You guys. I am so in love with my new niece. She’s so snuggly and sweet.
She’s absolutely perfect, and I can’t believe we got lucky enough to have this blitz in Tucson so we can enjoy all of this amazing family time before we move onto the next adventure. The girls have loved seeing their new cousin (Liv loves holding her, and P keeps a small distance and says, “Baby. Baby.”), and I definitely look forward to the day when we’re back here, and they’re all playing together!
Helping Out with a New Baby
I’ve spent some memorable time smelling her sweet baby smell and letting her snooze on my chest when I come to visit, and I also try to help out in any way I can. I don’t like to show up empty-handed to any family with a new baby, let alone my brother and my SIL. When I thought about the things that were the most helpful to us when Liv and P were newborns, a few things came to mind:
-Naps and/or showers (usually courtesy of the madre or nana. I’d feed P or Liv and they’d say, “Go nap or shower.” And I would. And it was THE BEST.)
-Help with anything around the house or with the dogs. The poor dogs were often neglected, so my mom or MIL would leash them up for a walk around the neighborhood.
-FOOD. Takeout was awesome, but homemade was even better.
I remember eating a lot of sugar, and feeling so happy when my friend Whitney brought soup over. It had protein and veggies, warmed my soul, and I could heat it in a mug and eat with one hand. Done and done.
To set Kyle and Meg up with some healthy eats to enjoy this week, I thought it would be fun to make some staples to have in the fridge: Paleo bread, overnight oats, salad beasts, lactation cookies, and hearty soup.
Madre and I also ordered a Sunbasket because they’ve been wanting to try it, and it makes healthy delicious dinners super easy.
Since I was already planning on meal prepping for the week, it was a breeze to double the recipes and pack some up for Kyle and Meg.
Here’s How I Did One Week of Meal Prep in One Hour.
Overnight oats (oats, almond milk, peanut butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, berries, cacao nibs)
Salads (chicken, quinoa, chopped veggies and kalamata olives)
Soup (chicken breasts, onion, chopped zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, garlic, broth, bone broth, fresh herbs)
1. Place 2 chicken breasts on the bottom of the Instant Pot. Season well with salt, pepper and garlic powder. You can also make the soup in the slow cooker, but it will take longer (about 5 hours). No big deal if you’re doing this on a Sunday and have time for it to cook!
2. Start chopping veggies for the salads and soup. For everything I chopped, half was reserved for salads, half went into the instant pot.
3 celery ribs (soup only)
4 carrots (peel and dice)
1/2 cucumber (salads only)
3 bell peppers
1 sweet onion (soup only)
3. Rinse and start boiling the quinoa. I did 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of chicken broth.
4. Finish the soup and get it going! Add the chopped veggies to the Instant Pot (on top of the seasoned chicken), 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, add 1 carton of chicken broth, and 8 oz of bone broth (or more chicken broth).
Season well with salt and pepper, then top with 5 sprigs of thyme and 3 large sprigs of rosemary. Set on the “Soup” setting for 15 minutes. (I still can’t believe it cooks everything in 15 minutes of active cooking.)
5. Brown chicken for the salads. Dice two chicken breasts (into bite-sized pieces), and season well with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, and smoked paprika. Cook in a little olive oil in a large pan until completely cooked. Remove from heat to cool.
6. By now, the quinoa should be done cooking. Fluff with a fork and remove from heat to cool.
7. Preheat the oven and start the Paleo bread. It was my first time making a double batch, and it came out really well. Just keep an eye on it because ours got a little toasty on top.
8. While the Paleo bread is cooking, assemble the salads. In Mason jars, I added the chicken, then quinoa, then the chopped veggies, kalamata olives, and topped with romaine. You can use any greens you love, but put them on top so they don’t get soggy. Later when you’re ready to eat, just add dressing, cover, shake, and serve.
9. Next, make the overnight oats. In each jar, I added about 1/2 cup of the Trader Joe’s gf super oats, and about 1 cup of almond milk. I drizzled in a little maple syrup, cinnamon, and mixed well. I topped each jar with a blob of almond butter or peanut butter, some cacao nibs, and berries. Raspberries and blueberries tend to hold their shape the best.
10. When the Paleo bread and soup are cooled and ready to go, pack everything up to either share with friends, or store in the fridge. I transported the salads and overnight oats in jars, the Paleo bread in a sealed glass dish, and the lactation cookies I had made previously and frozen.
Friends with kiddos: what was your favorite meal post-baby?? Post-birth sushi was everything I’d been dreaming of.
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