Before I left work to have Maya I had a very idealistic view on maternity. I thought I’d have plenty of time to do cooking, baking, knitting, all sorts of woman stuff that I actually enjoy instead of looking at sites’ source codes and excel sheets with keyword research. I thought I’d go out with other mums for coffee and play dates and I will basically blissfully enjoy life out of work. Well, reality bit me harshly the very first days I came out of hospital with a newborn baby. I was entirely on my own the very first day as my husband had to go back to work and I had no time to make myself coffee or drink water, not to mention cook or bake or knit or even go out!
A few years ago I went to an International Fair in London where almost each country in the world had its own stand selling souvenirs and demonstrating typical traditions, customs and cuisine. Being a real chocolate person I bought a significant amount of traditional Swiss and Belgian chocolate bars at the Switzerland and Belgium stands. What really impressed me though was the real-time making of hot chocolate with chilli at the Italian stand! Yes! Among all the pizza, pesto and spaghetti there was an Italian chef stirring a chocolate mixture in a large pot. He was offering anyone passing by a small cup of his hot chocolate goodness. Needless to say it was absolutely delicious and I did pass several times by the Italian stand until he already knew who I am.
Last weekend was a bank holiday in London and it was also the Orthodox Easter. Last two years I have shared egg painting ideas here and here so now I am willing to share a very favourite recipe for a traditional Easter bread roll. The recipe is actually for a mini version of it in the form of sweet rolls with jam. It is super easy. Having said that, let me admit that it has been many years since I last baked those with my granny so this year’s attempt turned out to be a mini disaster. That is the rolls are supposed to look like tiny croissants,and as you can see pictured above I am nowhere near that shape. However the taste was just as good! Which is the main thing!
My Easter holiday was really pleasant. We painted eggs as usual and had a lovely picnic near Ham House which is my favourite picnic spot in London. We also did some mother and daughter photo shoot at home! Maya is growing and really enjoys being in her pram outside. And I seem to be settling into the role of a mother. I am enjoying spending my time with her a lot and getting to know each other.
I am new to papaya fruit. It isn’t popular in the food culture I grew up and I only recently discovered its taste and sweetness. Papaya was recommended in some of the mums forums I follow as a perfect nutrient for expectant mums. It is rich in vitamins and other important minerals which are vital for healthy pregnancy and baby. That is how I first was convinced to put papaya in my shopping basket. It is a sweet tasting fruit and is great for desert or for breakfast. But as I like to experiment, I thought I try a home made papaya drink.
Now, can I say that I am not very accustomed to smoothies either. I bought a smoothie maker several years ago and have used it only a number of times. But with the need to take more vitamin rich fluids it has actually been exploited a lot the past months.
I browsed online for papaya smoothie recipes and stumbled upon a papaya and mango smoothie recipe which sounded just perfect. I headed to the groceries, bought a large papaya and a large mango, made some adjustments to the original recipe to suit my taste and here it is! A perfect fruit blend that is delicious and refreshing and super healthy.
Very easy recipe to make a perfect drink at home. Here is how it goes:
Here is yet another salad recipe! I have always been a big salad eater. There is no way a meal will go without a salad. Whether it is a Greek style salad, lettuce or any other kind it helps me digest my meals better.
Raw vegetables have been a real savour for me during the first trimester nausea period. That was what kept me alive and helped get some important nutrients and vitamins. I know many will scream at the thought of eating raw broccoli or cauliflower, but I developed that habit during the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy. For the sake of this recipe though, those vegetables will be slightly boiled. It is supposed to be a warm salad meal. But do have in mind – there is nothing wrong in eating them raw.
A few years ago I wrote a recipe for a Beetroot and Mayonnaise salad. It is one of my favourite starters and has also made me fall in love with beetroot and all its healthy benefits.
Since I got pregnant I’ve been trying to eat a lot of beetroot as a part of a healthy pregnancy menu and have researched a lot of other recipes with beetroot. I recently found a few recipes for a salad with beetroot and mackerel. Fish can be a bit tricky during pregnancy, however mackerel is generally safe as a source of protein and omega 3.
The following recipe is slightly adapted for my taste. It is a warm salad with boiled potatoes and grilled mackerel.
It is great for a healthy lunch and is convenient to be carried in a food box to work.
For women who have been pregnant there is no need to explain the morning sickness period. It’s quite tough and for some it is even tougher. I wasn’t ready for that at all. I’ve heard stories of women being constantly sick but I had no idea what they really felt like.
When I started feeling nauseous I was scared. I wasn’t sure how bad it can get, how long it will last and how exactly it will affect me. In a week’s time I started to realise that my eating habits were changing, and they were changing drastically. I’ve never had carvings or anything, but there were certain things I could no longer face on my plate. The most significant change in my appetite was that I could no longer eat meat. I was turning into a vegetarian. Something very unusual for me as I have been a big meat-eater all my life.
But here it is. Meat is rarely a part of my meals these days.
So I started exploring new vegetarian recipes that I could easily cook at home.