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The day I found out I was pregnant, I thoroughly enjoyed a massive lunch of fish tacos, several glasses of Rose, and a scoop of cookie dough. I usually am not a huge sweets person but after having a tapas style dinner of wine, cheese, and oysters (that tasted very metallic to me that day), I came home and plowed through not one, but two cookies from Levain bakery. Those not familiar with Levain, they are massive cookies that are the size of softballs and can pass for a muffin top on their depth alone.

Since confirming my pregnancy, I became suddenly aware of all the wonderful foods I love that are on the list of foods pregnant women cannot have; right there at the top of the list: Deli Meat. Between morning sickness and the very sensitive stomach (AKA the runs), there were few things I really wanted and a turkey sandwich was at the top of the list. Thanks to a very rare but very dangerous risk of listeria, cold cuts were on the top of the No-no list, right there next to raw fish, under-cooked meat and eggs. After speaking with my doctor (because toast DOES get boring quickly), she assured me that indulging in a comfort food from a place that I trusted no more than 1x per week was ok – she wanted to ensure that I was getting enough to eat.
Aside from really wanting to eat the things I wasn’t supposed to, I didn’t have too much of a hard time. Getting ready for work in the mornings were rough as the morning sickness would set in as I was finishing my breakfast and last all the way through the 30 minute train ride all the way through lunch. I would pack my lunch and plan my dinners. To be honest, on most days, I really had to psych myself up to eat certain things but once I took the first bite, I had no issues. I heard about some expectant mothers having meat aversion and I thanked my stars I didn’t have that.
But then I got sick for 6 straight weeks. I couldn’t even think of anything pregnancy related- just how miserable I felt being sick for so long. As we speak, I am sick again thanks to seasonal allergies but I am feeling TONS better than I did before. But the moment the sickness started to subside, the weeks of baby-related symptoms I didn’t have came with a vengeance to make up for lost time. I had a roasted chicken in the slow cooker one day and when I was on my way home, my husband sent me a text telling me dinner was almost ready. I could not for the life of me go anywhere near that chicken. I love chicken. But I refused to eat it and instead went to my favorite Italian sandwich shop and ordered an eggplant sandwich. Eggplant. EGGPLANT? I can’t even believe it as I type it but I devoured it and it stayed down. My meal planning was done. I could not anticipate the food aversions so there was no point in planning.
Thankfully, I have some great coworkers who humor my weird pregnancy-related cravings and go on adventures with me to find what I fancy. When the meat aversion rolled around, all i wanted was creamy hummus and a warm fluffy pita. I feel blessed to have great hummus places near both work and home – even had the owner of my favorite Lebanese place personally deliver my hummus. Even as I type this, I think I could very well destroy a bowl of hummus with a fluffy pita…I digress. It has been a few weeks of the meat aversion but I have embraced meat when I could tolerate it. I craved fried tofu the other day, so I gave in. The past 2 weeks, I have been craving salad – crispy romaine lettuce with creamy dressing and occasionally, a protein I can tolerate.
Over the weekend, I agreed to get Korean BBQ for lunch which went well until they put chicken on the grill – feeling like chicken is going to be on the “yuck” list for a good while. Just recently hubby picked up some chicken from Popeye’s which normally, would have been welcomed, but the smell of that chicken had me in the kitchen frying up tofu and making fried rice out of my leftover kimchi – a recipe I totally made up but will totally make again.
I hope to get back to eating normally but until then, I will be indulging in all the carbs: Bread, bagels, pizza, and rice.
Kimchi Fried Rice
2 Tbsp Butter
1 long onion, diced
1/2 cup leftover banchan: (2 Tbsp of Kimchi, chopped, 2 Tbsp of bean sprouts, 2 tbsp kimchi cucumbers, chopped, and 2 tbsp seaweed)
2 cups leftover white rice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Heat butter in a large frying pan and add the diced scallions; saute until fragrant.
Add the chopped banchan and its juices except for the seaweed which will be added towards the end.
Saute the banchan and scallions on medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
Add in the leftover white rice and break up with a spoon, while folding the banchan into the rice. The rice should get coated with the spicy sauce. This should take another 3- 5 minutes.
Once the banchan has been incorporated into the rice, drizzle the soy sauce and sesame oil over the rice and gently fold. Fold the rice until it has been heated through and allow to cook on low for 5 minutes.
I tossed in some fried tofu and topped with a fried egg.
Makes four 1 cup servings.