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The Healthiest Pregnancy Diet

Updated on July 15, 2012

The Healthiest Pregnancy Diet

Pregnancy is difficult...for most women. Add together morning sickness, aches, weight gain, and exhaustion, and you begin to feel not so glowing. Not to mention, the need to eat the best that you have ever eaten in your life. Actually, in my opinion you should be eating healthy all of the time, but maybe this isn't the time to start that discussion. Or is it?

You should be eating healthy no matter what period of life you're in at the moment. However, if you aren't the healthiest, now is the time to start and never let it go. Having the best nutrition throughout your pregnancy will help you not feel like those bloated preggos out there and the end result of your pregnancy will be a happy, healthy baby...and you WILL shed weight faster than moms who gave into those cravings that don't exist. Yes, you heard me right, they don't exist. Look it up.

Here you will find nutrition information and eating plans that will last throughout your pregnancy.

Pregnancy Nutrition - The Basics

Caloric Intake

There is a lot of chatter about how much a pregnant woman should be eating, but much of the advice given (mostly by other women) is not very useful. There is no need to start 'eating for two' or to consume an entire pepperoni pizza, a jar of pickles and a gallon of ice cream because the baby told you to do so. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no evidence to prove that cravings are induced by physical need, rather, they are induced by the social expectations of other women(1).

During the first trimester, a woman can continue to eat the same amount of food as she did prior to becoming pregnant. In addition, this is a great time for expecting mothers to adjust their diet to eliminate toxins (mainly caffeine, but nicotine if you smoke) and junk food, replacing them with wholesome foods (explained further in the article). Moreover, this is a great time to increase water consumption to 100-160 ounces of fluid per day(2). By increasing the consumption of water and maintaining it throughout the pregnancy will insure that the amniotic fluid is being replaced and that mom will feel hydrated(1,2).

At the mark of the second trimester, an increase in appetite may or may not occur. Either way, the doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend that mothers increase their caloric intake by 300 calories(1). For example, expectant mothers can add a midday snack to their day. Think healthy snacks such as nuts and fruit or yogurt.

The third trimester is an exciting milestone because the baby within feels "real" and the mental countdown to the due date is coming to a close. Additionally, this is when the baby starts to add weight to its frame in the form of fat. Most women during their third trimester should add an additional 150-300 calories to their diet.

Sources:

1.http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-nutriti...

2.http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/eating-well/...

3.http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/p...

4. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/f...

Important Food Groups for Pregnancy

Food Groups

While eating healthy food may be a no-brainier to most pregnant women, it is often asked "What and How much of everything should be consume?" By following these simple to remember guidelines, any expectant mother should be able to maintain a healthy, whole foods diet that will build a strong and smart baby(and mommy!).

Protein:

According to the experts, expectant mothers should be consuming 65-80 grams of protein per day(3). Protein helps develop the fetal brain and increases moms blood supply, too. No expectant mother wants to count the grams of protein, so it is best to remember that she aim to consume three servings of a high protein food each day. Some ideas are beans, nuts, lean meats, and fatty fish such as salmon.

Calcium:

Calcium is essential before, during, and after the pregnancy. Expectant mothers should aim to consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, which helps mom's body regulate fluids and build strong baby bones(1,2,3). Aiming for three to four calcium rich sources each day will help mom get enough calcium. For those that consume dairy, this should not be a problem; consuming yogurt, milk, or other dairy products will help you get the calcium that you need. For those that do not/cannot consume dairy there are other ways to get rich sources of calcium. For example, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, tofu, fortified orange juice, and almonds will help surpass that daily requirement(3).

Iron:

Iron prevents anemia and increases blood volume, which is crucial to a successful pregnancy and postpartum experience. The American Pregnancy Association (APA), women who had high iron levels throughout pregnancy were less likely to developed postpartum stress(3). Sources of iron can be found in whole grains, spinach, and lean meats. Aim for 27 milligrams or three servings of iron rich foods per day(2).

Folic Acid:

Women hear ear fulls about folic acid, yet it is still the one vitamin that the modern woman is deficient in, which is unfortunate because it is key to healthy fetal development(specifically the neural tube and brain)(3). Expectant mothers should aim for 600-800 micrograms of this vitamin per day. Sources of folic acid include fortified whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and chickpeas(2,3).

