Monday, August 31, 2009

Remedy for Morning Sickness: A Hearty Lunch

Now that I am (finally) through the first-trimester yuckiness that so many of us face - yes, I am pregnant (15 weeks) and we are very happy! - I feel that it is my duty to share a wonderful revelation that I had about 6 weeks ago. Truly, I should have figured this out about three babies ago, but perhaps by sharing I can help some of our readers who are still trudging through those difficult first few months of pregnancy!

The revelation came one hot July afternoon when I was feeling at the height of my "morning" sickness. A good friend, Mary, had invited my kids and me on a last-minute trip to story time at our local library, and although I just felt like staying home, I knew that the distraction would be good for all of us. After story time, Mary invited us over for an early lunch. Again, I hesitated, knowing that my kids were ready for naps/quiet time, but I decided to take her up on her kind offer. We arrived at Mary's home and I played with the kids while she prepared lunch, fully expecting that we would be eating turkey sandwiches or something similar. After all, that's what I would be serving for an impromptu lunch date! I had forgotten that Mary is a great cook, and also one of the most generous people that I know.

We sat down to lunch and Mary served me a steaming plate of chicken and rice, full of veggies and little pieces of perfectly-cooked chicken. Let me tell you, it was the most satisfying dish that I had eaten in a long time, and the rest of the day I felt great! Had I been preparing lunch for myself at home, I would have eaten something much less elaborate - I've always saved our leftovers from dinner for another weeknight meal - but this delicious meal was just what my pregnant body needed. Since that day, I have been consciously eating a hearty lunch, usually leftovers from the night before or something that I have prepared in advance. I have been making soups, stews, and sauces galore so that I always have something on hand, and it has made a huge difference in my ability to function for the remainder of the day! On the menu today: beef stew left over from last night's dinner. I promise that it tastes much better than it looks in this unflattering snapshot :)

In case you'd like to taste Mary's delicious chicken and rice dish for yourself, I've posted the recipe below. It was such a life-changing experience that I made myself a big batch the very next day, and I enjoyed it for the rest of the week! The only caveat: I wouldn't suggest freezing this dish, as the consistency of the rice changes dramatically with freezing. Enjoy!

Chicken and Rice

1-1.25 pounds of chicken breasts or tenders
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 T. worcestershire sauce
1 t. salt
Juice of 1 lime
1 t. minced garlic

Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and marinade it in the rest of the above ingredients for at least half an hour.

2 T. vegetable oil
1-2 t. paprika
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3-4 small sweet peppers, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 tomatoes peeled, seeded, finely chopped (I didn't peel the tomatoes)
2 c. uncooked white rice
4 c. chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1.5 cups cooked peas (not from a can)

Over med-high heat, heat the oil and saute the chicken with all the marinade. Once cooked, take out the chicken. Add a bit more oil and the paprika so it infuses the oil (just a few seconds), then saute the onion for about 5 minutes. Next add the bell pepper, carrots, and tomatoes and saute another 5 minutes. Add the uncooked rice and chicken again and saute for another minute, drizzling with a little salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and bring to a rapid boil for about 5-7 minutes (until the broth has been mostly absorbed), then cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Stir with a fork and add the cooked peas before serving. Enjoy this flavorful and slightly sweet dish!


B-Mama said...

To ring in September, we are having some cooler temps today and I am warmed at the thought of this chicken and rice dish. Yum! It sounds like the perfect fall meal. Thanks so much for passing it on.

Glad you are out of the first-trimester woods and feeling better. I'm going to remember this wisdom the next pregnancy go 'round! Hugs and blessings to you all...

Right Said Red said...


A big congrats to you for surviving the 1st trimester! You are so right that good food mid day really helps!

Any food tips for the 3rd trimester ;-) I'm thinking an entire pint of Haagen Dazs Ice Cream might be in order ;-)

Kat said...

Absolutely Red, you've totally earned it!

Mary Alice said...

This is great advice, my morning sickness definitely seems to be blood-sugar related.

Ditto B-Mama on the weather, we had a great fall day for our first day of school here!

The cooler weather and the idea of hearty lunches is making me think I might change up my menu plans a bit, we have football and other evening practices this year, so perhaps a hearty lunch and a soup/sandwich dinner would work. Time to dust off that slow cooker!

BTW, my tomatoes are getting red in the bag! One last caprese salad is headed our way next weekend!

Molly said...

Congrats, Kat! (and thanks for the great looking recipe)

Julene said...

Kat, hello from Chicago and congrats on the news! I hope your entire pregnancy goes well for you! I had an easier first trimester with our 2nd, who is 3 mos old now, and I attribute it to the fact that I followed our toddler's eating schedule, so I never had much of a dip in blood sugar and also ate more healthy fare.

Elena said...

Congratulations, Kat! I'll be praying for you and the little one. :)

AWOL Mommy said...

Babies babies babies bonanza!

Juris Mater said...

Kat, thanks for the tip--I'll certainly apply this next pregnancy. Couldn't agree with you more about a good lunch even for the non-pregs. Since Angelina was born, I've made the decision that I'm at least entitled to sit down and eat a wholesome lunch every day. That has translated into weight loss, FAR greater afternoon energy level, more civilized meals for the kids, and only a little extra effort (preparing a hearty salad or making extra for leftovers) on my part. It's also usually less expensive overall to do leftovers or a salad w/added protein for lunch than the junky, grab-and-go alternative (peanuts, chips, and coke). Thanks for the TASTY fall recipe too!