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The Batch Lady releases surprise new book - and it will change your meal planning forever

Suzanne Mulholland is the queen of freezer hacks

Kate Thomas

The Batch Lady is releasing a new book, The Batch Lady Planner, following the success of her debut cookbook, Shop Once. Cook Once. Eat Well All Week, HELLO! can exclusively reveal. Mother-of-two Suzanne Mulholland has been dubbed the Mrs. Hinch of cooking after racking up 23.9k followers on Instagram and over 535k views on YouTube thanks to her amazing freezer storage and supermarket shopping hacks that will save you both time and money. The social media sensation's brand new book has just made batch cooking even easier – and what better time to try it than during the coronavirus lockdown?

DISCOVER: Who is The Batch Lady and why she'll become your new obsession

Read on for a sneak preview of what The Batch Lady's new book is all about, her top tips for batch cooking for beginners – and of course an exclusive recipe!

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Suzanne Mulholland has become a viral sensation thanks to her amazing freezer hacks

What is the idea behind The Batch Lady?

Scottish mum Suzanne, who lives on a remote farm in Ettrickbridge, near Selkirk with her husband and two children, saves time by cooking up to 10 meals in one hour using similar ingredients - and then storing them in flat bags in her freezer. Impressive!

She tells HELLO!: "I started The Batch Lady to save time. I don't like cooking for my family every night – the beauty of the method is you cook only on certain nights. If you just spend 20 minutes of your week meal planning, it'll save you hours!

"You also won't waste food or money. If you go shopping at the start of the week, those sell-by dates will quite often have come up mid-week. But if you cook everything into portions for your fridge and freezer, you'll get to Friday and realise you've still got two meals left.

What is The Batch Lady Planner?

"The Batch Lady Planner is a shopping guide based on all the questions I constantly get asked from people who follow me. How to work out what to buy in the shop, how do you work out what you've already got in your house.

MORE RECIPES: The Batch Lady shares easy recipes to cook with kids in lockdown

"You can fill in the plans yourself, listing what's in your fridge, freezer and store cupboard, throw the book in your handbag and then meal plan when you're out! It's also got 26 recipes, sections on how to cook the perfect rice, pasta…" See a sneak peek at one of Suzanne's tasty recipes below!

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Pre-order your copy of The Batch Lady Planner, £9.99, on Amazon - published on July 23 by HQ

 

The Batch Lady's Bacon and Mushroom Orzo – exclusive recipe:

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Ingredients for Bacon & Mushroom Orzo

 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup (115g) frozen chopped onions
  • 200g bacon lardons (smoked or unsmoked)
  • 500g white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp frozen chopped garlic
  • 3 cups (720ml) chicken stock, plus an extra 2-3 tbsp if cooking from frozen
  • 2 cups (400g) orzo
  • 1 cup (70g) pre-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) creme fraiche
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

 

Instructions for Bacon & Mushroom Orzo

 

Step 1

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add the onions, bacon lardons, mushrooms and garlic. Fry the mixture, stirring, until all the elements are crisp and golden for around 10 minutes.

Step 2

Add the chicken stock and orzo to the pan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes. At this point, the pasta should still be slightly firm and won't have absorbed all of the liquid.

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The Batch Lady has shared her speedy bacon and mushroom orzo recipe

TO COOK FROM FROZEN

Remove from the freezer and allow to completely defrost in the fridge. Once defrosted, tip the orzo mixture into a large pan with 2-3 tablespoons of chicken stock and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring, until the pasta is tender and piping hot. Serve.

TO COOK NOW

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan and creme fraiche and season to taste. Serve hot.

TO FREEZE

Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan and creme fraiche and season to taste. Set the pan aside until the orzo has completely cooled, then ladle the part-cooked mixture into a large, labelled freezer bag and freeze flat for up to three months.

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Suzanne cooks up to 10 meals in 1 hour every week - saving her time and cash 

 

The Batch Lady's guide for batch cooking for beginners during lockdown:

"Shopping with two metre distancing is quite stressful! Going to the supermarket and deciding what to buy on a whim isn't working nowadays. You need to have planned in advance."

Top tips:

1 – Start in reverse. Look at what you've already got in the house before you even leave. Most people can get three meals out of their freezer or will have something in their pantry they could use.

2 – Start small. Focus on meals you like to eat on a regular basis. If you like fajitas and you've got a quiet night, double the recipe - one for your fridge, one for your freezer. When life starts to get busy again, you're covered.

3 – Start to pair your recipes. I make 10 meals in one hour every Sunday – it gets easier every time! Choose two from my book, spaghetti Bolognese and chilli for example, see if it works for you. And then next time, double those recipes, you've got four meals. Then add in meatballs the time after. Every time you do it, it'll take you less time!

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