The irresistible, strange cravings of pregnant women are legendary. When you become pregnant, foods you wouldn’t touch before now beckon, and foods that you loved turn your stomach. The recipes below have staying power, because they’re adaptable to whatever particular foods you want on any given day. They can help you stay on track to eat the healthy foods that will nourish you and your baby.
Giant Pregnancy Powerhouse Salad
This big, hearty salad is not for those with delicate appetites. It’s simple to make and requires no pre-made dressing. For the meat, use cooked chicken, naturally processed bacon, wild Alaskan salmon—a fish low in mercury and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids—hard-boiled egg or no meat at all. Use dried tart cherries, raisins, sliced dried pears or your favorite dried fruit for a densely packed nutrient powerhouse. Choose your favorite cheese and nuts. Marinated artichoke hearts add an extra zip to the salad.
4 cups lettuce (green lettuce, butter lettuce, romaine or spring mix), washed well and blotted dry
3 to 5 oz. chopped cooked meat, ¼ cup cooked bacon pieces or 2 crumbled hard-boiled eggs
¼ cup dried fruit
¼ cup diced or shredded cheese
¼ cup toasted nuts or seeds
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
8 sliced olives
¼ cup sliced marinated artichoke hearts (optional)
¼ tsp. dried dill weed or 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped dill weed
1 clove garlic, crushed through a garlic press
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Toss the lettuce, meat or eggs, fruit, cheese, nuts, bell pepper, olives, artichoke hearts, dill, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle the olive oil over the salad and toss thoroughly with two forks. The salad will shrink somewhat after tossing. Transfer the salad to a large salad bowl.
Confetti Chicken Fried Rice
Leave out anything that might be objectionable to your pregnant sensibilities in this tasty, simple, hot fried rice recipe.
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1 cup broccoli florets
½ cup carrots, sliced and chopped in pebble-sized pieces
1 ½ cups cold cooked brown rice or wild rice
1 cup bean sprouts
1 Tbsp. tamari sauce or soy sauce
Heat 1 Tbsp. peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 beaten egg and scramble for 30 seconds. Remove the egg to a large plate.
Add 1 Tbsp. peanut oil to the wok. Stir-fry the chicken until it turns white, and add it to the plate with the eggs.
Add the last tablespoon of peanut oil, the broccoli florets, the carrots and a dash of water, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Toss in the cold cooked rice and bean sprouts. Stir-fry for 1 more minute, breaking up the rice to coat it with oil. Add the chicken, the egg and the tamari sauce, stir-fry for 1 minute more, and serve.
Creamy Cheese and Vegetable Soup
For those cravings for calcium and calories, try this mild soup instead of ice cream. The onion flakes help reduce the need for extra salt without overwhelming the flavor. Makes 2 large servings or 4 small servings.
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
… tsp. salt
2 cups whole milk
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 cups any mixture of lightly steamed chopped cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms or spinach
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
ground peppercorn to taste
In a large saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and salt, and stir for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in the milk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the parsley, onion flakes and vegetables. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, then immediately lower the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Melt in the cheddar cheese, add the peppercorn, and serve steaming hot.