There are a couple of lessons I’ve learned in starting a plant stash that will help you make the most out of your experience… so take them from me.
1. Start slow and don’t overdo it
The first steps you take towards creating your plant stash are the hardest. To get all 30 building blocks in your freezer is a LOT of work, but pays massive dividends when it comes to day-to-day variety.
I strongly suggest that you don’t try to make all 30 recipes in one go… when I moved interstate and had to start from scratch I tried that and it was H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. I’m talking an entire weekend in the kitchen from dawn till midnight and dirty dishes that felt like they’d never end. Not recommended!
The best way to get started without killing yourself is to pick a handful of stash recipes and make them over a weekend. Pick a few that are easy and a few that take longer. The recipes are designed to make large quantities that allow you to stock up your freezer, so what you make will last for months. Each weekend, spend an afternoon making additional stash recipes and add them to what is already there. This means every week you unlock new recipe options and things get progressively more interesting. In 4-6 weeks, you will have a complete stash of all 30 building blocks.
All you need to do then is make more of things as they run out, which is surprisingly painless. I tend to find I need to top up a couple of things every 2-3 weeks, and I just do it on a Sunday afternoon. If you’re regularly cooking for a few people and find yourself topping up more often than that, make bigger batches so you don’t have to!
Once you find your rhythm with it, it is a total game changer.
2. Keep your pantry and fridge stocked
Your plant stash is capable of making a wide variety of complete meals all by itself. However, it really comes into its own when you have some basic fridge and pantry staples on hand to add to it. The sort of things that don’t take ages to prepare, but add a touch of freshness or newness to your dishes.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
If you keep these items on hand, you’ll find yourself able to make pretty much any recipe you like. By limiting the volume of fresh produce you need week-to-week, you can also minimise wastage. We’ve all been there, full of good intentions when we do a big produce shop then throwing half of it away 2 weeks later. The only things I keep fresh are the things that don’t freeze super well – i.e. salad ingredients and some fresh fruits. The rest I’ve successfully made a part of my plant stash, saving me time without sacrificing quality.