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What to make when you have a newborn...

So as the topic suggest, wife and I have a newborn and are finding it difficult to find the time to make something more substantial than a sandwich or frozen food. We think it could be great to put our crockpot to use and so I pose this to the board/hounds..

Do you have any recommended recipes (crock pot or otherwise) that meet the following criterion and are willing to share?

1. No pork
2. Can't involve meat and cheese
3. Not spicy or Mexican
4. Healthy
5. Time sensitive in manner

Thanks a bunch.

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  1. I'd suggest making things that you can do in stages/steps and that will give you more than one meal - for example, vegetable lasagna. Get the sauce simmering and mix up the cheeses while the noodles cook. Leave it alone for a while to cuddle with the baby. Come back, put the lasagna together, and get it in the oven - feed the baby while it bakes. Eat with one hand while holding the baby with the other. Repeat 2 days later. :)

    A few other random thoughts:
    (1) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al... - sauce is very easy (and adaptable to leave out chili oil), add some shredded chicken and steamed peapods to round out the meal
    (2) Pasta with chickpeas and Parmesan/Romano - sort of "cacio e pepe e ceci"
    (3) If you have any recipes that call for shredded chicken, you can cook whole chickens or bone-in breasts in the crockpot. We do "taco chicken" this way and use very little actual taco seasoning since our 3yo doesn't like spicy food.

    1. Guessing that you keep kosher or are vegetarian? Which is it because I have casserole recipes that have meat that will freeze well but they contain meat OR cheese, not necessarily both. Please advise if you DO eat meat or cheese, understand you don't eat them together.

      Soups work really well, can be made in big vats, frozen in quart size containers, re-heat really well and with good bread can be a meal.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Diane in Bexley

        We do eat meat. Although wife is not a big meat eater she won't argue if she isn't making it.. right?

        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          Well, that opens up a lot of possibilities. I would suggest a big vat of chicken broth made with chicken meat & bones, onion, celery, parsnip, parsley and any other veggies. My ratio is 1 lb. chicken meat to 1 quart water. Very easy - throw it all in large soup pot, Make sure you start with cold water, some kosher salt and whole peppercorns. Bring to boil, skim off scum, and let simmer partially covered for 3-4 hours. Discard solids, skim off chicken fat and store in quart size containers, in fridge for about a week, in freezer for ever.

          You can use chicken broth as starter for SO many things - base for bechamel sauce for chicken tettrazini. So forget the cheese and top with panko crumbs for crunchiness.

          You can make variety of soups, matzo ball, noodle, won ton, corn chowder, butternut squash, acorn squash. Let me know if you need recipes.

          You can make chicken crepes, chicken enchiladas, chicken hash. These all freeze well.

          For meat, you can make a ton of different kinds of stews, paprikas, stuffed cabbage rolls, all freeze really well. As another poster says, the steps can all be done slowly with rest (baby) breaks in between.

          For cheese - vegetable lasagna, manicotti, blintzes,

          Again, let me know if you need recipes. Good Luck!

        1. We did a lot of stir fries and curries when our daughter was brand new. We have a rice cooker which was helpful for a big batch of rice we could use throughout the week. To speed things up, I would cook the protein (tofu, chicken, beef, shrimp, whatever) in one pan while I did the veggies and sauce in another. I don't really have a recipe, it was more, oh, I have x, y, and z that need to be used up and I'll throw in some frozen peas too. Then we would portion the leftovers in to individually sized containers so it was easy to microwave a whole meal.

          I am the cook in our family, so cooking was my break from "mom" duties. Still is. I do some prep during her nap, and then when DH gets home from work (I work part time and get home first) he entertains her/has daddy time so I can do my thing in the kitchen. Since I was getting up at night to nurse her, DH felt it was the least he could do.

            1. Is chicken with a yogurt tzatziki sauce okay? My newest favorite crockpot meal is Greek chicken pitas. Cover chicken breasts with lots of Greek seasoning, cook on low until the chicken is shreddable. Serve on pita with tzatkiki (shredded cucumber, plain yogurt, garlic. I add dill because I am trying to use it up; I think parsley or mint are the correct ingredients. It's delicious without any green herbs as well.), onion and tomato if you have them.

