Bland recipes for the first trimester.
June 6, 2014 8:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm seven weeks pregnant with my second child and the first trimester nausea is kicking my ass. Clever cooks of metafilter, can you help me with some dinner ideas that will satisfy me, toddler, and husband?

I am nauseous 24/7. My sense of smell feels 100x greater than it was before, and everything smells terrible. When I'm not pregnant we eat a lot of flavorful, spicy dinners, but I'm pretty sure I will throw up again if I have to cook up onion/garlic/spice. (The only standby dinner we eat that is onion-free is baked salmon, which is good but I can't eat it every night.) Here's what I need:

- easy/short prep & cook time.
- Low-to-nonexistent spice/onion etc, but would be great if it were easy for my family to add something extra to their portions for extra flavor.
- nutritious, I need protein and green vegetables to not feel terrible.
- fatty/buttery/oily things have not been sitting well with me either, so nothing too heavy on those.
posted by stowaway to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Throw a roasting chicken in the oven with a bunch of root vegetables. You can spice it up or leave it au naturel.
posted by xingcat at 9:02 AM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

My go to easy recipe is a pot of pasta, tossed with whatever we have on hand. So, in your case, maybe whole grain noodles (for extra protein), with chopped up rotisserie chicken, feta, chopped tomatoes, black olives...then your husband can add green onion and red pepper to his if he wants.

Of course, big salad is always good-again, throw salmon or chicken on, cheese, maybe toasted nuts. Will you do eggs? Hardboiled eggs are great for this.

I think you can take this general concept and really minimize your cooking at all, because I know from experience when you feel like this, even handling food can be too much.

Right now, I'd say things like cheap rotisserie chickens are your friend (do you have a Costco? their rotisserie chickens are five bucks, and are really flavorful).

Another option might be grilling, if weather permits where you are, and if the grilling smell doesn't kill you.

Good luck! Should be over soon!
posted by purenitrous at 9:04 AM on June 6, 2014

How's the weather where you are? I would go for lots of dinner salads with interesting mix-ins and toppings, with chopped lettuce if your toddler likes smaller pieces.

Ideas: A big burrito salad with lime/cilantro rice, beans, salsa, and carnitas or grilled steak/chicken; napa cabbage with grilled chicken, peanuts, and oranges; Nicoise salads; fattoush-like salads with cucumber and tomatoes and chicken and pita chips; Cobb salads with eggs and chicken and blue cheese; etc.
posted by peachfuzz at 9:09 AM on June 6, 2014

If you feel like I felt during my second first trimester, the following is not nearly as snarky as it sounds.

Cheerios and applesauce.

Add a chunk of cheese and a couple cherry tomatoes for the toddler and voila, balanced meal.
If your husband would like something more enticing, he can fend for himself.

By all means, use some of these other delightful suggestions on the days that you're up to it. Just know that there are times when it's totally fine to have cheerios and applesauce for dinner and call it a day.
posted by telepanda at 9:20 AM on June 6, 2014 [10 favorites]

I think some variations on "breakfast for dinner" will serve you really well... for instance:

- A big fluffy pile of scrambled eggs (the fam can add cheese/scallions/bacon) topped with sauteed spinach.

- A do-it-yourself oatmeal bar, with everyone getting to add their own toppings (diced fruit, nuts, brown sugar, butter, etc).

- Various fritatta/strata recipes (eggy casseroles with various veggies and tubers and things tossed in... family can add a side of bacon or sausage or whatnot to round it out).
posted by julthumbscrew at 9:21 AM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I made this the other night with cod. The fish by itself (just salt and pepper, panfried with butter/olive oil mixture) was fantastic, and your family can put some of that amazing relish on it to add some flavor. Seriously good.
posted by General Malaise at 9:24 AM on June 6, 2014

I'd make this ginger chicken, minus the garlic. It'll still be tasty and the ginger will help with nausea. Serve with rice and a steamed veggie.

Pasta with a bit of butter/olive oil and parmesian shavings is yummy as a side dish for roasted chicken, or just by itself.

How about split pea soup, made in a crock pot with carrots, celery, thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper?

Smoothies might work for light mid-day meals. Berries, bananas, pineapple. I might throw some ginger in there, should taste good.

Kebabs are fun, and everyone can put what they like on theirs. Chuncks of Chicken, Beef or Shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers, onion, etc. Just load yours up with the things that don't make you want to hurl. Serve on rice. Marinade with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and herbs you like.

I think you could do a Spanakopita without onions and garlic, serve with a side of Oikos Cucumber & Dill Dip, for those who want flavor, and a modified greek salad.

I'd modify existing recipes and substitute other flavors for onions and garlic. And beef up the ginger, it's yummy and it helps. Get ginger beer to sip on, or Starbucks is making a handmade ginger beer that my pregnant friend swears by.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:27 AM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Poached (or pan-roasted in just olive oil and s&p) chicken, roasted vegetable(s) (OR steamer-bag microwave vegetables), rice or quinoa or similar.

You eat whatever of that appeals to you. They can have theirs with some warmed jar/packet sauce, of which a couple dozen options are now available in grocery stores.

The crock pot might also be a good option, or it might be a great option *for them* while you have chicken and rice or cheerios and cheese or two crackers and a grape, whatever works for you at dinnertime that day. Though it does tend to perfume the entire house - do you have a patio or back porch you can run it on?
posted by Lyn Never at 9:48 AM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I ate a lot of tacos at that stage. You can season them with just salt & pepper, and let the family add salsa if they choose.
posted by vignettist at 10:52 AM on June 6, 2014

We ate a lot of baked potatoes, easy to make, and everyone can DIY their own toppings. Breakfast for dinner, pasta (noodles and sauce separate, so I could eat mine plain), and "I'm pregnant - you cook" were common solutions. Oh rice too... You can eat plain, he can warm up a tin of beans and plonk it on a tortilla with cheese.

Chewing gum and coconut water mixed with pear juice helped a lot too, along with 12 hr Mylanta... I was gagging on bile-flavoured burps and once that stopped eating was easier. Not sure about smells... I'm at the end of my second trimester and still won't allow fish in the house. :)

Check out menu ideas from the Whole 30 diet... Really deconstructed, and you can easily add in whatever grains/bread suit you.
posted by jrobin276 at 11:32 AM on June 6, 2014

Gently poached chicken in water or broth with slices of ginger in the liquid. You can also do steamed whole fish or chicken again, with slices of ginger in the steaming water. I recommend the ginger since it helps with nausea. The poaching broth can be drunk or made into soup and the meat eaten warm or cold. It is a mild base that can spiced at discretion.
posted by jadepearl at 1:14 PM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sorry this is not an actual meal, but I found frozen vegetables a good way to get nutrition when I had the nausea + super smell of 1st trimester.
posted by 8k at 10:51 PM on June 6, 2014

Thanks everyone, lots of nice suggestions. I've been on Reglan for a week now and it's helping somewhat, and now I'm in the phase of must have ALL THE PROTEIN NOW. Roast chickens are good.
posted by stowaway at 3:40 PM on June 18, 2014

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