Vegetarians can make healthy babies, too and I’m not worried that my baby will have a beef with my meat-free diet. Heh, heh… I take a prenatal vitamin which makes sure I get a good dose of everything we (baby and I) need, so I’m really not deficient, but I do need to amp up my protein, calcium, B and D vitamins intake in other ways.
I drink milk like it is the last substance on earth. I bring my iced venti reusable Starbucks cup full of milk with me to work in the mornings. I love it with an ounce or two of vanilla syrup. Mmm… And it is a staple with my bedtime snack. Of course, that guarantees me a 3 am trip to the bathroom but I’m getting used to those trips, often 2-3 times a night, anyway. Cheese, calcium-fortified orange juice, and dark leafy green vegetables are a regular part of my diet, also.
I really don’t worry about this one much as B12 deficiencies are rare and my daily vitamin is usually enough. But because it is only found in animal foods, I go for the fortified cereals mixed into my oatmeal and yogurt, and I like to sprinkle nutritional yeast on my popcorn just to be safe.
I’ve read that many experts say women don’t get enough vit D and it can lead to increased pregnancy risk. I’ve also leaned to never ever Google anything during pregnancy. It is a waste of my time and energy and only causes me to worry, which I’m trying not to do much of though you might say I have my fair share of things to fret about — I read in a magazine that worry is like walking around under an umbrella waiting for the rain — ain’t no one got time for that. I digress. I don’t live in a very sunny climate (at least not at the moment) so sometimes it can be difficult to find the natural D. You can’t eat or drink your D, you need the sun. But fortified milk and juice and egg yolks contains some and I figure that ought to get me by in between the sunny days. If it really becomes an issue, I’ll talk to the good doc.
There are days when I crave baked beans or black bean soup. When this started happening early on, I realized it was because I was probably not getting enough protein so my body craved it. Our bodies are so cool that way. I consume a lot of dairy, and I try to eat a hard-boiled egg (yolk and all) when I can (eggs are hit or miss) but because I exercise regularly, I not only need enough amino acids from protein for the baby’s multiplying cells but I need it for my muscles, too.
Aside from the usual meat-free protein sources such as milk, cottage cheese, and eggs, I’ve started getting creative and exploring whole grain and legume options, too. Our grocery store has a whole section dedicated to dried beans that I’ve never given even so much as a glance at…but recently I did. I grabbed a bag of dried lentils because the package stated, “Low Sodium, High Protein,” and I got sucked in. I had never eaten a lentil and I didn’t know what exactly it was that I was going to do with them. They sat in my cupboard for weeks until the other day when all I wanted was a slice of meatloaf and BBQ sauce. (I will briefly crave meat such as meatloaf or chicken enchiladas up until I think too much about it and and envision it on a plate in front of me — then I’m repulsed by the idea.)
I dismissed the meatloaf right away and opted for a leafy green salad. I cooked up the lentils thinking they would make a great topping. I ended up overcooking the lentils a bit, and noticed they were beginning to get mushy. A thought popped into my nugget — maybe I could make this into meatless meatloaf! And so it began…
Lentil Loaf (meatless meatloaf)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4-1/2 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- BBQ sauce
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Bring water to boil in saucepan and add lentils. Simmer covered 25-30 minutes, until lentils are soft and most of the water has evaporated. Remove from heat. Drain and partially mash lentils.
Scrape lentils into mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly. Stir in oats and cheese until mixed. Add egg, tomato sauce, garlic, basil, parsley, seasoning salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Spoon into loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and smooth top with back of spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-35 minutes, drizzle BBQ sauce on top and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes until top of loaf is dry, firm, and golden brown. Cool in pan on rack for about 10 minutes. Serve with extra BBQ sauce!
The best thing about this recipe is how cheap the ingredients are and how easy it was to throw together, with the exception of the egg part which had me gagging my brains out. I happened to be Skyping with the Viper Pilot during this and he thought it was funny. Yeah…it’s hilarious. Not
It actually turned out to be far better than I expected it to be. I drenched it in BBQ sauce before inhaling it. 🙂
I will definitely hang onto this recipe and maybe add carrots or celery to it next time — even the Viper Pilot said it looked good when I sent him a picture. I think he was mostly impressed that I actually cooked. This is the first or maybe second time I’ve cooked myself a meal since he’s been gone, you and I both know that is not like me…
I found a version with walnuts, apples, and raisins over at Oh She Glows — I would rather have veggies but this sounds delicious and I will definitely give it a try. The glaze sounds amazing.