We explain to you what batch-cooking is, the new anti-waste culinary trend

We explain to you what batch-cooking is, the new anti-waste culinary trend

Batch cooking? I can already see what you are going to say, this barbaric anglicism actually hides an old grandmother’s recipe. Preparing your dishes in advance, pfff is an idea as dated as Tatie Germaine. Ok. What is new, however, is its growing success. And it deserved a portrait. Sandra Thommann. The muscular anti-waste fairy.

Sandra Thomann has the look (another Anglicism) of the job: tattoos, red hair and a deceptively wise Peter Pan collar. She clearly displays her culinary tendencies: whip! She spanks waste, flogs UberEats and fixes inflation. In addition, the Alsatian is a hit. Ouch. 13 cookbooks, 119,000 followers on Instagram. All this for your own good: eating healthy, local and seasonal with little effort, but a certain organization. Will you take it again?

Sandra has always been passionate about cooking. I admit, it’s a bit of a custard, but it’s the truth. Also, executive assistant in a large accounting firm, the receipts are a little too quantified for her taste. She therefore devotes her free time to a blog. Cooking Addict. No need to add more. In 2009, she started posting her own recipes, photos and tips. 100% homemade.

The mayonnaise sets quickly. Faced with the influx of questions and visits to her site, she decided in 2016 to make it her job. And this is where Sandra rediscovers batch-cooking. “I worked all day on recipes for desserts or snacks and in the evening inevitably not only did I have nothing to eat for dinner, but in addition, I no longer had any desire to go back to cooking. . So well, I organized myself.” And how.

Because batch-cooking is above all a question of organization. And besides the word batch in English means “to group, to make lots”. Nice huh? Batch-cooking therefore means regrouping the preparation of meals. “It’s a very simple method which consists in preparing in advance and in a single cooking session all the dishes of the week.” So yes, we said it above, it’s not a culinary revolution either, our grannies batch-cooked without even knowing it. But, and there is a big but: in recent years, this trend has taken on unprecedented proportions.

It’s a silly method that consists of preparing in advance and in a single cooking session all the dishes of the week.

Sandra Thomann, blogger

“As often, this trend came back from the United States where it was democratized by working mums. It arrived in France six years ago for the simple reason that people have less and less time to cook.” Imagine, the country of gastronomy that starts batching.

Be careful, batching is not rushing and even less spoiling. “I was overwhelmed with questions and requests for advice when I started posting my batch-cooking menus. I was surprised because, let’s say, this method suited me, I’m a very very organized and in fact, it is suitable for everyone. It must be said that it is fast, economical and anti-waste. You have a shopping list to prepare your meals for the week. No more, no less. No gap. No extra cost. No rotting tomatoes in the vegetable drawer of the fridge.”

It is a method that is suitable for everyone. It must be said that it is fast, economical and anti-waste.

It’s all good. For health too. “No more too salty or too fatty prepared meals, frozen foods, fast food, Deliveroo orders. There, we eat what we have cooked: raw products, lots of vegetables and legumes. Healthy and economical. “ The Alsatian has thus reduced the price of her weekly shopping basket by 50%. Still yes.

And when we know that food prices have jumped 15.8% since March 2022, the economic argument weighs heavily in the balance. “Since the war in Ukraine, I have seen new problems emerge on my blog: the drop in the budget, the wish to eat less meat, so I have adapted my recipes.” Seasonal products, vegetable proteins, Sandra is on top of things. “I stick to small budgets: out of the five dishes of my week, I will only offer meat once, animal protein once (eggs) and three complete vegetarian dishes (cereals and legumes, lentil Dahl and rice…)”

Typical example of a batch-cooking session. April 2023. Quiche with spinach and goat cheese log, Quinoa and chickpea salad with chicken, Crumble of endives with blue cheese, Pasta with prawns, tomatoes & feta.

All of Sandra’s recipes are posted on her Cuisine Addict site, free of charge. There are 103 menus and nearly 2,000 recipes. Sandra stays true to her accounting principles. “We cannot say the cost of living and charge for the receipts. It is important that everyone, even those who have little means, can have access to better food without having to buy books. I am thinking of students, single mothers. Me, on my site, I get paid with advertising. It’s a fair balance.”

In terms of time spent in front of the stove, there the figures are more random. Preparing four to five meals at once can be time-consuming. Even if the recipes are obviously not gourmet. “At first, yes, it’s a bit long, when you’re not used to it. Count three hours. Then, with the help of reflexes, you go faster and faster. The feedback from my seasoned readers is is: one hour per week for a family.”

At the beginning, count three hours. Then, the reflexes helping, we go faster and faster: one hour per week for four meals

And don’t panic, Sandra is a real good fairy. His blog thinks of everything. List of ingredients, preparation steps to save time, average price of groceries for the week (between 30 and 50 euros depending on the menu) and even the shelf life of dishes in the fridge. All classified by: kitchen tools (robot), seasons, diets, types of cooking. Yes, definitely, Sandra is extremely organized. Thank you for the Sunday cooks.

“I simplify people’s lives as much as possible, that’s what I like, what really makes me happy”. A real eggnog mom. “On my Instagram account, I exchange a lot with my community and I take into account all the feedback, I am largely rewarded in return: thanks to you my children eat vegetables, thanks to you, I have time in the evening to seeing my children… Yes it boosts me.”

So much so that Sandra is on her eleventh book on Batch-cooking in three years. A rhythm of electric whip without sprain or weariness. “Okay, these are simple recipes, but there are so many things to do. I always have new ideas. Here for spring, a big salad, quinoa, chickpeas, grilled zucchini, cheese, cucumber and diced pear.”

Is the batch-cooking trend sustainable? The question may arise as fashions make and break good intentions. “Since the covid crisis, there has been a real return to home cooking. My subscribers doubled during the first confinement. There were those who were bored, those who wanted to eat healthier. The most requested recipes? Homemade pasta and bread. Since then, it’s gone down a bit, but interest remains strong. There are always new people discovering the method, looking for tips. I think it’s here to stay. “

Since the covid crisis, there has been a real return to homemade cooking. I believe it’s made to last

As proof, Sandra’s number of subscribers on social networks: 119,000 on Instagram, 64,000 on Facebook. Without having to race for shallots, a real return on investment. The icing on the pudding. (Note for neophytes: cake of uncertain consistency made from stale bread, traditional anti-waste recipe).

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