It may not be the height of summer just yet, but it’s certainly getting warmer, brighter and sunnier, and when the sunshine comes out I long for salads and healthy meals, ordinarily because I want a nice trim summer body and the heat suppresses my appetite somewhat. But that summer body I normally long for won’t be on the cards this year as I’m pregnant, but that does mean that eating healthily is still very much at the top of my to-do list – the more colourful the food the better. This baby will get as many nutrients as I can bring myself to eat.
I suffered with a real loss of appetite for such a long time, hence the lack of blog posts. But now that I’m eating properly again I’m determined to ensure that I’m making the right choices where my meals are concerned, no more stodgy, creamy pasta dishes and carb laden lunches for me. Well, not as many perhaps. It’s all about dark leafy greens for iron, sweet potatoes for folate, vitamin C and fibre, and foods that are high protein like lean meats and eggs and calcium rich foods, such as natural yoghurt.
I’m 18 weeks pregnant, or in my 19th week (depending on how you prefer to count it) and I’m feeling good. I appear to have regained my energy, which I suppose goes hand in hand with the fact that I’m eating properly again. I’ve just started to feel the baby moving about – which is all rather exciting. I have my next scan booked in for the 28th of April when I’ll be half way through my pregnancy. It’s going so quickly.
In keeping with my health theme, I made this super simple lemon and herb chicken salad in the week and it’s so quick to prepare, and exactly what you want on a warm evening.
Grab a couple of chicken breasts, thighs or whichever cut you like to be honest, make the quick marinade and pop it in the oven whilst you assemble the salad. What could be easier than that? I think the salad is perfectly okay served as is, but if you have super hungry people to feed serve it with a side of pasta or cous cous and have any leftovers for lunch the next day.
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp each freshly chopped mint, basil and parsley
- 120g mixed spinach, rocket and watercress
- 25g super sprouts (alfalfa)
- 12 chopped cherry tomatoes
- Half a red onion, finely sliced
- 100g cubed feta cheese
- Salad dressing of choice (shop bought or homemade)
- Place the oil, lemon juice, zest and herbs and chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish and mix well to combine. Season well and place in a pre-heated oven at (fan 200⁰C). Cook the chicken for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile arrange the salad ingredients between two plates, top with the feta and add a dressing of your choice (personally I like French with this salad). Remove the chicken pieces from the oven and add to the salad.
- Serve with a side dish of pasta or cous cous for hungry people!