Much like everything else I did in the first few weeks and months after my sons’ birth, I cooked and washed up as if I had the countdown music playing out of huge speakers that followed me wherever I would go. Not only was preparing and eating food at speed now important but clearing up after became so too. I began to almost get emotional when I only had one pot or pan to wash up after dinner and so one pot dishes became an integral part of our eating habits early on in my son’s life.
From a male perspective, what surprised me the most about my evenings at home after work with a new born was just how little time there was to do anything. Naively I thought that I’d get home, take the baby from Anni, we would have some dinner, laugh about our days and then she would go to bed early, I’d have some time with my son before going to bed too.
What I hadn’t realised was that in those evenings it seems that you have twice as much to do, in half the time.
For the first three months of our son’s life he refused to be put down to sleep. This meant that I took him for a few hours each evening, so he could sleep on me whilst Anni got some much-needed time to herself. I’d usually get home by 7, and by 9.30 Anni had fed and gone to sleep leaving me with the baby. That gave us two and a half hours to cook dinner, eat, feed our son, do the washing up, prepare whatever Anni needed for the next day, put the washing machine on, shower and tidy up, all whilst one of us held our son. Add to that any sort of life admin and it felt like we were both sprinting around like headless chickens with no time to even talk to each other about our days.
It was therefore essential that whatever we ate could be prepared, cooked, served and sometimes eaten quickly. This dish is a real winner as it’s quick to make, tastes delicious and can be eaten with one hand. It also meant that we not only had eaten a nutritious meal, but also freed up some more time to get stuff done.
Holding our son on repeat whilst he slept for three months was tough going, but for me, those few hours each night where he would snuggle himself into me were the highlight of my day. It would take him a while to settle, but soon enough he’d be passed out on me, arms around my sides, head back, mouth open and softly snoring away. It felt like he was comfortable, happy and secure in our house and on me, and that was a wonderful feeling. There was also something magical about being the only one of the three of us awake at this time, as if I was watching over everyone.
I’d heard Dads always talk about how hard it was to return to work when they missed being at home, but now I really got it. By now we were well into winter, so I only ever really saw my son in the dark, and playtime was limited because we wanted him to sleep. I began to crave weekends where I could play with him all day long, and more importantly he could get used to me being around him.
-200 grams or so of chorizo
-one can of chickpeas, drained
-2 cloves of garlic
-one large handful of kale
-one red pepper
-Dice the onions, season and fry in a little oil. Slice the chorizo and add to the pan.
-Dice the courgette and mushroom and add to the pan
-Stir in the can of tomatoes and bring to the boil and then simmer
-Stir in the chickpeas, rosemary and half of the oregano
-Add the spinach and allow to wilt, then divide the mixture into two bowls
Why is this good for mum and baby?
|Chickpeas||Protein, Iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, zinc, fibre|
|Chorizo||Protein, Iron, Vitamin B, zinc|
|Onion/shallots||Fibre, Vitamin B, C, D, K, Zinc, Iron, Folate, Magnesium, potassium|
|Garlic||Vitamin B, C, Calcium, potassium, iron|
|Mushrooms||Iron, Fibre, Vitamin B, D|
|Spinach||Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A, B, C, K, folate, magnesium,|
|Tomatoes||Vitamin A, C, E, iron, fibre, protein|
|Courgettes||Folate, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C|
|Lemons||Vitamin B, C, calcium, magnesium, folate|
|Rosemary||Vitamin A, B, C, folate|
|Oregano||Fibre, vitamin A, B, E, K|