Getting the right levels of protein during IVF or natural conception is really important for egg quality. The recommended amount of protein during IVF per day is around 65g which initially I thought sounded quite high but once you break that down over three meals and a couple of snacks, it’s actually pretty easy.
If you’re vegetarian and concerned about getting enough protein during IVF, the important thing to remember is this: when you’re trying to get pregnant, you need to have protein. You don’t necessarily need to have meat.
Protein levels in many vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds will easily take you to your daily intake and, since these ingredients are so versatile, there are literally hundreds of recipes you can enjoy every day which are easy to make, comprise easy-to-source ingredients and which don’t cost the earth. You can also search on Google to find out the protein levels per ingredient which means you can easily keep track of your protein levels.
I’ve also found that following a vegetarian diet has been really good for weight loss. But when you’re trying to conceive, that’s just an added bonus, right?
Before we look at the recipe, a quick word of warning on Thai curry paste. This dish uses my own homemade recipe for Thai red curry paste but you can buy the jarred versions if you prefer. However, if you are vegetarian, it’s definitely worth checking the label to see if it contains fish sauce as many of them do.
But, if you ask me, there’s nothing tastier than a curry paste you’ve made yourself. And it’s SO easy!
So, here we go. Thai red curry paste that’s packed full of protein, tastes AMAZING and takes minutes to prepare and cook. Add this delicious curry to your cooking repertoire and worry about protein during IVF no more!
Chickpea and Cashew Thai Red Curry
For the paste:
- 2 red chillies (seeds taken out)
- 2 level teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 level teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 stalks lemongrass trimmed and roughly chopped
- Thumb-sized portion of fresh ginger
- Two generous handfuls of kale
- 2 shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- one lime, grated and juice
- 1 level tablespoon paprika
For the curry:
- One tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil if you prefer)
- 400g tin of chickpeas (water drained)
- 4 tablespoons of cashews
- One large onion
- Two cloves of garlic
- One to three green chillies (depending on how much heat you like)
- Thumb-sized portion of ginger
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
- Green pepper cut into chunky strips
- Red pepper cut into chunky strips
- One tin of coconut oil
- Dash of soy sauce
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- Pinch of salt
- Chopped coriander to serve
To make the paste
Heat the coriander and cumin seeds on a medium heat for five minutes, then whizz up in a food processor or with a pestle and mortar until you have created a fine powder.
Whizz up all curry paste ingredients in a food processor with the powdered coriander and cumin seeds.
To make the curry, heat the oil in a large pan and then add the chopped onion, ginger, chillies and garlic. After a few minutes, add the chopped carrot and pepper strips and fry on a low heat until soft.
Stir in two tablespoons of your curry paste until all vegetables are covered. Add the tin of chickpeas along and leave for 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk, add the kale and the kaffir lime leaves. Bring to the boil and gently simmer for 15 minutes. While the curry is cooking, chop the cashews into small pieces and finely chop the coriander.
Remove the whole kaffir lime leaves, sprinkle the chopped coriander on top and serve with basmati rice or on its own as a filling, delicious evening meal.
- Protein: 12g
- Calories: 494kcal
- Salt: 0.3g
- Sugar: 9g
- Fat: 34g
- Saturated fat: 20g
- Carbs: 36g
- Fibre: 5g