              Lettuce wraps -- cover chicken breasts with teriyaki sauce, cook on low until the chicken is shreddable, serve wrapped in lettuce leaves with optional toppings like green onions, water chestnuts, steamed stir-fry veggies (frozen mix is just fine -- you can add it at the last hour or so of cooking in the crockpot).

              Turkey Joes -- brown ground turkey when you have a spare minute during the day, add to the crockpot and cover with sauce, cook on low for a few hours.

              I like to make meatloaf in the crockpot -- your favorite meatloaf recipe, just form into a loaf and cook it on low.

              Don't feel bad about sandwich nights or cheese and cracker nights. Don't feel bad about shortcuts or convenience foods. It gets easier.

              2 Replies
                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  Try some tahini sauce or hummus on the chicken wrap and save the tzatziki for a hummus, feta, and vegetable wrap.

              1. I made lots of "sipping" soups when we first brought our son home. Easy to heat up and sip out of mug. One handed eating is key especially when breast feeding.

                A few quick ones that are easily made in a crock pot or stove top are carrot/ginger, tomato bisque, roasted butternut squash, clam chowder, creamy cauliflower, chicken and rice, etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodieX2

                  BIG plus to Karen and foodie. I'm the auntie who babysits her sister in laws babies/toddlers, and though I'm not breastfeeding them obv, it's comforting to have a mug of something hot while walking/singing/bottlefeeding/carrying at 3am.

                2. Soup, soup, soup. Even 20+ later, I STILL remember... it's the easiest thing to eat with one hand, from a cup, while nursing a baby. Especially nice if the make-ahead/freeze-for-later portions are single-serve, so that they can be heated quickly.
                  That said: congee; using a hearty/sturdy/rich broth and brown rice. The broth can be made one day with veg (and chicken if you eat chicken); strain and cool. Next day, set up the slow cooker with rice and broth; switch on and ignore until done.

                  Sautee or braise some chopped greens (kale, spinach, chard) with your wife's favorite seasonings. They can go over into the congee with diced tofu. Or under eggs. Or in another soup.

                  1. If you have access, go ahead and buy the pre-cut broccoli, peeled carrots and cut up fruit. In small quantities.
                    Saves time, tastes good. You and your wife will appreciate having something fresh and healthy.
                    There's no shame in using some shortcuts to save time, and thus ensure that you have adequate nutrition and sleep. :)
                    Congratulations.

                    1. Congratulations!

                      Argh! I had a lovely post and it vanished:

                      Frittatas and quiches are infinitely flexible, can be eaten hot or cold, for any meal, you can make them ahead. I know quiche isn't super fast, but it's mostly passive time in the oven if you use a premade crust. I've never tried it but you can apparently do frittatas in the crock pot:

                      http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2013/08/...

                      Here's another: http://www.twincities.com/recipes/ci_...

                      Slow cooker oatmeal is great. Assemble before you go to bed and wake up to a hot breakfast. Again, infinite variations. Can do sweet or savory. Keeps well in the fridge or freezer for easy reheating. Here's one recipe from chow, for example: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30656-slo...

                      I like a pumpkin pie'ish one along these lines but with real brown sugar. Sub milk for the water if you wish http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-coo...

                      Another make-ahead oatmeal, but no cook:
                      http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ch...

                      Not crock pot, but one-tray oven dinners came up on a different thread. Turn on the oven, assemble, and bake:

                      http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysander...

                      Several of the one-tray dinners recipes in the above link were favorites chez-TDQ even before I encountered them all together. Maybe you'll find one or two that meet your requirements.

                      ETA:

                      Never tried it but it seems appropriate:

                      One handed, one bowl banana bread:
                      http://blogs.babycenter.com/life_and_...

                      And a one-pot dish I've been meaning to try:

                      Pasta, Tomatoes, Veggie Broth, Olive Oil, and Seasonings

                      Throw it all in the pot, INCLUDING the uncooked Pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. The starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a sauce for the noodles.

                      12 ounces pasta (Linguine or penne are good)
                      1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
                      1 large sweet onion, julienned
                      4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
                      1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I'm sure you could omit)
                      2 large sprigs basil, chopped

                      4 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
                      2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
                      2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
                      Parmesan cheese for garnish (omit)

                      Or: 16 oz pasta plus 2 cans diced tomatoes

                      Put ingredients through basil in stock pot. Add broth. Sprinkle with pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle with oil.
                      Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Keep covered. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until almost all liquid has evaporated.

