Beef, Mushroom, and Spinach Stir-fry

Here is a recipe to boost your iron levels. Beef and spinach are both high in iron and make a quick and tasty stir-fry. If you start cooking the rice or pasta before you start stir-frying, dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes.

10 minutes

13–17 minutes


2 Adults

  • 2 tbsp sunflower or olive oil

  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 11/2 cups thinly sliced cremini mushrooms

  • 8oz filet mignon or boneless sirloin steak, trimmed and cut in thin strips

  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, washed and dried

  • 2/3 cup beef stock

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

  • 1 tsp light brown sugar

  • 1 tsp cornstarch

  • 2 tsp water

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste

  • For serving

    • 2/3 cup rice or 1 cup fusilli pasta, cooked according to package directions

    • 1 scallion, shredded (optional)

  1. Heat half of the oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the onion, and stir-fry until it starts to brown, 4–5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms to the wok and stir-fry until the mushrooms are cooked through and turning golden at the edges, 4–5 minutes. Spoon the mushrooms and onions into a bowl and set aside.

  2. Heat the remaining oil in the wok. Add the steak and stir-fry until browned, 2–3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until it has wilted, 1–2 minutes, then return the cooked mushrooms and onions to the wok. Add the stock, oyster sauce, sugar, and cornstarch blended with the water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, 1–2 minutes.

  3. Add the soy sauce, then taste and add a little more, if needed. Serve spooned over rice or pasta, garnished with the scallion, if using.

Chicken, Avocado, and Brown Rice Salad

Eating a combination of protein and whole grains at mealtimes is a good way to satisfy hunger pangs and boost energy levels. I love the nuttiness of brown rice in this salad, but you could also use the wonderful quinoa grain from Peru. Cook according to the package directions.

10 minutes plus chilling

30–35 minutes


2–4 Adults

  • 8 cups vegetable stock

  • 11/4 cups brown rice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced

  • 6 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

  • Handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

  • 1 avocado, skin and pit removed, then thinly sliced

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, thinly sliced

  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the rice and stir. Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid, 30–35 minutes. Let cool, then keep refrigerated until needed (the rice can be cooked up to 24 hours in advance).

  2. When ready to serve, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice with salt and pepper to taste. Stir this dressing into the rice along with the scallions, pine nuts, and cilantro. Top the salad with the avocado and chicken, and serve.

Annabel’s Salmon Stir-fry with Noodles

It’s good to eat oily fish like salmon when you are breastfeeding since the essential fatty acids are very important for your baby’s brain development. In this quick and easy stir-fry, the vegetables are lightly cooked to preserve their nutrients, and you can vary them to your own likes and dislikes.

10 minutes

About 10 minutes


4 Adults

  • 14oz fresh egg noodles

  • 2 tbsp sunflower or olive oil

  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 bunch of scallions, cut diagonally into short lengths

  • 1 heaping cup tiny broccoli florets

  • 1 heaping cup baby corn, each ear cut into quarters

  • 1 heaping cup snap peas

  • 1lb salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 3/4in cubes

  • Sauce

    • 2 tbsp plum sauce

    • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce

    • 1/4 cup soy sauce

    • 1/4 cup sake or dry sherry

    • 1 tsp sesame oil

  1. Cook the noodles in boiling water until tender, 2–3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside. Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan. When it is hot, stir-fry the carrot, scallions, and broccoli for 2 minutes. Add the corn and snap peas to the wok and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

  3. Add the salmon and stir-fry until it is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce into the wok and stir in the noodles. Toss gently until everything is coated with sauce and the noodles are hot. Serve in warm bowls.

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