Monday 6th February: "AhhhUmp"
The past Monday morning, Joan woke hungry. More hungry than usual, that is. Usually, the first thing Joan says to me upon waking is "Up!" or "Hiiiiiii.", but on this day it was, "AhhhUmp!", alongside the action of pretending to bite her finger. This is Joan's preferred way of telling us that she wants something to eat. Baby girl's words have exploded in recent weeks, and she can indeed say "food", but for whatever reason her instinct is to make that noise and action and Ben and I are thankful for this, because it's really very cute. Into the kitchen we toddled, where Joan pointed at the blender and said, "Mee Mee!". Sure thing, babe, smoothie (mee mee) time. These days, we often have a smoothie in the morning (and at night, too, but more on that in an upcoming post on sleep). I used to be a porridge and granola-lover at breakfast, but these days I gravitate towards smoothies or savoury meals - things like eggs, leftover quinoa and veggies, or toast with nut butter and avocado. And if we don't have a smoothie for breakfast, we have one throughout the day as a snack. It's a great way to ensure bubba stays hydrated and I can easily pack a bundle of goodness into our cups. We tend to make berry or banana smoothies using frozen fruit, as well as organic full cream milk and organic full cream yoghurt (one with live cultures). I also add a sprinkle of hemp seeds, which are super good for us (more info here and here), and perhaps rolled oats, chia seeds, spinach or coconut flakes/cream... whatever I'm vibing. Often I'll remove her serve before jazzing up my portion with extra hemp seeds, spinach, raw cacao powder and a Medjool date (I like my smoothies rich in date-sweetness, and I prefer to save dates for Joan to eat during the day as a snack). Anyway, while making Joan's smoothie I had a thought that it may be fun to record a day of eats and share it on the blog. I hadn't planned what we'd eat, we would just go with the flow and I thought it would be neat to see how that unfolded. Over the weekend I said to Ben that I was surprised I wasn't more concerned with what Joan was eating day to day, that in fact I didn't give it much thought at all. I guess I just trust that she knows what she needs, while we continue doing our job of exposing her to a range of whole foods that we like to eat ourselves.
6:55am. Raspberry smoothie.
The previous night, Joan had only a small portion of her bedtime smoothie before falling asleep, so before going to bed myself I used it to soak oats and chia seeds. This morning I added the mixture to her smoothie, along with frozen organic raspberries (SO good. Baby has expensive taste), along with milk and yoghurt. I serve our smoothies in glass jars that I got from Target for $1 (Joan knows she needs to be careful with them) and stainless steel straws that I got from one of my favourite sites, Hello Charlie. I didn't feel like a smoothie so just made enough for Joan.
8:03am. Sourdough toast.
We also had toasted, grainy sourdough bread topped with almond butter. I gave Joan half a slice only, asI knew she'd be quite full from her smoothie. Bubba ate a few pieces, then passed them to me before grabbing the other, plain half of toast. Some days she eats the topping off the bread, other times she prefers the bread plain.
10:36am. Carrots, banana, bread, cucumber, radish.
I love munching on carrots throughout the day, and it seems that Joan does too. We eat them thinly sliced and raw, however she's still learning to manage the raw texture, so I also lightly steam a bunch once or twice a week and keep them in the fridge for easy snacking. Alongside the carrots, Joan ate half a piece of bread and half a banana, while I boiled a few eggs and chopped cucumber and radish (which she also nibbled) to have for lunch after her nap. Our learning tower has been a total game changer in allowing me to get heaps of cooking and kitchen stuff done, while she plays, eats and pretends to cook at the bench.
12:53pm. Boiled eggs and veggies for lunch.