                      Season with salt and pepper. Stir pasta thoroughly to distribute the liquid evenly. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

                      ~TDQ

                      1 Reply
                      1. Congratulations! As you come across super quick meals that you really like, start keeping a list. If it's something you can throw together from stuff you always have on hand, all the better. Here's one such recipe for me. It's surprising how good it is from such humble ingredients.http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... A salad of mixed baby greens dressed simply with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil is great on the side.

                        Another on my quick list is a frittata using 6 eggs, 1 T. olive oil, 1 T. Herbes de Provence, s & p, and about 2 oz. goat cheese. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet on med-low heat. Beat eggs with seasonings and pour into skillet. Crumble goat cheese evenly over eggs. Finish in the oven, about 15 minutes. Great as is but a little fresh herbs, parsley or mint, doesn't hurt.

                        Another idea is flat-bread pizzas using store-bought naan.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MrsJonesey

                          To build on the frittata theme, I love this feature from the LA Times with frittata tips and 14 recipes (if you're looking for ideas for variations) for frittatas: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/...

                          Also, a few tofu recipes that are no-cook and dead easy if you just need something light and quick:

                          Dunlop's Silken Tofu with Avocado
                          http://www.foodgal.com/2013/06/silken...

                          Here's another variation (that I haven't tried):
                          http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/tofu-...

                          Also, David Chang's Cherry Tomato & Tofu Salad
                          http://www.foodgal.com/2010/08/a-calm...

                          Another quick and easy no-cook recipe:
                          Tuscan bean and tuna salad
                          http://www.twincities.com/recipes/ci_...

                          ~TDQ

                        2. My daughter will be two this week. I remember so well what you are going through. The nice thing to remember is that generally they start to sleep longer in about eight weeks which will give you more freedom. Baked chicken is pretty easy and provides left overs and can be a topping on a salad, shredded in tacos, etc the next day. Stuffed squash or peppers. Just brown the ground meat (we use ground turkey breast) with a bit of onion and garlic, and then when ready to eat it, just mix in with couscous or rice and stuff and bake until done. Also, maybe a little smoked salmon, over a slice of toast and dill. Not quite a sandwich, but easy. Spinach and mushroom lasagna. Good luck.

                          1. Here are a couple of suggestions that I was able to manage at that stage.

                            Roast chicken -- roast some veggies at the same time for a complete meal. The nice thing about this meal is that once you put the chicken and veggies in the oven, you don't have to do anything else. If a whole chicken seems daunting, you can just do parts (put them with the veggies on a sheet pan).

                            Pasta with tomato sauce. I use Marcella's butter and onion tomato sauce, and it still works if you want to reduce the butter. The reason I like this sauce (besides that it tastes great) is that the only prep is cutting an onion in half. You don't even really need to stir the sauce. http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/101517...

                            Curry with coconut milk: This recipe with squash and kale is good and healthy and very easy if you replace the homemade curry paste with a commercial curry paste. Just choose a variety like panang curry that isn't very spicy. http://food52.com/recipes/7870-currie... For this one I would try to prep the squash and kale earlier in the day, then at dinner time all you have to do is put the pre-chopped veggies in the pot.

                            Beans and tuna (or sardines) -- this is good to have in the fridge for lunches. Just mix a can of beans with a can of low mercury tuna (or sardines -- they are healthier), dress with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

                            (I found that one of the issues with having a newborn is that every time I started doing something, I could be called away to attend to the baby at a moment's notice, and then who knows when I would be able to return to what I was doing before. So I really needed recipes that (1) required minimal chopping/prep time; (2) could basically take care of themselves once on the stove or in the oven.

                            )

                            Also, one last tip: if you have relatives or friends who are willing to help a bit -- ask them to come over and help you with a veggie chopping session. If you can cook a lot of vegetables at the beginning of the week (roasting most of them and sauteeing green vegetables with garlic) you can then use them all week long in lunches and dinners. The problem with this plan is finding the time to chop and prep the veggies for cooking. When I had a new baby, my mom came over a few times and helped me with the chopping so I could do this (she did most of the work). I really appreciated having the cooked veggies around all week. It's very nice to be able to have some veggies for lunch alongside, say, your bean and tuna salad.

