
Also, check out this fabulous batching video from Wyatt Nash and his lovely wife Rebecca. They show us how to set up our kitchens for efficient batch day success, while reminding us that there is no one right way to batch, and that it can be so much more fun with a buddy!
I know many subscribers who have good intentions and really want to batch the meal plans, but then they get overwhelmed with all the details and just let the plans pile up in their classroom without giving themselves a chance to refine their process. It’s normal to be scared when starting something new – I was totally terrified when I started doing this.
But once I found my groove, batching became the sparkle in my week and surprisingly, I found it be therapeutic. I began to love taking beautiful veggies and combining them with spices, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and legumes to create such amazing sauces and meals packed with nutrition.
There have been 122 Plant Fueled Meal Plans since I subscribed in July of 2017.
Of those plans, I have batched 117.
The meal plans could’ve been just another expense that I never used, kind of like those numerous gym memberships that I’ve wasted over the years. However, something pretty fucking incredible happened!
My body was so fueled and so nourished by eating the rainbow of Dirty plants that it thanked me by getting healthy and happy. In fact, the love spilled over and filled my soul, opened my heart, and lifted my spirit. I had never felt better in my entire life.
The freedom I found in this way of eating was almost miraculous and definitely magical, and it all started with a commitment to batch each weekly plan and then eat!
A loving little kick in the pants from me to you…
- Attitude – Anything you attempt to do in life will usually be successful (or not!) depending on your attitude. Batching requires a can-fucking-do attitude. Go into it with patience, a sense of adventure, and plenty of laughter. It’s just food, and there’s no such thing as perfection.
- Mindset – Make batching a priority and plan your week around it. Just knowing that you will batch and that you will have sensational food ready to go all week long will help you to make other good choices in your life. Think of batching as a solid foundation that will fuel your body and allow you to build a healthy life, one week at a time.
- Perspective – You have all the tools and resources to batch healthy plants for you and your family. You have food, a kitchen, and a body that works, and all the planning has been done for you. All you have to do is follow along and eat! Remember, you don’t have to batch, you get to batch!
You now have all the tools and resources that you need to find batching success!
My heart would burst into an explosion of multi-colored rainbow confetti if every single person that subscribes to our scrumptious Plant Fueled Meal Plans found as much joy and happiness as I have!
A simple decision to eat all the plants and a commitment to faithfully batch each and every week has changed my life in unimaginable ways.
That said, sometimes I absolutely don’t want to batch. But every single time I batch, I am so thankful I stepped up and did it anyway. I walk away from my kitchen each week knowing that every moment spent in my kitchen is beyond worth it.
Come with me on this meal plan journey and experience life as it was meant to be…
A life that is healthy and full of adventure, with a happy tummy full of Dirty food, and a gorgeous bod that’s fueled by eating the rainbow of powerful plants!
Are you pumped up to get your plant based batch cooking game on?! Talk to us in the comments below!
Easy Peas-y Soup
Easy Peas-y Soup
Makes about 6 cups
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (130 g)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups frozen peas (520 g)
- 3 cups low sodium, oil free vegetable broth (705 ml)
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (60 ml)
- 3 tablespoons minced parsley
Heat a stockpot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, adding a splash of water when they stick to the bottom.
Stir in the peas, broth, dill, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and place a lid on the pot at an angle. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the Soup to your blender and add the tahini. Blend until perfectly smooth.
Transfer the Soup back to the pot, add the lemon juice and parsley, then stir.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with making sweet batching love to your kitchen!