I’ve been meaning to put these recipes down, and now that Little Guy is asleep – and I’ve just cooked and baked my best batch yet – it seems like a good time to do it.
So I’ve said this before: Having a baby means you probably won’t have the time or the arms for cooking. But, in my professional opinion, you should probs still eat. I hiiiighly recommend it.
Also, there are certain foods that help mommas produce more breastmilk (like oatmeal and brewer’s yeast).
Therefore, there are two recipes that have helped me survive my maternity leave (not including the BLESSINGS of pre-cooked dishes from amazing friends/colleagues/frolleagues).
First, there’s spinach-ricotta lasagna and, second, delicious lactation cookies (and no, they’re not made with breastmilk).
Since I’ve now made (and eaten) this lasagna about twelve million times, I’ve had a lot of time to play around with the recipe. I used to make the Whole Foods version all the time when my ex and I were vegetarians, and at some point (probably during pregnancy when I became obsessed with beef), I started adding meat to the mix. I also used to think that lasagna necessarily required tomato sauce, even though I’ve never liked tomatoes or tomato products. Playing around with the recipe has allowed me to try it with all different meats (it’s great with beef, turkey, or veal but awful with pork) and all different sauces, so the recipe below is the one that I’ve settled on as the ultimate best (though, of course, it’s totally a matter of personal preference).
Btw, both recipes call for 1 teaspoon of salt. I always remove salt from recipes because it’s terrible for you, and also because I hate salt. I’m just mentioning it now in case you’d prefer to ruin your lasagna and your cookies (that’s right SALT IN COOKIES).
1 lb veal (healthier than beef with all the same important nutrients)
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 and a half cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs (cage-free and preferably free range, because happier chicks taste better. it’s science.)
garlic salt/minced garlic
1 lb spinach
no-boil lasagna noodles
16 oz vodka sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash the spinach, and mix it with the ricotta cheese, two eggs, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and nutmeg.
3. Season veal with oregano, pepper, garlic, and onion powder. Cook.
4. Add 2/3 vodka sauce to the pan with your cooked veal to heat them up together.
5. Lay lasagna noodles in the baking pan thingy.
6. Pour veal/vodka sauce mix onto bottom layer.
7. Lay lasagna noodles over the veal.
8. Pour spinach/ricotta/mozzarella mix onto the top layer.
9. Lay lasagna noodles over the spinach.
10. Heat up the rest of the vodka sauce, and pour it over the top. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese, and bake for 45 minutes.
Noel Trujillo’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup (white) chocolate chips (I also tried this with peanut butter/chocolate chips; it’s really whatever – all are good)
2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.3. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar together.
4. Mix eggs into the butter-sugar mix.
5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla.
6. Stir together flour, brewer’s yeast, and baking soda. (and this is where the salt comes in, if you so choose… but it really is bad for you… unlike the 70 cups of sugar in this recipe)
7. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
8. Stir in oats and chips.
9. Scoop onto baking sheet. (I prefer to slather the baking sheet with butter and then just pour the mix right on to cut into brownie shapes later.)
10. Bake for 12 minutes, let cool, and then enjoy! (over time – this recipe makes like 700 cookies)