                            1. Easy recipe. Rinse a bag of baby spinach in a colander. Boil water in a pan. Drop in refrigerator tortellini- your choice. When cooked drain over spinach and toss a little in the colander. Heat some jarred marinara sauce in the pan. Put spinach and tortellini in a bowl and spoon over some sauce. Parmesan cheese on top of you picked a dairy filled pasta.
                              Takes about 15 minutes tops.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Berheenia

                                I will have to try this on a busy night, even though my newborns are almost nine years old.

                              2. when we had a newborn, we ate a lot of asian style noodle(buckewheat noodle) ate it with chicken broth purchased from Trader Joe's and sauteed mushroom, peppers, boiled eggs, etc. You can also add dumplings from trader joe's. So good and healthy and satisfying. it can be both cold and hot.

                                cheese and pate(or just cheese since you practic kosher), grapes and cornichons, mustard with good baguette.

                                Good sandwich. Bought really good bread, fresh carved turkey from Costco...good mayo(like Japanese mayo or french)..tomatoes..and good cheeses.

                                Made a big batch of baked ziti...it's still good 2-3 days later.

                                One pot dish like the chicken in vingegar sauce or chicken tagine.

                                hummus and flat bread, boiled eggs.

                                chicken hot dogs or lamb sausages on bread

                                simple roasted chicken..just salt and pepper.

                                1. If one of you can dedicate a little time (naptime!) to cooking, I made a bunch of these pocket pies before my son was born and kept them unbaked in the freezer. They're super easy to pop into the oven or toaster oven, and can be eaten with one hand.
                                  http://www.shutterbean.com/2010/spina...

                                  They do require some fiddliness at the outset, though it's really not bad.

                                  Another great idea is to make congee overnight in the slow cooker. I make it with 1/2 chicken broth instead of water and with a few chopped scallions and maybe some shredded chicken it's a great, savory meal in a cup and unlikely to cause any digestive issues for the baby (if your wife is nursing.)

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Savour

                                    Handheld pies are a fantastic idea.

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      They were terrific, even without a newborn in the equation. I think I might dedicate naptime in a week or two to making another batch for the freezer (I made spinach and feta, a chicken pot pie version, and an empanadas version with picadillo.)

                                  2. We have a 5 weeker and are living on sandwiches, but we make sure they are delicious sandwiches.

                                    When we make something more complicated, it usually has some of these components which are either low maintence or very fast cooking:
                                    rice - made in rice cooker
                                    Pasta
                                    some kind of whole grain
                                    vegetables roasted in toaster oven
                                    fried eggs
                                    stir fried tofu
                                    a lot of cheese
                                    chopped nuts
                                    sturdy greens
                                    high quality tomatoes
                                    high quality canned tuna

                                    1. So we made a tuscan chicken pasta dish and beef and broccoli. I think I'm going to make a brisket or a turkey breast next since those will last for days. Or actually I've got a bbq pulled chicken recipe that might do well. Thank you for the suggestions. I saw some good recipes on Cooking Light's website too.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                        Good thinking on the turkey and brisket--those aren't "quick" in terms of cooking time, but they are more "passive" time than active time and if you're going to be hanging around the house with the baby anyway, you might as well.

                                        If you're doing those in the oven, you might consider baking a squash or two afterwards, since the oven is hot. If you've got a frozen quiche, you can pop that in while the oven's hot.

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          Nope figured I'd do either in a slow cooker. I've found a few recipes. Though surprisingly most don't say to start with the first hour or 2 on high before going to low.

                                      2. You can poach boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker for use later in recipes. Poach them in commercial chicken broth with a bay leaf and a sprig of rosemary.

                                        Things will rapidly get less hectic, I promise.

                                        18 Replies
                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                          Commercial chicken broth around these parts is not Kosher and so no good.. but could do vegetable broth or make my own.

                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                            If you can find it Imagine makes a "no chicken chicken broth" that is as good as a homemade but no meat products. Whole Foods usually has it as other higher end supermarkets.
                                            http://www.imaginefoods.com/content/o...

