‘Batch cooking’ for March: cook one afternoon and eat all week | The USA Print

There is little left until spring begins to show its paw and we begin to feel like seeing it: now we want red fruits, salads, longer days and picnics; but although we still have to wait a bit for that, we can make the transition between seasons, and enjoy it. There are still nights to enjoy creams, stews and other comfort food, but it is very possible that at noon we will enjoy a soup that can be eaten a little less hot and lighter stews, where vegetables and cereals play with legumes (or directly take their place).

I am going to take the opportunity to make a declaration of love to one of the best inventions in the world: the refried garlic with extra virgin olive oil, paprika to taste -for me, a mixture of smoky and spicy- and a good vinegar (from Sherry for a powerful finish, apple if it is going to be used to season something with a milder flavor). Preparing it is a moment and there is no other trick than removing the saucepan from the heat quickly when adding the paprika, so that it toasts a little but does not burn. But always making more and having it in the fridge will help you turn any steamed vegetable, grilled fish or legume dish into a delicacy.

Many of the combinations of dishes that we propose are quite interchangeable with each other; some are chosen due to the need to prepare one of their ingredients at the moment. For example, the grilled eggs that accompany the vegetable cream at one of the dinners, which we can also turn into a good option to eat if we make them hard and put them on top (or add them to the endive salad). This week we have a larger than usual dance of pots and pans, but the preparation times are all quite short, so in reality the process is quick: transfer the food to the pans -which we will leave open until the temperature drops a bit -, give the pot a wash and ready for the next step.

The chicken thighs in white wine, the sweet potato and corn stew, the cream -since it does not contain potatoes- or the cod with tomato are dishes that we can freeze without problem and eat towards the end of the week, and even, especially In the case of the chicken that occupies less, double the amounts and live on income for a couple of meals the following week. Although the quantities are quite generous, if you think that some food falls short, take the opportunity to add any raw vegetables or vegetables that you have on hand; and this also works for the following scenario.

If you leave some of your basics — each house is different — prepared on a tray in the fridge, the sleepy person you are in the morning can really appreciate it. Ingredients such as hard-boiled eggs, some fresh cheese with a certain flavor -goat or sheep, for example-, cucumber or cherry tomatoes to eat on toast or in a sandwich will make the decision faster and easier (prepare a little more of the walnut vinaigrette dressing the salads of the week will also go well for this, it is to die for with avocado and a handful of arugula). The more appetizing -for you-, easy to prepare and healthy what you have on hand to snack on, the more difficult it will be for you to end up gulping down anything you buy along the way.

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Other good options for breakfast are yogurt or kefir, milk or vegetable drink with oat flakes to drink hot or cold -as is or with a little chocolate with 70% cocoa, grated or flaked coconut, cocoa or raisins, dried apricots or chopped dates, raspberries or blueberries-, fresh cheese or quark, homemade chicken, hummus or any other spread that we have prepared around here. Seasonal fruits such as tangerines, kiwi or -from about the middle of the month, with luck- strawberries, are also ingredients to always keep in mind.


  • Sweet potato, mushroom and corn stew + bean, spinach and dried tomato pâté + crudités
  • Potato, peas and carrot with refried garlic and paprika + au gratin with ham and cheese
  • Cream of roasted pumpkin and chickpeas with coconut milk + 2 grilled eggs + endives with walnut vinaigrette
  • Sweet potato, mushroom and corn stew + chicken thighs in white wine with onion and carrot
  • Zucchini and roasted cherry tomatoes + cod with tomato


  • Zucchini salad with roasted cherry tomatoes, couscous and baby spinach + gratin aubergine with pork shoulder and cheese
  • Potato, peas and carrot with refried garlic and paprika + cod with tomato
  • Lentils with artichokes and ham + asparagus with Provencal herbs and lemon
  • Chicken thighs in white wine, onion and carrot + asparagus with Provencal herbs and lemon + whole wheat couscous
  • Roasted pumpkin and chickpea cream with coconut milk + whole wheat toast with bean pate, spinach and dried tomato


