Bulk Pasta

I usually spend the weekend preparing ingredients and storing them in bulk to ease my cooking over the weekdays, but when it comes to the actual cooking, I prefer to cook fresh, daily. Even when I was cooking rice, the max I would go is 3 days supply.

Today was the first time I attempted to cook my whole week’s worth of dinners, one shot.

I think “one shot” is a Manglish (Malaysian-English) term. If any of you white people are reading, do you understand what this means?

I have a flat ceramic grill pan, and I recently swapped my saucepan for a deep dish pan. None of them were big enough for the task. So after prepping the ingredients, I had to break down the cooking.

Round 1: One whole pack of pasta

I kind of underestimated the amount of pasta I had. By the time the pasta was fully cooked, it almost filled my pan to the brim and the water was almost all gone.

Round 2: Sliced chicken breast and minced pork, with garlic

The meats were marinated with salt, pepper and paprika. Not a whole lot of paprika, hence not visible. Took 10 minutes of stir frying to ensure they were all cooked through.

Round 3: Broccoli and carrots

Then I basically used the residual oil from the meats stir fry to saute the veggies. Attempt to saute, I mean. There’s 2 heads of broccoli and 2 sticks of carrots here, and they filled my pan to the brim, again. Stirring became impossible, so I poured half a glass of water into the pan, covered it and… and then I kind of just waited for 5 minutes.

After 3 rounds of cooking, I have 3 big heaps of ingredients on the side. Round 4 and 5 was me mixing half a heap of each ingredients together into the same pan, with half a jar of tomato pasta sauce. And then I had to pack them in portions, wrap them up in aluminum foils.

Portion up

Half heap pasta + half heap meats + half heap veggies + half a jar of pasta sauce = 3 portions.

All in all I got 6 portions. One for dinner, 5 for freezing.

Why aluminum foil? Because I’m going to be lazy in the coming week. I’ll basically come home, turn on the oven, and stick one of these packs into the oven for 15 or 20 minutes. Then when I’m done eating, I’ll just squeeze the foil into a ball and toss it into the bin. The only thing I expect to wash would be a spoon. A spoon a day keeps Lazy Man… happay!

Oh, yes, let me try to do a cost breakdown here…

Ingredients -price

  • One packet pasta (500g) – RM 5
  • One packet skinless chicken breast (2 slabs) – RM 7.98
  • One packet minced pork – RM 9.11
  • Two heads organic broccoli – RM 15.23
  • Two sticks carrots – RM 3.99
  • One whole garlic – RM 0.12
  • One jar tomato pasta sauce – RM 9.50
  • Seasoning and foil – how do you want me to count these? Let’s ignore these…

Total: RM 50.93

Made 6 portions, so for the coming week, my dinner cost would be RM 8.49/meal.

Hmm… not exactly cheaper than eating out. I could get a plate of zhap fan for less than that. But then I don’t think I could get a plate of pasta for this price in a cafe. So I guess it is all good. πŸ™„

Also, why am I doing this, you might ask? Why suddenly decide to cook one whole week’s dinner, one shot?

Because I have a stinking feeling I might have to stay in the office till late this coming week. I don’t know it my feeling will end up coming true, but I guess better be prepared than sorry. πŸ™„

34 Comments

  1. Very good, very hardworking on a weekend πŸ˜€ It looks like the way I make pasta in bulk for the week, except that I mix the pasta, broccoli and all the others into one pan at one shot so I end up with only 3 rounds.

    Maybe you’ll get tired of this meal… When I cook like this I don’t – I make sure the meal is tasty to my liking to begin with πŸ˜€

    I’ve heard “one shot” being used by white people sometimes, but not all the time πŸ™„

    • Well, whatever I cook is usually tasty for my own standards, so I think I’ll be just fine. πŸ™„

  2. This is a smart way of cooking.. I always cook and freeze my food into a few portions, and reheat them for dinner later.. Can jimat a lot.. I even tried that with baby porridge last time, but last-last, for porridge, better don’t freeze, people say got wind wer..

