These days I am regularly asked, usually by people I don’t know especially well, about the state of my stomach. Have you been craving anything in particular? they want to know. I assume they are hoping to hear that I’ve been porking out on butter brickle ice cream topped with dill pickles and Corn Nuts. Really, can you think of anything more disgusting?
The closest thing I think I’ve experienced to an authentic pregnancy-related food craving occurred toward the end of my first trimester, when I felt that my happiness and well-being depended entirely on a steady supply of fresh pineapple. If I didn’t have one in the house, I became nervous, jittery. Now, though, exactly ninety-five days from my estimated due date, the pineapple passion has waned somewhat. I do still keep a pineapple around, but I am going through them at a much more reasonable rate and it’s rare anymore that I get up in the middle of the night to sneak a slice.
Pregnancy-related or no, for I have always been passionately pro-vegetable*, I have been in recent days utterly fixated on green foods. Last night I ate steamed spinach for dinner. Two days ago, it was a bowl of buttered peas for breakfast. Green foods, in addition to being fantastically delicious, just make me feel good. And they’re certainly not doing any harm to the acrobat in my belly, which adds to their appeal.
So yesterday I decided to take green as far as green would go. Inspired by one of the many wonderful recipes from 101 Cookbooks, these noodles came together quickly and more than satisfied my need for green.
I began by simmering slices of ginger and garlic in a quart of vegetable stock. I strained out the aromatics and added shredded chicken, sautéed asparagus, and spinach noodles from Nonna’s**. Basil, mint, cilantro, scallion, sesame oil, lime juice, and red pepper flakes comprised the garnish.
And now, though it is only a quarter to ten, I’m already thinking about today’s dose of green. Mint chip ice cream with candied kale, perhaps?
*I credit my parents for this—and acknowledge that it wasn’t always easy to get me to eat summer squash.
**Nonna’s Noodles: nom, nom, nom!