  1. Turn the oven on to 180 degrees and put a violin squash weighing approximately 1.2 kilos with cut skin, 3 whole onions and 6 medium eggplants on one of the trays.
  2. On the other tray, put a small tray with 500 grams of cherry tomatoes, 4 medium zucchini cut into quarters lengthwise and then into wedges, between 2 and 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar to taste ( one of the two times we eat them they will go in a salad format with couscous and fresh spinach, so it is better to be a little generous with the dressing).
  3. In a second small tray, put 3 bunches of green asparagus -more or less a kilo, which will be about 800 grams once cleaned- from which we will remove the hardest part by bending the asparagus with our fingers until they break. Season with a little lemon juice and zest, salt, Provencal herbs, salt and pepper and place in the oven alongside the tomatoes and zucchini.
  4. While it is cooking, prepare a casserole with 6 onions, peeled and cut into strips, a little oil and a little salt. Put in a casserole and bring to medium heat until transparent.
  5. After 10 minutes, turn the asparagus around a few times, and after 15 minutes, turn the tomatoes and courgettes, and turn the aubergines (top, bottom). Asparagus will be ready in about 20 minutes total, tomatoes in 30-40, and eggplants can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. The onion and squash will take between an hour and an hour and a half (if they are placed on the top of the oven they will lightly toast, which will give the cream a better flavor).
  6. When the aubergines are ready, open them in half lengthwise and let them release the juice. Then, distribute the diced pork shoulder and the tetilla cheese on top and lightly gratin, without going overboard, or after heating it will be hard. There are three halves per person in total: you can take one half with lunch and two with dinner or the other way around, depending on your hunger (or take the Solomonic option of serving one and a half each time).
  7. When the onion is transparent, separate half in a bowl and add 8 grated or finely chopped carrots. Brown in a casserole between 12 and 16 boneless chicken thighs -depending on their size- cut in half, previously seasoned, add half of the carrot and onion mixture and about 300 ml of wine. Let them cook for 10-15 minutes, uncovering if necessary after the first five minutes so that the wine and juices evaporate and the sauce takes shape: the thighs will now be ready.
  8. Put the other half of the onion and carrot mixture in a pot with 300 grams of chopped artichoke hearts -they can be frozen-, a ham bone and half a liter of water. Let boil about 15 minutes uncovered; after that time add 120 grams of diced ham and about 800 grams of already cooked lentils (if you want, also 3 tablespoons of fried tomato). Let everything boil for 5 more minutes and that’s it.
  9. Remove the meat from the roasted pumpkin with a spoon and place it in a pot with the roasted onion, peeled and chopped, 600 grams of chickpeas (reserve 100 whole ones to decorate and give texture), 1 liter of water or vegetable broth and a can of coconut milk. Season to taste -it’s great with curry paste-, bring to a boil for five minutes and blend. The cream is ready: decorate with the reserved chickpeas and, if you like, with a little sesame or its oil.
  10. Put two cups of couscous in a container with two cups of water, salt to taste and a little oil: the semolina will hydrate itself without the need to heat it.
  11. Divide half of the reserved onion without the carrot in two. Put one of the halves in one of the empty pans with 1.2 kilos of chopped tomato, a little oil, salt, pepper and aromatics to taste and bring to medium heat until the oil begins to separate from the tomato. It is time to add 1 kg of cod in pieces, desalted -if it is ready, take it into account when salting the sauce- and leave to cook uncovered for another 10 minutes so that the sauce finishes compote. It is important not to reheat it too aggressively so that it does not dry out (and it is advisable to serve it with a little bread for dipping).
  12. Add to the remaining onion 300 grams of mushrooms cut into quarters and 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (into pieces of about 2 cm). Stir for about five minutes, adding a little more oil if necessary. Add 400 ml of water, spices to taste and bring to a boil over low heat for 10 minutes. After that time, add a kilo of cooked sweet corn -if it is canned, with its cooking liquid- and let everything boil together for five more minutes.
  13. Prepare a vinaigrette with 60 grams of chopped walnuts, 90 ml of oil, salt, pepper and vinegar to taste. Reserve in the fridge to season the endives.
  14. Sauté 400 grams of fresh spinach until they lose volume and mash them with 800 grams of cooked white beans, a jar of dried tomato in oil and herbs -with all its seasonings- and a splash of very cold water until the desired texture is achieved. If the tomato does not have any acid dressing, add lemon or vinegar to taste (the flavor will rise with the rest).
  15. Cut two cucumbers, four carrots and one bell pepper into sticks. These crudités in a tightly closed silicone jar or bag will last well for three days in the fridge: at that time the process will have to be repeated with the rest to accompany the spread for the rest of the week.
  16. Prepare a casserole with salt water. Bring to a boil and add 1 kilo of peeled and chopped new potatoes. When it boils again, count five minutes and add six carrots cut lengthwise into quarters and then into two or three pieces and two thickly sliced ​​onions. When it boils again, count five minutes and add a kilo of frozen peas. When it boils again, count four or five minutes and everything will be ready. To accompany the vegetables, put 200 ml of oil in a saucepan, bring to a low heat and when it boils add between 4 and 6 peeled and sliced ​​garlic. When they start to brown, add paprika to taste, remove from heat so it doesn’t burn and stir. Add vinegar and salt and return a couple of minutes to the fire. Divide the dressing over the well-drained vegetables.

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Shopping list

Fruit and vegetable

1 fiddle squash weighing 1.2 kilos, 11 onions, 6 medium eggplants, 750 g cherry tomatoes, 4 medium courgettes, 3 heads of garlic, 200 grams of baby spinach, 400 g of fresh spinach, 3 bunches of green asparagus, 4 lemons, 20 carrots, 300g chopped artichoke hearts (can be frozen), 4 cucumbers, 2 bell peppers, 1kg new potatoes, 300g mushrooms, 2 large sweet potatoes, 1kg peas (can be frozen), 6 endives


Between 12 and 16 boneless chicken thighs, 8 eggs.


1 kg of cod in large cubes.


250 g of ham, 1 ham bone, 120 g of cubed ham.


350 g of tetilla cheese.


Salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, Provencal herbs, white wine, 800 g of cooked lentils, fried tomato (optional), 700 g of cooked chickpeas, 1 can of coconut milk, curry paste (optional), sesame (optional) , 1.2 kilos of canned chopped tomato, aromatic to taste, wholemeal bread, 800 g of cooked white beans, a jar of dried tomato in oil and herbs, 1 kilo of cooked sweet corn, 60 g of walnuts, paprika to taste .

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