It was about six months ago, in the depths of depression after a failed IUI, that I received the news that I had won Cindy Bailey’s “The Fertile Kitchen Cookbook”. It became a ray of hope in an otherwise dark situation. I had something to plan for.
I’m embarrassed to say that the CD sat there on my desk for all that time until now. New Year brings with it an extra ounce of motivation to do better, and try something new. This time last year I was starting a diabetic cookbook, which I used last year, and actually they are not that terribly different. We can still have our favourites foods like onion and mushrooms.
I was reading a blog recently (the Infertility Therapist) about how infertility is a mountain that you have to climb. On the back of this book is a pertinent quote by Julia Indichovea (author of “The Fertile Female” and “Inconceivable“) about how infertility is a “baby trail” and armed with this book, “you might hike up that trail with more ease and an extra bounce in your step”.
Well, while I was sitting in East London on holiday with my sore ankle (haha), I had brought this book with, and I started making lists of recipes that I liked and grocery lists.
I also read the dietary guidelines. I have to say that these really impressed me, mostly because there were detailed comments as to why you should and should not eat certain foods. One thing stood out for me: I remember my acupuncturist had given me a list of what to eat and not, and peas were on the list. But he never explained why. I carried on eating them (Monday’s meal of a fish pie with potato, fish and peas). I find out in this cookbook that peas actually act as a contraceptive! Yikes! No more peas for me!
As a South African, I also had the task of translating all the measurements (pounds, ounces etc.) into metric (kilograms and grams). If anyone of you gets this book and are not from the US, let me know and I will forward them to you! Oh yes, and I found out that a quart is four cups. I don’t know how I ever lived without Google.
Without any further ado, here are my experiences based on some of the recipes I cooked:
-Oatmeal: I liked their idea of adding raisins and walnuts. I have been eating oatmeal for a while, so it was a nice variation.
-Chicken in Tomato sauce – loved this! Nice and tasty with the basil.
-Chicken en Papillotes – it was a really nice change to bake the chicken in tin foil in the oven. The veggies were nice and roasted too.
-Chicken and bell peppers and mushrooms – my hubby loves mushrooms so of course we had this dish.
-Chicken with Portobello mushrooms – this was really tasty. Almost nice and saucy with the rice.
Ok now I want to tell you about last weekend’s ups and downs with this cookbook:
I started with breakfast (eggs in different styles) where I basically did my own thing cooking eggs with veggies. No problem here – we are on familiar ground.
Brett loves prawns. When we go out he likes to order them. So it was with trepidation that I offered to cook some. After surveying both recipes in the book (you can have them “hot and spicy” or “garlic” he decided to be more adventurous with the spicy one. That dish actually went very well. But to be honest, I hate prawns. I decided to make the Spicy Garbanzo Beans using baked beans in a tin, but rinsing them through the colander to get rid of the sauce. It was good and I still had lunch leftovers for Monday.
Ok. I was very excited to try the Pizza a la Polenta. Pizza is a fertility no-no (wheat and dairy) so I was looking forward to this alternative. Unfortunately my cooking skills have a way to go.
I added the semolina to the four cups of water on the stove. Although the directions say you should stir every five minutes or so, I noticed lumps appearing immediately (I was silly enough to use the wet cup from the water so it really came out into a wet lump). So now I am desperately rubbing two forks together over all these lumps, and the mixture is getting so thick I add an extra cup of water. Mistake. However I carry on rubbing out the lumps and stirring wildly, hoping the water will evaporate. When I thought it was ready I laid it out in two pizza pans, but maybe I didn’t follow directions very precisely on thickness. I popped it in the oven after adding various toppings (I forgot to buy enough chicken so I landed up using sausage pieces – I see you can also use anchovies, olives and capers).
I don’t remember exactly how long I cooked that poor pizza. It was meant to be 30min but after an hour the base was still raw, uncooked and pasty. It looks good in the pictures, but underneath – yuk.
I am ashamed to say I had to make a trip to KFC.
I made up for this failure next morning.
Blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Yum. Real blueberries added to a pancake mix (Organ) that promises “Gluten free, Wheat free, Dairy free, Egg free, Yeast free, Soy free, Nut free, Vegan, No added cane sugar.” I heard a joke that one day you will get an empty packet that says “food free” – you will eat it and feel full. Lol. You do add eggs and water to this mixture.
For lunch we had the very delicious lamb roast.
I love the baby potatoes and the veggies absorbing the meat flavour. Also got a kick out of using rosemary from my garden.
And supper was tomato soup. My hubby also liked this. And it is so nice to make your own with a bag of tomatoes using real tomatoes instead of getting it out a packet.
Well, I’m off to make prawns! And tomorrow instead of the tomato soup I’m going to try the Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. Although I’m swopping the thin rice noodles for egg ones (tastier) and since Brett hates broccoli I’ll just put mushrooms in instead.
After all, your fertility journey is your own one. Do what works for you.
Get the book here: http://goo.gl/pHV1F