                                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                              It's easy to make your own chicken broth in the slow cooker, but you have to start with a roast chicken. I like this super easy roast chicken from Thomas Keller, except that I don't bother with trussing, the mustard, or the herbs. I often do two at a time and freeze the shredded meat from one chicken in 2 cups increments for quick meals later:

                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                              A couple of chowhound threads for slow cooker stock:

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783548
                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/446227

                                              ~TDQ

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                I have done the thomas keller chicken before. Its easy to make stock in a regular pot which I would do while using the crock/slow cooker for something else.

                                                I told my wife about soup and she wasn't up for it. She wants bon a fide meals more than soup but one or two soups to keep for the colder days ahead would be great.

                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                  One advantage to slow cooker stock in the crock pot is that you can do it overnight. But, if you've got a routine that works for you, I say roll with it! You've got your hands full--don't mess with the things that don't need fixing!

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    My friend Lulusmom just sent me an email from you that you had sent to her about quick meals.

                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                      Hmmmm (not to nitpick, but just to give credit where credit is due), no, I'm guessing it's the other way around...she sent you an email that she'd also sent to me about quick meals when my (now toddler) was a newborn... :) She was an experienced parent by the point I was in your shoes and asking similar questions to the ones you're asking asking now. :)

                                                      Several of those recipes I "inherited" from LLM are included in the one tray dinners links that appear a couple of times in this thread, though some of them are a bit on the "spicy" side (by which I mean, include red pepper flakes or paprika) so I didn't call them out for you.

                                                      Do you belong to pepperplate.com? Free web-based recipe database software? If not, you might consider setting up a free account. Recipes from epicurious (and a number of other websites, too, including food & wine, food network, food52 etc.) import automatically into pepperplate with just a click or two. (Other recipes you can "manually" import by just cutting and pasting or by typing them in.) Then you can have all of these recipes handy and in your repertoire for whenever you're too tired to remember what your "go to's" are. It also produces a grocery list for you that is customizable.

                                                      ~TDQ

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        : ) Thanks for the credit!

                                                        It is true - we like spicy food here, so there is at least a little spice in many of the recipes on that list.

                                                        BF, how does Mrs. BF feel about pasta? We have pasta at least once a week, and have loads of simple recipes.

                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                          When I asked one of our daughters what I could bring her, she asked for Hazan's (RIP) Bolognese sauce. I made a huge batch, froze in 2C portions and they were in great shape. So, yeah, any kind of pasta. How about carbonara? Oops, no pork. I think it would still be tasty without it though.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Saw an alternative to Carbonara using peas and well I could probably find a way around it.. maybe using smoked salmon or something of that ilk.

                                                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                              my mom used to make us fettuccine alfredo topped with seared tuna or salmon; i imagine it would do fine with carbonara, too. i recommend cooking it rare, slicing it, and putting it on top.

                                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                We use turkey bacon. But you still need some dairy in there, which probably puts it out of the running.

                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                  actually, there are quite a few vegetarian "carbonara" recipes out there; i think they mostly sub mushrooms for the meat

                                                            2. re: LulusMom

                                                              Yes we have done pasta the past few days/weeks so I was looking towards something different. I have recipe for cacio e pepe that I could always throw together quick.

                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Why do you have to start with a roast chicken? Take a bunch of chicken feet and backs and anything else that floats your boat. Throw in the slowcooker and cook forever. Easy peasy.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Yeah I've never heard of having to start with a roast chicken for stock.

                                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                          Well, not really, you just have to have a chicken carcass. Which, in my household, comes from roasting a whole chicken, then pulling off the meat for dinner or for the freezer. What's left is the carcass that you can then use to make stock.

                                                          Or as coliver points out, you can have backs and necks that you've been saving up in the freezer for your opportunity to make stock. I suppose you could buy backs and necks in order to make stock, but that goes against the whole ethos, I think. :)

                                                          But, yes, I see how my post could sound a little weird the way it's worded!

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                2. The simple answer is often the best. Make soup and more soup. Stop at the bakery and pick up some good bread, including some to throw in the freezer for later. Get a bunch of crackers, too.

                                                  My own favorites are heavy on the starches -- new mothers need some calories!

                                                  Vegetable with tomato base, lots of shell pasta and beans (light on the cabbage and onions if the babe doesn't like them :) A bag of frozen mixed veggies never tasted better! Be sure to add some Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce.