While this seems like a lot to keep track of, expectant mothers can meet these daily goals by keeping the following in mind:

Consume 1 prenatal vitamin,2 servings of healthy fats, 3 servings of protein,4 servings of fruit, 5 servings of vegetables, and 6 servings of grains each day to meet the needs of a developing fetus.

What Not to Eat While Pregnant

So now that you know what to, what should you be avoiding during pregnancy? It is simple, really. Stay away from the things that impact your well-being and sense of judgment- alcohol, nicotine, and illegal drugs. In addition, high caffeine intakes are related to miscarriages, but there is now evidence against consuming low doses of caffeine each day(3). Moreover, avoid the following foods:

Raw Eggs, Seafood, Meat: Uncooked meat and seafood, and raw eggs should be avoided because it may contain harmful invaders such as toxoplasmosis and salmonella(while they only make you sick, it is potentially fatal to the unborn child).

High Mercury Fish: Fish with high levels of mercury such as swordfish, shark and king mackerel should be avoided. There is evidence linked to high mercury fish and delayed development in children(3). Canned tuna can be eaten, but no more than once per week.

Deli Meat: Deli meat is known to cause miscarriages and birth defects in newborns. Cold deli meat may contain listeria, which can cause blood infection so it is best to avoid eating deli meat(3). If you must have a deli sandwich, insist that the meat be heated up until it is steaming, which kills any bacteria that may be present in the food.

Pregnancy is a wonderful experience. It teaches women the impact that they have on another individual. Eating right for baby while in utero will not only be great for baby's development, but it will instill long-lasting healthy eating habits for the entire family. Think of this healthy pregnancy diet as the first step in the long road of parenting.

Vegan Pregnancy Diet

Not all pregnancy diets are created equal; vegan woman often wonder if they can continue a vegan lifestyle while pregnant. In short, the answer is yes. Regardless of the lifestyle that you live, it is crucial to consume a wholesome and nutritious diet to maintain energy while pregnant(and to give the baby all of those critical vitamins).

Pregnant women need to consume an average of 300 additional calories during the first and second trimester, and an additional 300 calories in the last trimester. That amounts to 2800-3200 calories each day. For the vegan woman this may seem like an impossible number to achieve, but with a few effective guidelines it is a goal that can be obtained(3).

First, pregnant women should eat when they are hungry and not force themselves to eat expected amount of calories( eventually, your body will tell you how many calories it needs, even if that means it is less than what the doctor tells you). Moreover, aim to eat five or six meals throughout the day that include whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. By having wholesome foods at each meal, you can feel comfortable knowing that you are giving your body and your baby the vitamins it needs throughout the pregnancy.

Secondly, follow this list to guarantee that you are meeting your body's and your baby's nutritional needs for growing:

Protein: 4 servings a day

Pregnant women need 65-75 grams of lean protein each day, which is easier than it seems (so many foods have grams of protein here and there). A vegan woman can get her protein each day by consuming nuts, nut spreads, legumes, soy,whole grains, and flaxseed. Plus, many fruits, vegetables, and other foods have ample grams of protein(1,3).

Whole Grains and Legumes: 5 servings a day

Whole grains and legumes are packed with B vitamins, which are needed for the development of your babies spinal cord, brain, and blood supply(in addition to so many more steps in the growth of your baby). It is said that women who consume at least five servings of whole grains and legumes will surpass the needs of the the B vitamins and get iron and protein in the process(1).

Good sources are whole wheat pasta, rice and bread, plus pinto ,black, garbanzo, and lentils.

High Fat Foods: 4 servings a day

Fat plays a significant role during the development of the baby. Consuming four servings a day of high fats such as DHA, ALA, and other mono- or poly-unsaturated fats will contribute to the development of the fetus's brain and eye formation(2,3). While, it is very easy to obtain these fats from fish such as salmon, vegans can get it from flax seed, soybeans, walnuts, avocado, peanut butter, and a supplement.

Vitamin C: 2 servings a day

Vitamin C is important for the metabolic processes within mom and baby, so it is a critical nutritent during the span of pregnancy. Vitamin C rich foods are best eaten raw because cooking them will cause a significant lose of the vitamin(because it is a water soluble vitamin)(2,3).

Good sources of vitamin C include citrus, bell peppers,kale,berries, broccoli, and fortfied juices.

