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Our son’s birth was classified as ‘normal’ (probably not the one word I’d use to describe the last 58 hours but hey ho) and after a few hours rest and a few checks, we were allowed to go home early the next day. After a few trips putting the unopened suitcases and other paraphernalia back into the car I picked up my son in his little car seat, took my wife’s hand and headed for the exit. It was early Monday afternoon and after the solitude of the last few hours bonding as a new family, being shunted back into a busy hospital in the full swing of a working day was a real shock to the system. Clutching my new son tightly and feeling protective already we made our way out to the car park and set off home. My obsessive practicing of repeatedly putting the car seat into the car paid off as he clicked in first time and I felt another wave of love wash over me as I lent over him to do up his seatbelt and his baby blue eyes gazed straight up into mine.

Driving home at 3.7 miles per hour I looked in the mirror and saw the two people I loved most in this world asleep in the back. They both looked content, despite the trauma they had both gone through just a few hours ago, and I made a promise to myself to do everything I could to make sure they always stayed so content.

We hadn’t yet told anyone that our son had been born, wanting to keep that special moment as just a three going for as long as we could.

Arriving back home I quickly tidied away the remnants of a few days earlier, half empty bowls of soup and cups of honey tea. I was amazed at how this time already felt like a lifetime ago and whilst Anni, still on a massive adrenaline high gave our new house guest a tour of our home (which he couldn’t even be bothered to stay awake for) I made us a creamy cabbage carbonara, full of protein and healthy vegetables. Anni hadn’t eaten properly for days so we needed something hearty to get her energy back and also for her to have the strength to start breastfeeding.

We both wolfed it down in minutes and prepared to call the world, announcing our son’s safe arrival. We looked across each other at the dining table, both of us completely overwhelmed and not knowing how to express our thoughts at what had happened over the last few days. He slept on peacefully, this was going to be easy, right?

 

Ingredients

-One chicken breast

-6-8 large leaves from a savoy cabbage

-2 courgettes

-handful of mushrooms

-one small onion or two shallots

-2 garlic cloves

-200g wholegrain pasta

-juice of one lemon

-50grams feta

-50ml single cream

-50ml chicken stock

 

Method

-Remove the hard middle from the cabbage leaves, chop into slices and par boil for around 5 minutes. Remove, run under cold water (to lock the vitamins and nutrients in) and set aside to dry.

-Use the leftover cabbage water to boil your pasta. When this is cooked, again drain and leave aside.

-Chop the onion, season with salt and heat gently. After 2 minutes add the garlic.

-Chop the chicken breast into small pieces, season and add to pan.

-Dice the courgette and finely slice the mushrooms. Add to the pan.

-After a few minutes, when the vegetables are mostly cooked through, add the stock.

-Let the pan bubble away and when roughly half of the liquid has been absorbed, add in the pasta, crumbled feta, cream and juice of one lemon.

-Again, let the mixture bubble away again for a few minutes, then add in the cabbage and cook until hot again. Serve straight after.

 

Why is this good for mum and baby?

Chicken Protein, vitamin B, zinc
Wholegrain pasta Folate, magnesium, vitamin B, fibre
Onion Fibre, Vitamin B, C, D, K, Zinc, Iron, Folate, Magnesium, potassium
Garlic Vitamin B, C, Calcium, potassium, iron
Courgettes Folate, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C
Cabbage Protein, Vitamin B C, K, fibre, potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate
Mushrooms Iron, Fibre, Vitamin B, D
Lemons Vitamin B, C, calcium, magnesium, folate
Feta Protein, calcium, vitamin B, D
Cream Calcium, vitamin A

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I’m a Leiths trained chef on a mission to overhaul the way we see and enjoy food during pregnancy. Current healthy-eating advice when you’re pregnant focuses on what you can’t eat (no shark or marlin for you on a cold Wednesday evening in January) whereas I want to focus on all of the amazing food that you can eat over the nine months and beyond. When my wife became pregnant with our first son last year as a guy I felt pretty redundant. Sure, I could carry her bag, do up her shoelaces when she couldn’t bend over anymore and go to all of the classes and appointments with her, but I felt like I was a bystander and that there was nothing I could actually do that would make a difference either to her or our unborn child. So, I decided to make sure that whatever we ate over those nine months not only tasted delicious and made her feel good, but was also full of vitamins, nutrients and other good stuff for our unborn child. My wife gave birth to our beautiful boy last October and I’m still looking after our food whilst she takes charge of his. During these first few crazy sleep-deprived months I’m making sure that whatever we eat is quick to make, quick to eat (normally with one hand as we can’t put the little guy down at all….) and gives us energy for when we’re putting the dummy back in his mouth for the 416th time that night.

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