The mum struggle has been real today. The baby woke up with a warm brow, nothing too feverish but enough to make her clingy, cranky and determined to stay firmly attached to my breast.
Part of me, really selfishly, wondered if she was well enough to go to nursery…for a few hours? I had six recipes to make and photograph and my back really wanted to go to the osteopath.
The thing is, I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m not forced to go back to work. I chose to be self employed and obviously I’m cooking and photographing rather than saving the world. But there are still deadlines to be met and if I’m honest, it goes deeper than that. I want to work, to do projects I feel passionate about. I want my daughter to grow up proud of me, I want my husband to be proud of who I am.
But today is one of those days. My brain is tired from getting up at 5am to work out & work before the baby wakes up, my body is tired from carrying a 9kg deadweight and from impersonating a cow all day. And yet, I should be polished & sexy. I should be back in my jeans & running in the morning. The baby should be sleeping through. I should be pursuing my career goals. There should be date nights and “alone time”. In reality none of this is happening today. I’m grateful that the baby is currently having a nap, that I can eat lunch & answer emails.
This post is inspired by days like today, when it would be too easy to call lunch a large coffee & a bag of malteasers (not judging if it is) but when you need lunch to be more. To help you feel a little healthier & nourished.
The only way lunch happens (and it has to happen because breakfast is often coffee & whatever fruit the baby rejects) is with some food prep.
Once evening a week I food prep and this is what I do:
Roast a large tray of veggies
Roast a tray of tomatoes
Cook a whole bag of quinoa
Chop up crudités (radish, peppers, carrots etc)
Cook half a bag of lentils
Make a big jar of trail mix
Bake 3 sweet potatoes (great for babies too)
This means that come lunchtime I can make up some good meals –
Tartine with hummus (recipe below) & roasted tomato
Quinoa with roasted veg & goats cheese
Hummus & crudités with oat cakes
Roasted veg with lentils topped with an fried egg
Egg fried quinoa with roasted veggies
Greek salad with roasted tomatoes
Sweet potato with hummus & tuna
“Buddha bowl” – recipe below
Other great lunches are:
Avocado on toast
Ratatouille – can be batch cooked in advance (and puréed for babies too)
Cauliflower “couscous” (big batch can be made in advance”
Noodle jars, Farro salad, kale and buckwheat salad
Here is a quick hummus recipe that can be made in advance & kept for 3 days in the fridge. Happy lunching
1 can of cooked chickpeas
Juice 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
Place all the ingredients into a dish
Keep in an airtight container for 3 days in the fridge
You can layer up anything you fancy for a buddha bowl but a good rule of thumb is a grain base, a crunchy seed or nut, a fresh vegetable, a roasted or cooked vegetable and then a dressing
My favourite dressing for a buddha bowl is simply a spoon of speedy hummus mixed with some extra olive oil and lemon juice and a touch of harrisa
The buddha bowl featured is
A tablespoon of hummus and a few extra chickpeas
Sliced roasted nuts