Calcium: 4 servings a day

Calcium is important for strong bones and heart, nerve, and muscle development, putting it at the top of the list for vegan moms-to-be. Mant women do ot consume enough before pregnancy, but it is vital that the calcium requirement be met every single day through food adn with a calsium supplement. Non-vegan pregnant women should have no issue getting calcium from dairy products, but vegan women will have to work at consuming enough calcium throuhout the day. Fortunately, calcium is hidden in many of our favorite fruits and vegetables(1,2,3).

Good sources of calcium are fortified juices, soymilk, dark greens, broccoli and figs.

Green Leafy and Yellow Vegetables and Fruit: 3 servings a day

Loaded with antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin E, these foods help with cell growth, healthy skin, and eyes develpoment, too.

Good sources include kale, spinach, kiwi, melon, mango, and squash.

Other Fruits and Vegetables: 2 servings a day

While the green leafy vegetables are loaded with antioixant and iron, vegan pregnant women need to consume other colors of the rainbow, as well. Aim to eat fruits and vegeables that eare rich in color such as eggplant, berries, apples, sweetpottoes, and pears. These servings will help with the vitamin C, vitmain A, protein, fiber, and folic acid(1).

Iron: 3 servings a day

Iron is important in helping increase the mom's and baby's blood supply. Regardless of diet, most pregnant women are deficient in iron, so make it a goal to be one of the outsiders to this norm(3). Great sources of iron include kale, potatoes, beans, whole grains, and dried fruit.

Pregnancy should be a time filled with anticipation and excitement, not counting the calories and hoping you are eating enough. Small dietary changes during this time will give you and the baby the added nutrients that you need to have a healthy pregnancy. As long as you are eating healthy amounts of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and you fill full, then you should having nothing to worry about.

Sources:

1. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/n...

2. What to Expect When You're Expecting - text

3. http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/veganpregnancy.htm

Did you like this article? Check out more from the same author: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6194868/vegan_pregnancy_diet.html?cat=52

Do you want more info on Vegan Pregnancy? Click the picture!

Pregnancy Meal Plan - 3 Days

Monday:

Breakfast

½ cup (125 mL) cottage cheese

½ cup (125 mL) berries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup (250 mL) whole-grain cereal with skim or 1% milk

1 cup (250 mL) coffee or tea

Snack

¼ cup (50 mL) trail mix

Lunch

Tuna Wrap:

1 whole-wheat pita

½ can of water-packed tuna

½ diced apple

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped walnuts

1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) light mayonnaise

1 cup (250 mL) skim or 1% milk

Snack

1 small cornmeal muffin

1 cup (250 mL) skim or 1% milk

Dinner

1 serving Full of Folate Salad

1 serving Cheese Strata

1 peach (canned or fresh)

Recipes for the dinners:

http://recipes.todaysparent.com/tprecipe/tp/articl...

http://recipes.todaysparent.com/tprecipe/tp/articl...

Tuesday:

Breakfast

1 serving of leftover Cheese Strata

1 orange

1 cup (250 mL) coffee or tea

Snack

1 tbsp (15 mL) peanut butter

4 to 6 whole-grain crackers

1 cup (250 mL) skim or 1% milk

Lunch

Turkey sandwich:

2 slices whole-grain bread

100 g roasted turkey

Carrot and raisin slaw:

½ cup (125 mL) shredded carrots

1 tbsp (15 mL) raisins

2 tbsp (30 mL) low-fat yogurt

1 tbsp (15 mL) light mayonnaise

1 apple

Dinner

1 serving Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Citrus fruit salad:

¼ cup (50 mL) grapefruit, chopped

¼ cup (50 mL) orange, chopped

½ tangerine, chopped

1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh mint, chopped

Wednesday

Breakfast

2 pieces French toast

½ cup (125 mL) unsweetened applesauce topping

½ cup (125 mL) yogurt

1 cup (250 mL) coffee or tea

Snack

½ cup (125 mL) light granola

1 cup (250 mL) skim or 1% milk

Lunch

1 serving Pasta Salad with Creamy Ranch Dressing

1 banana

Dinner

1 serving Maple-Marinated Salmon

1 serving Brown Rice and Chunky Vegetable Salad

1 cup (250 mL) steamed broccoli

1 poached pear

Puréed raspberries for topping

Drink Beer, But Not Too Much

Actually, this campaign photo is for non-alcoholic beer. If you love the taste of a good beer, then look into consuming beer with minimal alcohol in it. There are studies that indicate alcohol here and there, in small amounts do not harm the fetus.

