By The Welcome Baby Care Doulas
Postpartum doulas are wizards in the kitchen. That’s not to say they are gourmets, but they are pretty darn good at making something from nothing. Poof! Enchilada Soup. Presto! Pesto chicken bake. We rummage around in your cabinets determined to put a hot meal on the table while you bond with your baby. It might not be fancy. It might never have occurred to you to pair kalamata olives with pinto beans and buttered noodles. Still, your doula manages to turn your barren cupboards and neglected veggie drawers into a satisfying dish.
For when take-out finally gets old and the neighborhood casseroles stop appearing at your door, here are a few tips for getting something simple on the table with baby in tow.
1. Chicken Bake (or pork chop or turkey leg or steak). Pull something out of the freezer, sauce it up. Who cares if it was reserved for another, more elaborate recipe? Bake it. With some sort of sauce. Nothing pre-bottled? Soups work. Oils and spices. Dump something with flavor on it and you’ll be fine. Serve with whatever fruit, veggie, and starch you have kicking around.
2. Soup It’s always good to have quick broths in the pantry to make a last minute soup. Throw anything in the pot. Veggies, beans, meat, rice, noodles. It’s easy, it’s soothing. You can leave it simmering over a long day home with baby, adding to it as you have time.
3. Salad This is your best shot at outrageous creativity. Reach beyond leafy greens and buttermilk ranch. Add nuts, dried fruit, fresh peppers. Salsa, lemon juice, hummus—all valid toppings that might seem more exciting than Wishbone. Love this for spring and summer in particular, of course, but salad as the main course works year round.
4. Casserole Hot dish, if you will. Meat, cheese, soup, potatoes, chips, veggies, noodles, rice. Those are the more common ingredients, but if it’s ooey-gooey bubbly savory in a pan, how can you go wrong?
5. Breakfast for dinner! An old favorite at dinner tables across America. Eggs are great and easily become breakfast burritos, omelettes, bakes, deviled, or pancakes. Frozen waffles, bacon, OJ. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. You have to eat. You’re likely living in PJs. Breakfast for dinner is the way to go.
6. Finger Food Snack Buffet Sometimes it’s good to just rid the freezer of all the half-bags. Spring rolls, french fries, frozen pizza. Cut up some fruits and veggies and enjoy a spread of fun finger foods.
Yes, these suggestions are common and may seem obvious. This isn’t about invention. It’s about ease…and survival. Just a friendly reminder that you have options! And you know what to do. Cook like a doula. Throw something together and call it supper.