Food, Food, Food

I have decided that, instead of the usual “nesting” that occurs during the end stages of pregnancy, I am nesting in an entirely new way.  I am not interested in laundry, or ridding my home of all germs.  I have had no desire to work on the baby’s nursery, nor a desire to spend time readying the house for the new baby.  Technically, I have 10 weeks before Baby2 makes her debut, provided she doesn’t pull a stunt like her older brother – if that is the case, I have 6 weeks.

Much of this pregnancy has been avoiding getting sick – people ask what I am craving, and I can honestly say I have had very few cravings.  Aside from chili and apple crisp in the heat of the summer, I haven’t had too many cravings.  And, when I make whatever it is I am making, by the time I have finished the act of cooking or baking it, I have satiated my “cravings,” and can only stomach a few bites.  Given the cravings of chili and apple crisp, I determined what I truly was craving, was the season of fall – not the actual food.  Just warm comfort food.

Early in the pregnancy, I found out several types of my favorite food give me heartburn – Mexican food is, more or less, off limits.  Papa John’s pizza gives me heartburn, but Dominos and Pizza Hut are safe.  Technically, even though I kick myself after eating it, Chinese food also gives me heartburn – but, there are some days where it just sounds so very good, and doesn’t require much effort on my part.

I have determined that, instead of readying my house and home for the baby, my nesting has taken a different course – cultivating my culinary skills.  When I cook whatever meal I am in the mood for, I typically don’t suffer from any heartburn.  I have found if I cook Mexican food, I can eat it without suffering from any side effects afterward.  And, since I don’t like playing, “guess whether or not I’m going to get heartburn” every time I eat out, I’ve just spent time cooking the recipes from the safe confines of my kitchen.

The nutritionist I am working with during my pregnancy gives me constant reminders to, “keep your sodium intake to a minimum.”  Given my history with pre-eclampsia, I also am able to watch how much sodium is put into my system when I am cooking from scratch.  Thankfully, I don’t have to change too many habits in that area of cooking because growing up, we only added salt to one dish that I can recall – mashed potatoes.

I’m not saying I’m completely, 100% from-scratch cooking.  I still have days where I consume perhaps the entire week’s worth of sodium in one meal – usually when we order pizza.  However, I am saying I am enjoying this new endeavor of making my favorite dishes from scratch.  I don’t make noodles from scratch, nor am I currently making my mashed potatoes from scratch.  But, everything else is cooked pretty much from scratch.  I also don’t make some of my sauces from scratch, either – but, I make sure to buy a lower-sodium version of sauce or soups to continue to reduce the sodium intake.

Here are a few examples of what has been cooked this pregnancy, usually on a whim of whatever Baby2 has decided she would like to eat:

Chicken Tetrazzini, with whole grain noodles.  This is a recipe modification from my trusty, first-time-used Betty Crocker cook book.  Green beans are entirely the frozen green beans, thawed, nothing on them.

Chicken Enchiladas are a favorite dish of Soldier Boy’s.  If I make the chicken enchiladas, they are cooked with green sauce; if I make beef enchiladas, they are cooked with red sauce.  Pair it with any frozen vegetables, to include mixed veggies, or green beans.

Salmon and Broccoli casserole is another Betty Crocker cookbook recipe.  You are able to hide the healthy veggies (cooked broccoli) into a dish with noodles and salmon.  I think technically this particular dish had tilapia, instead of salmon.  That said, both salmon and tilapia work well in this dish.  This is definitely a recipe I have squirreled away for Lent this next year.  

Homemade chili was made from another Betty Crocker recipe tweak.  I lowered the sodium intake even further by making my own tomato sauce for this batch, by watering down the tomato paste.  If I recall correctly, this particular photo is a pictures of the recipe doubled – I think the sodium for this entire meal was less than 200 mg. for the entire crockpot worth.

My Apple Crisp recipe was found from the trusty “Google” resource.  This particular recipe is from  I tweaked the recipe to not peel the apples, since most of the nutrients come from the skin.  This has been a huge hit in our household, and definitely satisfied my fall-themed cravings!

Finally, my most recent experimentation – Chicken Pot Pie.  I made Beef Pasties (you can Google that recipe, too) about a month ago, and loved the crust.  Therefore, I decided to try the crust with the pot pie.  The crust is super easy – it’s just got all-purpose flour, Crisco (completely unhealthy, I know), and a little bit of water.  Mmm!  This recipe has become a staple in our house since I finally figured out how to make chicken pot pie!  

I have also made Shepherd’s pie, which following the recipe, had too much thyme or rosemary for my taste; that is definitely one I will be trying again, minus as much spice for which the recipe calls.  It’s another Google recipe.

Homemade chocolate chip cookies, or chocolate-chip-butterscotch cookies have become a favorite family recipe – when I make those cookies, I omit the salt in the recipe.  They still taste mighty fine to me!  

Overall, our diet before pregnancy consisted of chicken, whole wheat noodles, fruits and vegetables.  We did a lot of eating out, but the more I have found myself cooking, the less tolerance Soldier Boy or I have for the sodium that comes from eating at restaurants.

Here’s to a happier, healthier end of my pregnancy this go-around, even if the doctors and nutritionists don’t believe I am watching sodium intake!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.