Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chicken Zoodle Soup

It has been awhile since my last posting, but for a good reason. We welcomed our third son, Grant! He is a little over 2 months old and is doing amazingly. I have been getting really excited to write this first post, post-baby, to tell you all about everything! So here it goes…

Grant was born 5 days late, weighing 7lbs. 5 ounces. I was curious how much he would weigh since I read about paleo babies being on the lighter side than what is becoming normal these days. As for the boys I’ve had, he was right in between; Pretty average baby. We had a home birth with such an amazing group of Midwives and student midwives. Good thing he didn’t get too big, since I definitely wouldn’t have made it to the hospital for a c-section. Everything went beautifully and I was ready to recover at home on the first day.
That first day went by like a flash. My husband is an amazing man. A little while after Grant was born and there was a bit of down time, he fed the midwives some of the frozen muffins for snacks (which they thought were delicious). I was finally ready to eat. For my first meal, Bone Broth Soup! I loved it and he loved having it all ready to go.  My Mom and Dad had taken the 2 older boys (4 and 2 years old) the morning Grant was born. They all came back home that night to meet their baby brother and new grand baby. It was a perfect day.  

The next day, I kept craving more soup! It was perfect since my mom just kept pouring it out from the defrosted mason jars and would serve me a bowl when ever I was hungry. I snacked on apple sauce and the muffins when I felt like something sweeter. I added in a meatloaf muffin every once in a while to boost up my protein. I was so excited that I was prepared. There is nothing that you need more than to lay down, post-baby and this was definitely what I was able to do.

My sister is the most amazing woman. She drove 8 hours the day after the baby was born to help cook, clean, and entertain the boys.  It was SO helpful having someone around that knew paleo, cooked remarkable paleo meals, and knew how to keep the kids eating paleo while I was ‘out of service.’ Her presence was the best gift.  She knew exactly what a Mom of a newborn wanted and needed. While she was here, she cooked for me and I heard her say often…SAVE THE MASON JARS! It was like they were gold.  She was right though. I needed to save those freezer meals for the days I didn’t have Mom and sister in town to cook for me. Those 3-4 days of extra meals are amazing. It was almost sad eating my frozen meals and watching the freezer shelf get a little emptier each day. But that is what they were for! And I am so glad I got motivated to cook those meals in advance.

All these meals lasted me about 2 ½ weeks. I didn’t have anyone bring over meals (my stomach is very fortunate about that) so that was purely from freezer meals and the meals my sister cooked while she was here. The larger size meals were so helpful to have to cook for the whole family when visitors were gone and I was starting to walk around the house again. I could easily reheat the frozen zucchini noodles and defrost the spaghetti sauce for a quick dinner. I felt 2 weeks of meals is a pretty good amount. By that time I was ready to attempt the whole prepping and cooking dinner thing. It took me 3 times longer than usual, however, since I had to take many breaks to nurse, change diapers, and chase the other 2 around. But at least I was healed fully (thankfully to my initial days of rest) and able to do it.

AND I had energy. That was the major reason for keeping up paleo while pregnant. That and I get all crazy if I have a ton of sugar, processed foods, wheat and corn. My stomach aches and I get headaches almost automatically. Who wants low energy along with all the other icky stuff while trying to heal and take care of a newborn? Not me.

I can’t wait to share with you more of my post-baby experiences and the adventures of breastfeeding while eating paleo. So many exciting things and experiments to come!

Here’s a bone broth soup recipe. I mixed in some zucchini noodles and froze it in mason jars. It was one of my favorites and I was suggested to use it for ‘Labor Day.’ I’m glad I took that advice. It was exactly what I craved and couldn’t get enough of.

chkn zoodle soup

*For this freezer meal, I suggest doubling, then eating ½ for dinner and freeze the other half in mason jars for an easy and comforting freezer meal.
4 leg quarters (bone in)
6 celery stalks, cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
6 carrots cut into chunks
4-5 zucchinis, sliced/peeled to resemble noodles
2 tsp. thyme
2 ½ quarts chicken broth.

Heat chicken broth and thyme in a
5 qt.or larger pot. Place chicken quarters in the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for about an hour. While chicken is cooking, chop veggies and place all (except zucchini) in the pot with the chicken. Simmer veggies for 20-30 minutes. Place the zucchini in the pot for the last 10 minutes of cook time. Salt and pepper to taste.

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