                                                  Chicken and noodles (if that's meat to you, then maybe veggie broth, noodles and some kind of greens?)

                                                  Split pea or lentil in the crock pot is really good.

                                                  Good ole tomato.

                                                  Cream of broccoli (don't need a crock pot -- this is a quick soup.)

                                                  Hot and sour, egg drop, etc. Chicken broth and some sesame oil and whatever you have around, esp. tofu.

                                                  Butternut soup -- yumm. You can buy already chunked up squash at some stores.

                                                  Potato soup! (You can cheat by using some cream of celery as the base...) Throw in some frozen veggies here, too,and amazingly, noodles can be good (google potato rivvel soup).

                                                  1. I'm kind of surprised by the number of replies for soup, with the thinking that you could sip it one-handed while holding baby. You all must be way less clumsy than me!

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      I thought the same thing! My 16 year old "newborn" ended up wearing some lentil soup when I tried the sipping idea. Fortunately, he was wearing a stocking cap and escaped unscathed.

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        I am sure I could never eat soup while nursing/holding a baby either! It would be scary, to say the least.

                                                        I recommend soup because it is a meal all by itself -- requires nothing additional (although bread is nice). Most soups, you can make all in one shot -- not a lot of steps or prep time. It keeps beautifully in the refrigerator, and you can reheat exactly as much as you want at any time. That makes almost any soup my very favorite convenience food.

                                                        And you can eat it in the easy chair when the baby is napping. My babies, however, did seem to develop a real talent for waking up hungry about the same time I would sit down to eat!

                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          When my granddaughter was a month old, I was able to eat dinner. One handed.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Yeah, but that's because you had grandma skills, which are totally different from first-time, sleep-deprived parent of a newborn skills! :)

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              Except I'm the "evil stepmother" and never had my own babies :)

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                HA!

                                                                You were less sleep-deprived?

                                                                (That's all I've got. But, yes, you can definitely hold a newborn in one arm. Honestly, I seldom did it. But I was too afraid to drizzle soup or hot coffee on baby...so, I'd put baby down before I did those things... But, I'm just a very clumsy, absent minded person.)

                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Sometimes I think skipping straight over kid to grandkid sounds like an excellent plan. Homework support for algebra II at age 52 is kicking my ass.

                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                    WAY more fun be a grandparent!!! The return policy is especially good :)

                                                          2. 1) stuffed squash
                                                            2) stuffed peppers
                                                            3) crockpot chili
                                                            4) crockpot stew
                                                            5) macaroni and cheese
                                                            6) fried rice
                                                            7) thai curry (can be quite mild if made at home - can also make vegan by subbing veggie stock for fish sauce, which also ensures kosher)
                                                            9) peanut noodles with veggies and chicken, seafood (recommend salmon), tofu, or beef
                                                            10) rice bowls (steamed rice - ideally in a rice cooker, a cheap one works fine - topped with eggs, veggies either cooked or raw, and meat, fish or non-meat protein like tofu)
                                                            11) burgers (meat or veggie, with or without cheese as appropriate - black bean burgers with cheese and avocado are yummy)
                                                            12) fried or scrambled eggs with fruit and toast
                                                            13) grilled cheese
                                                            14) baked potatoes with toppings

                                                            mazel tov!

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: chartreauxx

                                                              I was looking at a Thai dish and trying to figure out how to work around the thai red curry paste

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Wife doesn't do any type of heat in a dish.. bothers stomach.

                                                                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                    If you want to do a Thai dish, what about pad thai instead? That would be easy to make not-spicy without changing the overall dish too much.

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                  i recommend using green curry or yellow curry; these are milder. if you find it too spicy, my solution is always just to add more coconut milk and/or start with less curry paste. you can add extra lime juice, lemongrass, ginger or galangal, shallot, garlic, cilantro, pepper, salt, brown or palm sugar, basil and/or cumin, etc to your coconut milk if you want more flavor without the spice (these plus chiles are the components of thai green curry paste; if using less of the curry paste leaves you feeling like it doesn't taste enough, this will add more curry flavor without any extra heat).

                                                              1. Congratulations on parenthood! When my son was born in 2013, we made a lot of this - farro, lentil and sweet potato stew: http://rachelsdigestif.com/post/39406...

