Batch Cooking: Tips from Vegan Chef Nancy Berkoff

Whether you are cooking for one person, two people or more with different eating habits, using batch cooking will make your job much easier.

The concept of batch cooking is very simple. Fresh food and/or food leftovers are tightly sealed in disposable bags made of foil or parchment paper and baked in the oven for about 15 minutes. This will require a minimum of space and equipment – only a knife, a cutting board, an oven and, possibly, a stove, sat down to partially cook some ingredients.

This technique is especially useful for those who cook for people with different dietary needs and preferences. A separate package may contain a different amount of spices, and you can also exclude unwanted ingredients for someone. Package cooking is especially relevant for vegetarians, since not all households can hold similar views, and cooking needs to be for everyone.

The food bag is the key to this process. Generally, a piece of foil or parchment paper large enough to fold over, crimp the edges, and leave enough room inside for the steam generated during the baking process will do.

The next step is the selection of ingredients for the dish. Chopped fresh food is always best, but leftover boiled potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, rice, and beans can also be used. A pleasant and useful feature of bag cooking is the minimal use of fat, since the juiciness of the food is ensured by the steam inside.

One point to consider is the cooking time for each ingredient. If any component requires a long cooking time, you need to bring it to half-cooked on the stove before putting it in the bag.

To keep the bag tightly closed, fold the edges of the foil or parchment paper at least three times. You can dampen the edges of the parchment paper to help it hold its shape better.

Tips for memory

Choose a convenient material for the package. If you prefer aluminum foil, get a heavy duty one. You can buy parchment paper at hardware stores, supermarkets, or online stores. Remember, never use waxed paper or plastic wrap.

All ingredients must be ready at the same time. For example, if you want to cook tempeh steak with sliced ​​sweet potatoes, you need to boil the sweet potatoes before placing them in the bag, as they take longer to cook.

Wrap the package tightly. Press down on the foil or parchment paper each time you fold. Make at least three folds so that the steam pressure doesn’t destroy the bag.

Make sure there are no holes in the bag. Steam, aroma and sauce will escape and your efforts will go to waste.

When opening the finished package, be careful, because it contains very hot steam. Trim the edges with kitchen scissors, remove the dish. Serve on a plate of rice, pasta, greens or just toasted bread.

What can be prepared in the package?

  • Chopped fresh tomatoes and mushrooms
  • Pea or bean sprouts
  • Sliced ​​pumpkin, zucchini and mushrooms
  • Sweet potatoes and shredded cabbage
  • Corn and chopped fresh tomatoes
  • Sweet bell pepper of three colors and onion
  • Fresh basil and spinach greens and garlic

Step by Step Recipe Example

We will make packages with vegetarian tofu steak for 4 or 5 people.

1. Let’s start with thinly sliced ​​uXNUMXbuXNUMXbpotatoes (you can take the remains of previously cooked ones). Place the potatoes in a small bowl with a little oil and herbs of your choice. Try parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano.

2. In a large bowl, toss the finely chopped bell peppers, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes with the oil and herbs as described above. Slice the lemon.


 1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.

2. Place a 30 cm piece of foil or parchment paper on a clean table or countertop. Place the potato slices in the center. Lay the vegetables on top of the potatoes. Now hard slices of tofu. Place one slice of lemon on top. We bend and crimp the edges. Let’s make some of these packages.

3. Bake the bags on the baking sheet for 15 minutes or until the bag is puffy. Remove from oven. Open the package and serve the contents, serving greens on the side.

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