We have been trying to eat more veggie meals, for health, budgetary, and planetary reasons. I often need inspiration for good ideas. Also, with the increased protein requirements from breastfeeding, I want to make sure I plan meals with enough protein. I was thrilled to hear about The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook: Whole Foods To Nourish Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women – And Their Families.
This book has a lot of useful information. There is a lot of information on nutritional requirements for pregnant and lactating women, with suggested recipes that are especially good for the different stages. There is also a sample menu for 3 days of meals. All of the recipes have nutritional information, for aiding in planning. The only thing that I wish it had was suggestions to serve one dish with another, like my two other favorite veggie cookbooks have.
All of the dessert recipes use non-refined sweeteners, and give you suggestions to pick one of several (stevia, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, or maple syrup), so if you are avoiding a specific sweetener you still have options. With the dairy recipes, she gives you alternatives if you are not doing dairy. While some of the recipes call for whole wheat, there are many recipes (including crackers and cookies) that are gluten free and or use alternative grains, including millet and quinoa.
Another great thing about this book is all of the breakfast and lunch ideas. I get stuck in a rut with eating my homemade granola every day, and if I don’t have leftovers for lunch, I don’t end up coming up with anything too exciting. There are both hot and cold breakfast ideas (I want to try the millet granola or making my own cold buckwheat cereal). I tried the Cranberry-Pear Crunch Cereal this morning because I had leftover brown rice from last night and one overripe pear that needed to be used up, and it was a nice change. Now I have to get the rest of my family to kick the prepared cereal habit and try some of these.
A lot of the meals are quick to make or can be made ahead, and meals that can be frozen have freezing instructions. This is another great thing for pregnant or postpartum moms. There are several casserole recipes. I plan to integrate a few of the main dish recipes into my menu over the next few weeks, and I look forward to having feedback on more of the recipes. Now I just have to figure out which cookbook to kick off the shelf so I can make room for this one when I buy it. And get a food processor so that I can try the Better Than Ice Cream.