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Real Food For Busy Moms

on August 25 | in Motherhood | by | with 50 Comments

You’re a mom. Okay, you could be a dad or a busy professional, but that would make the title too long, so I”m sticking with the mom theme.

So, like I said, you’re a mom, and it can be exhausting. Maybe there have been times someone wakes you up from a sleep coma to ask you why you left the car running in the driveway, or why your eyeliner is in the freezer, or when the last time you had a shower was. None of that has ever happened to me, of course, but I can understand how some moms could get so run down that it would be possible.

Riiiiight.

Motherhood is a red carpet invitation to set aside your personal needs in order to meet your child’s. While I agree with this in many ways, there is one place it absolutely fails: Nutrition.

It’s a catch-22, really. Increased demands sap your time, energy and desire to cook healthy meals . . . just when you and your family need those restorative nutrients the most.

So what do most of us do? I have tried many things:

  • Coffee and vitamins . . . and coffee. Totally pointless since the coffee inhibits the absorption of the vitamins.
  • Crying and looking completely helpless while wearing spitup covered pajamas at 5pm when Daddypotamus gets home and asks what’s for dinner. Then, of course, spending way too much eating out.
  • Learning to eat everything cold (because who has the time to warm it up???)

It was not pretty, I tell you. When Katie was a newborn most of my lunches were comprised of black olives straight from the can with an egg on the side, or hamburger patties with a salad I was too tired to pour dressing over. While it worked for me, it was a miserable time for my husband. Seriously, who wants to eat like that?

Not my husband. And certainly not my two year old. With baby #2 on the way, I made a conscious decision that this time would be different, so I’ve spent the last few months collecting recipes from fellow real food bloggers that are quick and nourishing. This series will cover breakfast, dinner and even a few sides. We always eat leftovers for lunch, so you’re on your own there.

Every single recipe in this series has been Potamus family tested and approved for both ease and flavor, so dig in! I hope you enjoy these recipes. I enjoyed “researching” it for you in my kitchen ; – )

Please let me know if  you think this series will be helpful to you. I can share for four weeks or four months depending on your interest, but I need feedback. Thanks!!

Oh, and about that car fiasco, that totally happened did not really happen. What have you really not done?

Egg Drop Soup

This is the recipe that inspired this series. It’s a protein-packed, mineral rich meal that has rescued me more times than I can count. It’s very filling and takes just a few minutes to make.

When I know ahead of time that I’m going to be busy I pull out a container of homemade broth from the freezer while I’m making breakfast, but I also keep some store bought broth in the pantry for days when the unexpected comes up.

Quick Tip: When a friend of mine has a new baby I make a double batch for her family and mine. So far all my friends have loved it, which proves that hospitality does not have to be a hassle. Check out Food Renegade for the recipe!

Easy Mac & Cheese

I’m a protein fiend, so I’ll admit I was a little skeptical about this recipe at first. I thought it would be too carb heavy, but actually if you use grass-fed dairy ingredients it is loaded with fat-soluble vitamins, especially Vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 is found also exclusively in animal products and is essential for bone health. The only plant derived form I know of is natto, which is a type of fermented soybean. It’s especially important for growing tots so load them up if their digestive systems are developed enough to handle it (raw dairy from cows is okay around 2+ years).

Visit Cheeseslave for the recipe!

Summer Chicken Salad

This simple, satisfying meal is loaded with protein. Add in homemade mayo and you get bonus healthy fats and enzymes.

If you don’t have grapes on hand, substitute with cranberries or diced dried apricots.

Quick Tip: Bake and chill the chicken ahead of time for a meal you can literally throw together in minutes.

Click here for the recipe.

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50 Responses to Real Food For Busy Moms

  1. Christy says:

    What a great series – we can all use quick healthy meals in our arsenal!

    • Heather says:

      Thanks, Christy! That fried rice recipe looks intense . . . way beyond the basic egg and chive setup we have going on here. I’ve got to try it ; – )

  2. kate says:

    I went to Walgreens without any shoes and only realized it after I had come home….

    And I vote for 4 months! Keep em comin!

  3. My vote is for 4 months as well! I am in desperate need of new healthy recipes- my boring ideas are not flying these days!

  4. Mae says:

    I have played “Where’s the butter” so many times that even though I’m running out of places to put it…I still find myself giving up very quickly. I have placed our butter dish in the dishwasher, the freezer, the pantry, the bathroom…it’s never ending.

    And I would love as many recipe’s as you got. This nausea is kicking my butt something good, so I’ll avoid of your your pukeworthy….I mean GORGEOUS pictures ;] [seriously though, making eggs for Lily and I every morning is probably the toughest things I've ever done in my life shy of pushing her out...]

    You’re such a warrior for doing all of this!

  5. “why you left the car running in the driveway, or why your eyeliner is in the freezer, or when the last time you had a shower was.”

    LOL! I have gone out in my slippers many times.

    Great series!

    The egg drop soup looks delicious!

    One note — babies can have raw dairy earlier than 2 years acc. to the WAPF. My daughter was on the raw dairy formula from 5 months on. Around 6 months I introduced cheese and at a year I introduced raw milk. Although I kept making the formula for her until she was almost 2 years old.

