Three months later and I'm still talking about life after labor. There are so many layers of transition that I shed as each new week passes on by. I wanted to share something that helped my family tremendously during the first few weeks of bringing baby Oak home, and still now as a very busy family of four. I feel speaking openly about the difficulties of adding another family member is taboo in the silliest of ways. All of us women know how difficult it is, but few actually speak on it. Heck, I was one. I felt weird and at times ungrateful for openly feeling any other emotion besides happiness of course. The truth of it is, with the joy, there is equal parts of total madness within yourself. You're physically present, but mentally... not so much. Giving birth is a huge event that takes months to fully recover from. Now that Oak is three months old, I finally feel like I am out of it, and I am so very thankful for that time and for what is to come!
A week or so after Oak was born I remember talking with Peter, and asking "Does having two mean we eat-out often?" Does it mean that I would have to give up the notion of creating and feeding my family healthy and loving meals? It seemed as if the answer was yes. Slowly but surely I realized the answer was no. Yes, there will be a few nights a week where we will scan Seamless in search of a balanced (and sometimes not so balanced) meal. With Peter being a freelancer and with me juggling so many roles, home cooked meals most days of the week was on the bottom of the totem poll. I learned that when I did create a meal, it had to be fast, it had to cook without needing too much attention, and of course it had to be delicious.
With that, I turned to our farmers market, a Saturday ritual for many in our neighborhood. In the past I often skipped the farmers market for a brunch date as a family. Now, I look forward to the market every Saturday. I know it is the root of most of my weekly meals. See, there's this undeniable pressure when purchasing fresh produce. Once you spend the money on fresh goods, you have to use them. This pressure has been an amazing thing for me during this time of transition. Every other night or so, in less than an hour of baking, I can promise my family a tasty meal for dinner. I can also promise that we will probably pull breakfast and lunch for the next day out of that same meal. I'm sure many already know that this is the easiest way to feed yourself and your family post baby. But if you are like me and felt blank in the world of meals, I hope you find this one pot meal-ish tip helpful.
More after this break
To give you an idea of how much I buy from the farmers market each week, I always bring $30. Some of the $30 is used on veggies, some of it on a gallon of the best cider (ever), fresh flowers, and cider donuts. (devoured on site) I can usually get two, maybe three meals out of all of those veggies. That's more than enough for us since we usually have enough left over for breakfast and lunch the next day. So if you're counting, that's around 9 different meals! Most of my veggies go bad after the fourth day or so, there's that pressure I was talking about in the beginning.
The easiest kind of one pot meal we make around here is baked veggies topped with cilantro, olive oil, and a bit of lemon juice. After washing and cutting all of my veggies, I add all the toppings and a tiny bit of water. I bake the veggies for about 30 minutes at 350. I usually turn over the veggies at 15 minutes to make sure they aren't sticking to the bottom.
After baking, your veggies are ready to eat! Our favorite part of the baked veggies are the tomatoes. They are always warm to the touch on the outside and once bitten into, they burst with heat in the best way! To keep the cooking time down, I usually serve with olive oil noodles (cooks in about 10 minutes). For breakfast I usually fry an egg white on the side. Or I will throw the veggies in an egg white omelet. For lunch I usually toast a piece of baguette or croissant, lightly buttered, with the veggies thrown on top. For River, we usually chop up the vegetables really small so they're hidden in her pasta. She will also take the veggies chopped super tiny in her scrambled eggs. These baked veggies are delicious and just keep on giving meal after meal. Enjoy!