Would you like to look after yourself through menopause, but not spend hours in the kitchen? The reality is that for many of us we’ve also got other mouths to feed and don’t have the luxury of just pleasing ourselves all the time, so meals that tick all the boxes are ideal.
This phase of life often leaves us time poor too, so I don’t know about you, but I refuse to spend longer in the kitchen than I have to.
I hope this collection of recipes for perimenopause and menopause gives you some inspiration and reassurance that a little bit of nourishment can go a long way to helping you thrive.
This one is such a winner. Nothing shouts mediterranean more than the humble olive itself!
You could use fresh or tinned salmon for the anti-inflammatory benefits of the omega 3 fatty acids. As we go through perimenopause we lose the anti-inflammatory effects of oestrogen, so using our diets to help us here is key.
Omega-3 has also been linked to protecting our brain and cognitive function and slowing the rate of mental decline – not across the work day admittedly, but across our lifetime.
The addition of feta and ricotta in this dish also supports our bone health by helping us to hit our calcium targets, which are higher post-menopause (at least 1000mg/d) and you could also use wholegrain pasta for an added fibre win.
Works well as a leftovers dish for lunch too.
These are genius – if you roasted a chicken on the weekend, you could use the leftovers for sandwich fillings. The wholegrain bagel moves it up a gear from the bread boredom and the addition of pistachios adds crunch, plant-based diversity and interest for the taste buds!
What I also love is the use of Greek yogurt in the dressing so you’re getting a calcium and extra protein hit without really trying. Finally, the avocado boosts our healthy fats quota and supports fullness alongside the protein and fibre throughout the afternoon.
You’re worth leaning into lunch for – those extra few minutes will pay off in the long run.
What I love about a lentil is its versatility – still eyed with suspicion by many, and definitely my mother – I never ate them in the 80s or 90s, did you? They are store cupboard heroes that help us get more fibre and plant-based protein. This recipe uses the easy tinned version and frozen peas too which when all else fails are usually lurking in the freezer somewhere. You can also use frozen ready chopped ginger instead of fresh, to cut prep down even more.
And it advocates for brown rice, which is a brilliant wholegrain win! Wholegrains are associated with better weight regulation and lower incidence of heart disease and diabetes.
I seem to be able to get a red lentil past the kids more easily so you could use those instead. You could also add meat to this dish to make it more appealing to others you’re feeding perhaps.
I made this for friends at the weekend to go with a risotto and it was delicious. I then felt smug as I had it for lunch the next day mixed with some wholegrain pasta and smoked salmon. I’ll be sharing some more edamame bean inspiration soon as I believe it to be a menopause staple – but in the meantime give this a go.
You could put it with fish or have it stand alone with a wholegrain base. Packed full of protein-filled beans and peas coming straight from the freezer it’s quick to make and great for lunch the next day. It uses fresh herbs which I know feel a bit posh for a Tuesday night but make such a difference to the flavour of foods. This way our taste buds are excited, and we are satisfied after meals – rather than continually on the hunt for more food to hit the spot.
This one is from my good friend and Kitchen Titbits Founder Sarah Alder. She specialises in supporting families with fussy eaters and meal planning so if you struggle with either of those then a power hour with her might be just the ticket.
In this recipe, salmon is the star of the show again; getting in at least one portion of oily fish a week is key, so we might as well build up our repertoire of how to do that. I love the zingy accompaniments to this one – I do use tinned pineapple (don’t tell Sarah) but that’s because actual pineapples scare me a little.
Lime juice is a winner for me and boosts the vitamin C content of the meal (which then helps us to absorb the iron from the meal better)! Black beans enable us to hit more plant-based variety and are a surprising hit with the kids too.
Whilst you’re perusing Sarah’s site, I’d also recommend the bibimbap – a good option that you can tailor to your tastes whilst also catering to less adventurous taste buds. You could keep it veggie or use meat or fish so super versatile.
If you’re dabbling with fermented foods, this recipe includes the option of having kimchi with it too. Whilst fermented foods such as this are not going to solve all of our gut health dilemmas, they are a helpful way to support our gut microbiome, which takes a bit of a beating as we transition through menopause.
Final one for now is from registered nutritionist Anita Bean. I love the flavours of this dish and the spice list doesn’t feel too overwhelming for a midweek meal. Dark green leafy veg such as spinach are wins for menopause, giving us essential nutrients to support us – iron, folate and magnesium for example.
I do love a chickpea and this recipe carries that fibre into our body with gusto! I have been known to add some bacon to it to sell it into the kids a bit more – it works a treat so everyone is a winner!
I hope these 20 minute or less recipes for perimenopause and menopause help add a bit of variety and nourishment back into the week. I would love to hear how you get on…
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