So… last week, I went into preterm labor at 32 weeks preggo… Terrifying! Luckily they were able to stop labor. I spent 2 days in the hospital and was discharged with “bed rest” orders from my doc. While I’ll do what I have to do so this little guy can “cook” longer and be born as healthy and strong as possible… I am going crazy!!! I am such an on-the go person, and super active. It is killing me not to be able to exercise, let alone leave the house much. But I’m putting it into perspective… trying to consider it an opportunity to get some much needed rest, have precious one-on-one time with my 3 year old before the arrival of our second, and maybe even get organized.
Another thing I’m really missing in just the few days I’ve been on bedrest so far, is cooking healthy meals for my family. I’ve decided that I’m not going to give that up completely during this time, because I’ve got to maintain some sense of sanity, and control over my health and the health of those I love! But instead, I’m going to modify the meals I do create… tailored for those on bedrest like me… the “can’t stand for too long” (or at all), or for the lazy, or the short on time, or the “I just hate to cook but still want to eat healthy”… you name it! I’ve challenged myself to create one new healthy meal/recipe every night while on bedrest… even if it means I’ve got to employ the helping hands of family to do some of the prep and cooking. So follow along on my journey for the quick… the simple… the healthy! Whether you are on bedrest or not, this will change your life! Well, actually, life changing may be a stretch… but, it will make your life much, much easier!!!
Day 1- August 8th, 2017
So my parents just left town yesterday, and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law have been helping out with my 2 year old daughter and around the house while the hubs is away for work. I’m having a really, really hard time handing over my household and childcare duties and some meal prep to them, questioning “is it really that big of a deal if I just do this one little thing myself?” But then one thing, turns into two, and then three, and then a whole day spent on my feet… so I must surrender and just let them help. For dinner, I decided on a basic meal with ingredients I already had in the house- I always keep frozen chicken breasts (and other frozen meats) on hand, fresh potatoes that needed to be used soon, and fresh broccoli and carrots. Preparing the meal required minimal time on my feet… thanks to the low maintenance of baking, boiling, and quickness of steaming.
Here is what I came up with-
Seasoned Baked Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Veggies
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian Seasonings (I use Mrs. DASH)
- 4 large potatoes (I use Russet)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 to 1 tsp minced garlic (depending on how much garlic flavor you prefer)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups fresh veggies (I used baby carrots and broccoli), or a package of frozen veggies
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
- Coat each chicken breast with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasonings on both sides.
- Place in pan and bake uncovered until chicken is cooked through (about 35 minutes)
- Meanwhile, while chicken is baking… prepare the potatoes…
Mashed potato directions:
- Fill a quart sized pot halfway with water, and bring to a boil.
- Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch chunks. Leave the skin on to save time and to add texture.
- Add potatoes to boiling water and continue to boil until potatoes are soft/fully cooked (about 12-15 minutes).
- Drain the potatoes.
- Add butter to bottom of pot (now removed from heat) and allow heat from pot to melt the butter.
- Add drained potatoes back to pot, and then add milk and garlic.
- Using a mixer, whip together. Add salt and pepper to taste, continuing to whip until desired consistency/texture.
Using a double boiler or microwavable steamer, steam up veggies to desired texture. Frozen veggies packaged in steamer bags are another quick/convenient option!
Basic and balanced… let me know what you think, or share your ideas for similar meals!