Batch Cooking For Brain Surgery


This post has been scheduled because right now I should be recovering from neurosurgery. Back in February I went for an eye test; no reason to need one, I just realised I hadn’t been for ages. So long story short, turns out I had a benign tumour in front of my brain; something called a meningioma. It was the last thing I was expecting but they’ve acted to get it out and so I have to be thankful it has been caught.

As soon as I knew I’d be going in to hospital, I started planning to fill the freezer. Not only am I going to be in hospital several days, but I don’t want Andrew worrying about what to cook when I’m recovering. I’ve been advised that I’ll be tired for quite a few weeks, so I wanted to make sure that there’s easy and nutritious food that either Andrew or I can cook easily and just add veggies and carbs to make a meal.

What’s in the freezer?

I’ve made several batches of everything so we can mix and match.

Turmeric chicken. From Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odessey. I add a couple of lemongrass Spice Drops to the recipe as I think it goes perfectly with turmeric. The raw, marinated chicken thigh meat is cut small so will cook in the time it takes to cook some rice and steam some greens. Turmeric is well known for its anti inflammatory properties so it can’t do any harm in the current circumstances!

Satay chicken. Another Rick Stein recipe (the most used book in our kitchen), I’ve bundled portions of marinated chicken and satay sauce so they’re easy to find.

Chachouka. Getting some veggie meals lined up is important. I’ve added chickpeas to this pepper stew and we’ll have with poached eggs or maybe chorizo.

Cambodian marinated steak. Going in raw, slices of steak will need a quick fry and can be served with noodles or rice. Another delicious Rick Stein recipe.

Slow cooker tagine. This lamb mince dish bubbled away for 9 hours in the Crockpot. It will be perfect with cous cous.

Spiced shepherds pie. I’ve two of my favourite shepherds pies; a Nigella recipe.

Bolagnaise. You can’t go wrong with a good spag bol or lasagne so these are all easy now the bolagnaise is made.

Gingered beef stew. Yum!

Coq au Riesling. Another Nigella recipe which we both love. It’s got loads of sauce so I reckon some crunchy bread to mop it all up!

Fried potato curry. To spring my taste buds back to life!

Shredded ox cheek. It was 98p so I slow cooked in red wine and star anise. I froze in the winey gravy so it’s all still there to enjoy with roast carrots.

I wanted to freeze so much more (sweet treats and soup mainly!), but I ran out of freezer space. So I will make sure there there are tins of beans and some cupboard friendly treats in the house as well.

I find it hard relinquishing cooking duties; it’s the one thing I really enjoy doing. And at the same time I know that Andrew will want to be looking after me, not trying to think what to make for tea. He asked me to show him some simple salads before I went in, and I’ll have given him a list of ideas and a checklist of what’s in the freezer and cupboards. Yes it looks like I’m being a control freak but in reality I just want to make life easy for us both for a month. I may be quiet on social media for a couple of weeks (I’ve no idea how I’ll be feeling post op) but at least I know we will be eating good food and not resorting to takeaways while I am out of the kitchen.

I’ll be back, and in the mean time I’ve some guest posts lined up and a few from me scheduled too. So don’t go away!

Oh, and if you’ve not had your eyes tested for a while, maybe make an appointment this week. For me. You never know, it may just save your life πŸ˜‰

Posted by Claire

She eats. She drinks. She cooks. She travels. She learns. She tastes. She bakes. A foodie with exceptional taste! Always looking for the best food and drink producers from far and wide. Chocolate brownie queen. Judge: International Cheese Awards. Cheese fiend! Travel lover. What better way to discover new food, than to travel to it. Massive fan of The Archers. Crazy cat lady and proud. NW England / Manchester / UK Twitter & Insta: She_Eats_Blog Facebook: SheEatsBlog


  1. Reading what you’ve filled your freezer with has got my belly rumbling! Hope your recovery is swift and you can get back on your feet and in the kitchen again soon. Love you xxx

  2. But cake! There has to be cake – and cheese. Not necessarily together.
    I’m gutted to hear you’ve had such a hard time, delighted to know you went for that eye test and they spotted it.
    I hope the surgery went better than expected and you are recovering well. Anything we can do to help – shout up. You are a very well-loved person and rightly so. So glad you are still here xx
    Jenny @thebrickcastle recently posted…YUUschool Ergonomically Designed Backpack Review and Giveaway.Age 8-12My Profile

  3. So sorry to hear you had to go through this, but really glad that you went for that eye test. Hope that all went well and you’ll have a speedy recover.

    Love your dish choices and how organised you are by the way! xx

  4. I hope the surgery goes smoothly. You’ve got some wonderful meals lined up so if the post-operative slump leaves you without much appetite you’ll have some really tempting dishes waiting to persuade you to eat.
    I can’t imagine how I ever managed before lemongrass spice drops, I’ve ruined far too many dishes in the past with too-big lumps of stringy old lemongrass.

  5. Bloody hell my love, I had absolutely no idea! I was too busy drooling over all your gorgeous foodie pics on Instagram! Wishing you a very speedy recovery, but please take your time, don’t rush! A family friend is now back to fighting fit form and bossing men around! A fantastic idea to batch cook, it means Andrew has more time to spend with you too than worrying over what to cook! Sending you lots of love and hugs xxx Sim

  6. I hope very much that your surgery went well and you can get out and home quick to eat some of that fab food!

  7. I’ve been thinking of you over these past few days. I wasn’t sure when your op was but I knew it wasn’t far off. Wishing you a speedy recovery and those meals sound delicious. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of recovery time and let Andrew look after you. Some of these meals had me drooling. I feel like I need to buy the Rick Stein book now.

    Let’s do Cake and Gin some time once your up and recovered x

  8. Wow you have some amazing recovery meals planned! I hope the surgery went as expected and you are home with Andrew soon xx

  9. Reading what delights are in your freezer has got my stomach rumbling, and it’s 1am!! Such a wonderful idea to freeze meals to reduce pressure on loved ones. Hope you have a speedy recovery x

  10. These all sound delicious and batch cooking is so much nicer than rubbish, processed ready meals. Sending you lots of love and hope your feeling better soon xx

  11. I never got the chance to reply to you all individually at the time, but thank you for all of your kind comments from the bottom of my heart. Big love xxx (PS- 4 weeks post op and the meals are still feeding us πŸ™‚ )

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