After Joan's nap, we sat down to a lunch of boiled eggs, leftover roasted beetroot, cucumber slices and rocket. She doesn't really eat the rocket, she may lick it and take a bite, but will generally place it to the side of her bowl. It took a lot of exposures to cucumber before she started going back for more than one bite, but now she has a decent munch. Joan has always had a taste for beetroot, though. She loves fresh beetroot, carrot, ginger juices, and I'm hoping this love prevails as it's really fun to go out for veggie juices together. We're mostly a scrambled eggs household, however recently I began boiling them for lunches or snacks. Joan prefers the egg white (how 90's of her), and if I overcook the yolk she really won't pay it much attention, however I find if I mash avocado or Greek yoghurt into the mix she'll eat it, which is great, as the yolk is highly nutritious.
1:52pm. Rhubarb crumble.
This was a lighter lunch than usual. Ordinarily we'd have quinoa or legumes with our salad, or serve it with bread, however I knew we'd be diving into rhubarb crumble once we were done. Over the weekend I baked a crumble as a tasty way of using the last of mum's stewed rhubarb. I used this easy and tasty recipe for the topping and added berries to the rhubarb base. Joan and I sat on the porch and shared a bowl with Greek yoghurt, while wiggling our toes in the sun. I am a big fan of eating on the porch when I cannot be bothered cleaning the table for the 107th time.
3:26pm. Dried apricots.
My babe and I were having a "home day". We had spent the morning doing laundry and cleaning the house while listening to music. It was nice. Our afternoon plan was to visit my MIL, but a sudden change of schedule meant we found ourselves without an agenda. I had been meaning to stock up on nuts, so we drove to a bulk wholefood shop and bought walnuts, almonds and a bag of beautifully plump, preservative-free dried apricots. Bubba ate a couple of those while driving to her great grandparents' house for a surprise visit.
5:53pm. Rice, chickpeas and beans.
Back home, we prepped dinner and waited for Ben's car to pull into the driveway. Joan ate a bit of bread with tahini while I cooked (which I didn't photograph). Monday is often a rice + chickpea night for us, the rice being brown or basmati. Ben usually decides what kind, as I am happy with both, however tonight it was to be brown (mental note, I must add basmati to my shopping list). In the morning I had taken some broth from the freezer to defrost so I could use it to cook the rice. All three of us go absolutely nuts for rice cooked in homemade chicken broth. I knew I'd be adding zucchini to our meal, as we have been getting a bunch in our farm box, and grating it into the rice at the end of cooking seemed like a neat idea. We also had green beans from the farm, so once the rice was cooking I steamed those and prepped a sauce for the chickpeas. In terms of how I serve the chickpeas with rice, I usually heat olive oil in a skillet, then add crushed garlic and sometimes a few spices (often cumin, turmeric, chilli powder). I rinse the canned chickpeas (I look for BPA free cans, which are actually fairly easy to find these days) and pat them dry before adding them to the hot pan and cooking for a few minutes, until golden and crispy. But today I felt like a teriyaki-style sauce, so I heated some olive oil in a small saucepan, then added crushed garlic and fresh, minced ginger. Once fragrant, I added 1/8 cup(ish) of tamari (you could use soy) and 1/4 cup (ish) water, plus a tablespoon of honey and a dash of sesame oil. I cooked the sauce for a few minutes, letting it reduce just slightly, before pouring it over chickpeas that were cooking in olive oil. The sauce bubbled and the chickpeas drank it up and then I poured them over the rice. The meal was a hit. Joan had seconds of rice and three serves of chickpeas.
7:23pm. Bedtime smoothie.
The final thing Joan has of an evening is a simple smoothie made with milk, yoghurt and banana (I forgot to snap a picture). We brought this in when weaning and she absolutely loves it. Every night, after getting into her pyjamas, she searches for me and says, "Mumma?!! Mee mee." I bring her little smoothie down to the bedroom and we sit on the bed to read books while she drinks.
So, that was our day! It was a pretty typical day of eats. Note that Joan drinks water throughout the day, and I didn't record that. This was a vegetarian day, which isn't uncommon, I suppose, however we do usually we have some sort of canned fish (salmon, sardines, tuna). Once or twice a week we have red meat, and perhaps once a week or once a fortnight we have chicken. We're really into legumes, eggs and pasta in our house. Those are the things that make us go, AhhhUmp!