  3. wah…liddat also can ah…good idea for dinner…2-3 days ok la…but whole week….hope wont be bored.

    crazy weather now. even if you are busy, make sure drink a lot of water

  4. I have the same thoughts and styles like you to prepare them in bulks but my wife is old fashioned and prefers freshly cooked meals every time.

    I attended a talk about Dementia a few weeks ago by a Professor from UM. She pointed out about the high dangers of using aluminium pots and foils that have strong evidence to harm the brain cells. My late mum used foils like toilet papers! Now my father’s dementia is most advanced and got my siblings all shaking & worried. My dad ate my mum’s food for many decades while we all left home much earlier. Phew!

    Now you have inspired me to blog a bit about the dementia talk. Thanks for your comments in my blog and you understood well how frustrating and sad to be a dementia patient.

    • Your wife is same like my mom. She also prefers meals cooked fresh.

      Shit, so I should stay away from the foils as much as I can huh… πŸ™

  5. It’s definitely convenient to have ready cooked meals that only require reheating. But even though I don’t mind eating the same thing for 5 days in a row, I do get that jelak feeling by day 4. But for practicality sake, I endure it. Your pasta looks great and maybe you won’t get tired of it πŸ™‚

  6. You cook for the whole week, what if your friends, ask you, let do dinner tonite, or let do dinner on so and so day, then won’t the food be in the waste?

    • I’ll tell them my girlfriend has already cooked dinner and waiting for me at home. πŸ˜›

  7. I don’t think I can eat the same thing 5 days in a row either….probably 2 is fine, 3 the max. I’ll like to see what you feel like on your 5th day…kekeke! ;D You certainly won’t get burnt edges when reheating in the oven, it’ll probably steam being wrapped up in aluminium foil so I’d think your pasta will get softer, that’s all. That’s why you need to undercook your pasta and veggies if you’re re-cooking it again some way.

    • I’ll take inspiration from a fictional character, Mark Watney, who had to eat potatoes for over a year while stranded in Mars. 5 days of pasta is a blessing compared to that! πŸ˜›

  8. You know I’m going to say I love the look of all of those veggies…
    “One shot” is commonly used in English. I think it may have originated from a reference to golf.

  9. Eat the same thing over 5 days? I don’t think I can do that. Unless it is really very delicious, I love the greens (broccoli in this case).

    • I’ve never tried 5 consecutive days before. Unless you count bread and butter for breakfast, in which case I’ve had those for years… We’ll see if I did not go crazy with 5 days continuous pasta. πŸ™„

  10. With my last job in London, I would spend couple of hours cooking up a storm on a Saturday or Sunday eg pasta sauce, stews etc , portioned it and freezed it. I have never freeze cooked pasta before. I guess it’s akin to ready meals.

  11. I’ve not heard anyone here saying ‘one shot’ so far, so it definitely isn’t part of the Aussie English. ‘One go’ is probably what the Caucasian folks would say, but I could be wrong here, though. The advantage I noticed about cooking meals yourself is that you’re able to tweak the level of saccharine or sodium in it – and you can experiment with the ingredients, lol.

    Pasta tends to absorb a lot of water, especially if you’re cooking a large quantity of it. =/ It’s a good idea to wrap it in aluminium foil and reheat the food in it. It prevents the steam from escaping and you don’t have to worry about breaking plates in the microwave oven too.

    • There’s probably a specific Aussie word for “one go”, like so many other words eg Maccas or bikkie or whatever. πŸ˜›

      I’m not worried about breaking plates. My main worry is about having to wash plates. πŸ™„

  12. The food that you have cooked and wrapped up in the aluminium foil seems kind of dry so I really wonder how it would turn out when you stick it when it is in its frozen state into the oven for so long – 15 or 20 minutes. Will it be burnt at the edges and soggy in the middle since you are heating it directly from its frozen state? I think in theory, there will be a lot of water coming out from your frozen package. Please update us after you have reheated one in the oven tomorrow.

    • I don’t know, I guess we’ll see. I don’t think there will be burnt edges though, that usually only happens if you expose the food to the oven directly. I’m keeping the whole foil pack wrapped. πŸ™„

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