the pregnant cook: 12 meals to stock up while waiting for baby

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I got a call from my littlest sister, Naomi last week. The most adorable pregnant lady, ever.

She’s down to the last few weeks of her pregnancy and as you can imagine, wishing the baby would hurry up and get here.

Ever the organised gal, she had run out of things to prepare. Apparently the nest is complete.

But she mentioned some friends had suggested she cook up a few easy meals, to keep in the freezer for when she gets home from the hospital.

Did I have any ideas?

So Nai-Nai, here you go. Can’t wait to meet the newest little addition to the family.

Bring on the newborn cuddles!

12 meals to stock up while waiting for baby

1. lamb shanks with chickpeas
This recipe dates back to my pre-5 ingredients days, but it’s still one of my favourites.

2. baked aubergine with tomato & pesto
You could make this in advance and freeze if you like, but it’s also pretty low maintenance to make. Just halve an eggplant and bake with some tomato until soft. Serve with pesto.

3. super simple carrot soup
Just as delicious as pumpkin soup, without the need to use lots of energy peeling pumpkin. I love this soup.

4. 8-hour baked beans
Another favourite set-and-forget recipe, this also freezes well.

5. chicken almost-vindaloo
Just serve this simple curry with finely grated fresh cauliflower or steamed rice. And of course, adjust the chilli to a new-mother-appropriate level.

6. roast mushrooms
These roast mushies are super versatile. From a mushroom sandwich, to a veggie alternative to steak. Also great in warm salads with some lentils.

7. simple sausage supper
Another one that you could make in advance and freeze, or keep in mind as a set-and-forget meal. Feel free to play around with the veggies, although the roast parsnips are rather hard to beat.

8. lentil balls
If the meat balls, below don’t grab you, maybe their vegetarian cousins would hit the mark.

9. chickpea burgers
Cook these burgers and freeze individually. Reheat in the oven straight from the freezer and serve with a simple salad and the yoghut sauce. While you’re over there, the tips on freezing food may be useful as well.

10. white bean & eggplant soup
A wonderfully hearty soup. Great little meal in a bowl.

11. coq au vin
An oldie but a goodie for when you might be in the mood for something a little French.

12. onion & white bean bake
Perfect for while the weather is still cool… or for you Northern Hemisphere readers, for when autumn comes around.

a simple meatball supper

simple baked meatballs
celeriac ‘noodles’
green salad

meatballs
[5 ingredients]
simple baked meatballs

takes around 60 minutes
serves 3-4

The thing I love about these meatballs, apart from the fact that they taste delicious, is that you just pop them in the oven and leave them to cook away. No messing around trying to brown them in a pan and risking ending up with meatball mush.

I prefer to use almond meal, rather than breadcrumbs to keep the meatballs gluten-free but still retain the lovely soft texture you get with breadcrumbs. Of course if you’d prefer to use bread crumbs, you can, just soak them in a little milk to soften before using.

And the onion step is a pain, but it really adds to the meatball flavour. If you’re in a hurry, you could skip the onions and it won’t be the end of the world. I’m using a mixture of pork and veal mince I picked up from the butcher, but feel free to play around with the type of meat you use. Beef is lovely as is pork or veal on their own. Chicken would take the meatballs in another direction.

1 onion, finely diced
1 jar tomato passata, tomato puree, or canned tomatoes (700g / 24oz)
500g (1lb) minced (ground) pork & veal
75g (3oz) almond meal
2 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F) and a small frying pan on a medium heat.

2. Add a glug of olive oil and the chopped onion to the frying pan and cook, stirring from time to time, until just soft and golden. About 5 minutes.

3. Place tomato in the base of an oven proof dish. And combine meat and almond in a bowl. Season.

4. Add the softened onions to the meat and mix to combine. Using your hands and a tablespoon, form the mixture into little meat balls no larger than a golf ball. Placing them on top of the tomato as you go.

5. Scatter pieces of butter over the meatballs and bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until browned on top and cooked through.

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celeriac ‘noodles’

takes 15 mins
serves 3-4

This my new favourite grain-free pasta substitute. I just love the flavour and texture of celeriac ribbons. Oh so similar to parpadelle but much lighter.

The only downside is that it takes a bit of elbow grease to make the ribbons using a vegetable peeler. But for me it’s worth the effort.

1/2 celeriac (celery root)

1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil.

2. Using a knife, remove brown husky skin from the celeriac. Then use a vegetable peeler to shave wide ribbons.

3. Simmer celeriac for 3-4 minutes or until tender, drain.

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video version of the recipe


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With love,
Jules x

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