  6. Christie says:

    Great I was just thinking about how I need some yummy new healthy recipes! I vote for four months! I went into Walmart and got back to see that my car door had been open the whole time, Left my coupon binder on top of the car to have it fly off and strangers help me collect them all on the side of the road, shirt inside out all day….the list goes on! I was bad before kids and it has just gotten worse only now I have a great excuse ;)

  7. Jolee Burger says:

    Love these recipes!! I would read and use them as often as you put them up. Thank you!
    I am curious about the Vitamin K information. You are certain it is only found in animals? I have not verified, but I could’ve sworn it was in greens as well. Any information you have is greatly appreciated.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Jolee – Oops! I meant to say Vitamin K2, which is different from the K1 found in vegetables. K1 helps with blood clotting and processes in the liver. K2 helps strengthen vessel walls, bones and other tissues. It works synergistically with Vitamin D but is unfortunately very rare in the American diet. Some of the best sources are natto (fermented soy) and raw dairy obtained from pastured animals. If you’re interested you can read more at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/08/26/this-could-be-even-bigger-than-the-vitamin-d-discovery.aspx

      • Jolee Burger says:

        I am so grateful for the response, Heather! I felt bad about my requesting qualification (like you don’t have enough to do!), so many thanks for that, and I appreciate the link. In educating pregnant couples, I want to make sure I give them the correct information. My ‘training’ is to teach them The Brewer Diet, but I feel like I am so far from that now – I need all the back-up I can get. Praying for a peaceful birth for you and your family. ♥

        • Heather says:

          Don’t feel bad! I am so glad you pointed it out because I think I have forgotten to make the distinction on more than one occasion. Now I will remember!

          • Heather says:

            P.S. I recently walked up to a woman in the mall who’s skirt was tucked into her panties. She had been there for a long time and no one had told her! I tell people when something is off because I’d want them to tell me, so thanks again!

          • Jolee Burger says:

            Well, your skirt certainly wasn’t tucked into your panties, but the visual made me smile. Thank YOU for bringing a bright spot to my day.

  8. Great series! I beg of you, if it’s not too much stress :), to keep it up for as long as you can. It’s very helpful and thoughtful of you.

  9. Great idea for a series, Heather! My midwife said I was the most prepared person she had ever been with. I had about a months worth of meals frozen in my freezer when DD was born. I made very simple meals like shepherds pie and potato crusted quiche (both freeze great). They were easy and nourishing!

    I agree with AnnMarie- I’ve been following the guidelines from NT & WAPF for feeding babies and I believe you can give raw dairy to babies around 6 months. I’ started giving my daughter raw cheese, yogurt, and kefir around 8 months. I’ve also give her sips of raw milk too (which she LOVES).

  10. Heather Ivers says:

    Hi Heather,

    I was also confused by your sources of vitamin K. K is found in green leafy vegetables…could you have meant vitamin D?

  11. Megan says:

    Keep it up! This is great!

  12. This is so helpful having all these recipes in one place-
    I would love to see this series go on for a while, I definitely need new quick meal ideas.

  13. Shawna says:

    My daughter will not eat veggies AT ALL. But she will eat mac and cheese with a fine puree’ of butternut squash mixed in. I like the small organic, frozen cubes from Central Market’s freezer section (brand is Stahlbush Islands Sustainable farms). I find that they are more sweet and tender than any other fresh or frozen butternut squash I’ve ever used, and they actually make mac and cheese taste better!

  14. Alicia says:

    I am expecting my first baby in a matter of days, and am trying to plan ahead to ensure I don’t get caught up in the ‘there is no food in the house, i guess we are having sushi again’ whirlwind. The more recipes and mommy wisdom you can pass on, the better. Cheers!

  15. Heather says:

    Hi Alicia – Congrats on your new little one! Newborns grow up too fast, so I hope this series helps you stay nourished while still giving you lots of time to enjoy your new baby. I’ll be 40 weeks tomorrow and that’s what I’m hoping for!

  16. [...] you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting! Welcome to Part 4 of our series on Real Food for Busy Moms. If this is your first time visiting, you can check out a quick and fabulous egg drop soup here, a [...]

  17. [...] of moms and babes around the world, posted controversial blogs and then regrets, learned to make nourishing meals in teeny-tiny blocks of time, made not-quite Augustinian confessions, outed me for being terrified [...]

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  19. Jenni Daniels says:

    Great blog! The summer chicken salad will have to be on my menu in the near future :)

  20. Not to mention that I am still in my PJ’s,the kids need naps, bills need to be paid and errands must be run!

  21. you and I are two peas today…but I don’t have guests coming ;)
    My go to meal is an easy parmesean crusted baked chicken that takes about 10 minutes to prepare and bakes for 25-30. add salad and bread and voila!

  22. Julie Whetstine via FB says:

    a steak on the grill backyard party (steak, salad, sweet potatoes & wine!) — too bad it is so HOT!!!

  23. Stir fry! I use (some kind of) nut butter for protein so there’s no need to thaw any meat. If I think ahead enough (like more than 2 hours) I’ll soak the brown rice with yogurt, if not, I’ll cook it with chicken stock instead of water. It’s also my answer for veggies that are just on the edge of going bad and I need to use them all up. :)

  24. @Melissa – No guest, but a sweet little baby girl to cuddle, which in my book is worth WAY more than a clean house! We used to love chicken parmesan around here, and now you’ve inspired me to find a way to reintroduce it while on GAPS! Enjoy your day, mama!

  25. @Julie – It’s never too hot for a steak! Great idea!

  26. @Janice – I love it! It always makes me happy when I find something new to do with those veggies :)

  27. Erin says:

    I love this series! I’m starring it and liking it on Facebook so I can come back anytime and find it again. I’ll definitely try these recipes. I rarely cook the same thing twice so I’m always on the lookout for new healthy ideas.

  28. Kari says:

    Totally excited about this series. Hope it keeps up. We need these. Thank you!!

  29. […] after birth and then somewhere along the line I’d hit a wall of exhaustion that had me doing all kinds of crazy things. Not this time. It only got […]

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