                                                                The stew also freezes really well. You can dial down the curry powder to make it less spicy. We made that stew so often that whenever I eat it now, I can still hear phantom strains of my son's little cries from when he was a newborn.

                                                                Like a lot have already suggested, we also did our best to make a batch of something that would last a few days - so we'd make a lot of quinoa or brown rice and then serve it with different things each day...sometimes marinated and roasted salmon, tofu and vegetable stir fry another day, etc. We ate a lot of roasted salmon usually marinated with some combination of dijon mustard, soy sauce and brown sugar. It was very easy to make and required minimal effort to get something healthy.

                                                                Another staple was pasta and meat sauce - we'd use either ground beef or ground turkey. Filling and if you watch the pasta portion, still relatively healthy.

                                                                We really enjoyed cooking and all things food related before the baby but once he was born, we couldn't keep up the energy to find just the right [fill in the blank] to make a meal special. Some days even assembling a salad was too much. So we gave ourselves a break, took shortcuts when needed and kept things simple until things got a bit easier and we had more time (and energy) to drum up more involved meals.

                                                                Good luck! The early weeks are tough but it gets easier. I didn't believe it when people told me I'd miss the newborn stage but my son is 16 months now and I kind of miss some of that time.

                                                                1. How about making some easy savory soups in your crock pot?

                                                                  It would take about 5 minutes in the morning to throw some onions, canned diced veggies, garlic, low sodium veggie broth and beans with spices of your choice...maybe cumin, thyme, basil...with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, pepper and salt to taste.

                                                                  If you've got a second crock pot you can even make a good variety of quick breads that taste great! I bake in my slow cooker all the time, summer and winter, and it doesn't heat up the kitchen.

                                                                  Good luck, and congratulations on the new arrival!

                                                                  www.FoodWacky.com

                                                                  1. Broiled fish fillets, green salad with olive oil and vinegar, crusty garlic bread. Fast, healthy and delicious.

                                                                    1. I'm going to recommend a couple of books that I've found very helpful for getting meals on the table quickly and deliciously. Recently I've been going nuts over Diana Henry's Pure Simple Cooking. The recipes are usually incredibly easy and tasty too. And because she's British (not meaning to cast any aspersions here) they tend not to be spicy, just flavorful. I also like Melissa Clark's books a lot (Cook this Now and In the Kitchen with Good Flavor) for fairly easy meals, although these aren't *quite* as simple. You should also check out Donna Hay's website. Lots of good ideas for easy and quick meals there.

                                                                      1. So many good ideas here.

                                                                        When my now 6 year old was born our most common menu was some combination of: butternut squash soup (easy in the crock pot), tortilla espanola, and mesclun/baby spinach salad with cheese (goat, feta, parmesan) and nuts/seeds (walnuts, pecans, sunflower, pumpkin). It seemed like the prep was minimal (the tortilla takes the most time) and could be done in stages. And when a window opportunity arose to eat, we could get it on these on the table quickly. (As a bonus, you can offer it to visitors and look like a GENIUS.)

                                                                        The other thing we ate a lot of was grilled cheese sandwiches with Trader Joe's red pepper and tomato soup (a guilty pleasure). That and whole wheat apple walnut cake.

                                                                        1. Again thank you for all the suggestions.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                            Cooking so you can eat like a chowhound even when you're short on time is one of my favorite topics! And, lucky for me, it's a frequent topic! Please do come back and share any new ideas you explore and end up loving! You know, to the extent you're not too sleep-deprived to do so and even though you might be typing one-handed while holding baby in the other. :)

                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                              Found a beef and broccoli recipe that my wife liked and pulled chicken recipe that we both like. One I saw on facebook and the other was on Cooking Light website.

                                                                          2. Crockpot: Beef stew is one of my winter favorites. I vary the veggies, but my favorites are carrots and parsnips. Throw in a good splash of red wine (skip if breastfeeding). Another winter favorite is chicken breasts with white beans and carrots and a good amount of chicken broth, enough to plentifully cover the breasts to keep them moist so they don't dry out during the cooking process. Salt, pepper, a few herbs. I like this one when I'm in a hurry since I literally toss the ingredients in, mix quick, turn it on and go.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Kat

                                                                              pot roast is good, easy, nourishing and filling, too!