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Quick meals for new mums.



I always knew I'm not a 'freezer meal' friendly person. I have never pre-cooked, froze and thawed ready-meals to eat. I remember being a student back in 2006 and most of my uni friends in Athens were carrying over within their luggages like tons of frozen meals from home. Never worked for me; it's just too much hassle, isn't it? I am mostly interested in healthy quick meal recipes that are freshly made, easy to prepare and still yummy. I am a slow cook myself, even though I have never used a slow cooker. I enjoy the process of slowly preparing all the ingredients for my meals, nicely chopping the vegetables, the seasoning and tasting process. As an amateur cook I experiment and improvise a lot with all sort of foods, but I am more into traditional recipes from my home country, what I like to call Yiayia's style! I grew up very close to my grandmother and used to spend countless afternoons helping her out and learning all sorts of cooking tips from her.


Seeking to be as prepared as one possibly can just before labor, I put together an extensive shopping list for my online groceries delivery and found a few simple healthy postpartum meal ideas that are easy to make, don't require a lot of preparation and are rich in crucial nutrients to enhance postpartum recovery, support breastfeeding, hormonal balance, and steady energy levels. At first, I looked up online for some postpartum recipe's inspiration but all I could find was frozen meals on the one hand and on the other hand interesting meals that while healthy yet seemed like they would require a lot of preparation. I needed something simple. On a side note, consider ordering your groceries online whenever possible to save you time and effort for when the baby arrives home. It can be a real lifesaver. Anyways, let's have a look at a few items off my grocery shopping list.


1) General rule: make sure to stock up your kitchen cabinet and fridge with basic, easy to grab snacks for when your hunger strikes.


- Fresh fruit & vegetables

- Greek yogurt

- Eggs

- Protein or whole-grain granola bars

- Crackers, grissini, dakos & biscuits

- Hummus, tahini, honey, olive oil

- Cheeses & Charcuterie

- A selection of nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds etc)

- Legumes soaked in a can (chickpeas to make your own hummus, beans, lentils for salads or quinoa etc)



2) Mediterranean Chickpea Greek Salad


Preparation time: 10 min

Serves 2


Ingredients:


- 1 can of chickpeas drained

- 1 red onion sliced

- 1 avocado sliced

- 15-20 cherry tomatoes sliced

- 1/2 big cucumber diced

- 1 green bell pepper diced

- 2 red beetroot loose diced

- 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped

- 100r baby spinach leaves

- 1/2 feta cheese chopped

- 1/2 lemon juice


For the dressing:


- Olive oil

- Red wine vinegar

- Salt/pepper



3) Greek Lentil Soup


Preparation time: 10 min

Cooking time: 45 min

Serves 4


Ingredients:


- 250g lentils

- 1 onion

- 2 carrots

- 2 celery sticks

- 400g chopped canned tomatoes

- vegetable broth cube

- 2 tbsp olive oil

- 2 garlic cloves

- 2 bay leaves

- 1 tsp cumin

- 1 pinch chilli flakes

- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

- salt/pepper


To serve (optional):


- bread

- thyme

- olives

- salt-cured anchovies


Rinse and drain the lentils. Chop all the vegetables into small slices. On a large pot over medium heat sauté the onions first, then add the carrots and celery until they soften. Stir and add the lentils, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add the garlic to the mix along with the bay leaves, chilli flakes, cumin and apple cider vinegar. Cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes over medium to low heat. When ready add the salt and pepper.



4) Avgolemono Chicken Soup. One of my all-time favourites. Find the whole recipe here. Pay extra attention on the making of the avgolemono. It really makes a difference!


Ingredients:


- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

- 8 cups cold water

- 1 large onion -unpeeled & quartered

- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns

- 1 tablespoon sea salt

- 3/4 cup dry orzo or rice for soups

- 4 large eggs

- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice



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