Vegetarian Pregnancy Meal Plan

(Day 1)

Breakfast

1 whole-wheat pita pocket (2 halves) filled with 2 tablespoons cashew butter and 1 apple, cut into slices

1 cup 2 percent milk

Lunch

1 serving Napa Cabbage Salad with Sesame Dressing*

1 cup cooked udon (Japanese) noodles sprinkled with 1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1 orange

1 cup 2 percent milk

Dinner

1 serving Chickpea, Potato and Tomato Stew with Chard*

2 slices multigrain bread

2 teaspoons butter

1 cup mango chunks

1 cup 2 percent milk

(Day 2)

Breakfast

11/2 cups cooked oatmeal topped with 1 tablespoon each chopped dates and dried cherries and 1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 cup 2 percent milk

1 cup orange-pineapple juice

Lunch

1 serving leftover Chickpea, Potato and Tomato Stew with Chard*

Romaine Lettuce Salad: Toss together 11/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce, 1/4 cup sliced red onion, 6 fresh orange wedges and 2 tablespoons olive oil-vinaigrette dressing.

1 whole-grain dinner roll with 1 teaspoon butter

Dinner

2 Refried-Bean Burritos: Divide all ingredients between 2 whole-wheat flour tortillas: 1/2 cup vegetarian refried beans, 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes with green chiles and 2 slices avocado.

1 serving Baked Rhubarb with Berries and Candied Ginger*

1/2 cup 2 percent milk

(Day 3)

Breakfast

1 sesame seed bagel, toasted and topped with 1/2 cup leftover Baked Rhubarb with Berries and Candied Ginger*

1 cup 2 percent milk

1 cup orange juice

Lunch

1 serving Red Lentil Soup with Lime and Spinach*

1 roasted-onion veggie burger (such as GardenBurger or Boca Burger) on 2 slices whole-wheat bread or a whole-wheat hamburger bun with lettuce, tomato and 2 teaspoons mayonnaise

1 cup 2 percent milk

Dinner

1 serving Braised Curried Tofu in Coconut Milk with Peas* over brown rice

1 cup steamed sugar snap peas with 1 teaspoon butter

1 cup grapes

(Day 4)

Breakfast

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 English muffin, toasted and topped with 2 tablespoons peanut butter or other nut butter

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Lunch

1 whole-wheat pita pocket (2 halves) stuffed with 2 ounces sliced cheddar cheese, 1 sliced apple and 2 teaspoons mayonnaise

1 serving Broccoli and Roasted Pepper Salad*

1 cup 2 percent milk

Dinner

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat spaghetti topped with 3/4 cup pasta sauce and 1/2 cup canned cannellini beans

Spinach Salad: 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, 1/4 cup sliced red onion, 5 chopped marinated artichoke hearts and 1 tablespoon olive oil-vinaigrette dressing.

1/2 cup raspberry sorbet topped with 1/2 up fresh raspberries and 1 tablespoon chocolate sauce

(Day 5)

Breakfast

11/2 cups raisin bran cereal

1 cup 2 percent milk

1 banana

Lunch

Tofu Stir-Fry: 2 ounces baked Oriental-flavored tofu, cubed; 1/2 cup snow pea pods; 1 cup bok choy; and 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce. Stir-fry until vegetables are tender. Serve over 1 cup cooked udon noodles.

1 kiwi fruit

2 Chinese fortune cookies

Dinner

1 serving leftover Red Lentil Soup with Lime and Spinach* served over 1 cup cooked brown rice

1 serving leftover Broccoli and Roasted Pepper Salad*

1 cup cantaloupe chunks

1 cup 2 percent milk

Recipes in next article!

Veg Meal Plan Recipes

the recipes

Napa Cabbage Salad with Sesame Dressing

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 20 minutes

COOK TIME: 4 minutes

Salad:

1 pound thin asparagus

1 box (12.3 ounces) firm tofu

2 cups spinach, cut in strips

4 cups Napa cabbage, cut in strips

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 radish, cut into matchsticks

1 tablespoon black or white toasted sesame seeds

Snap the lower ends off the asparagus and discard. Leave tops whole or slice diagonally; wash in cold water. Bring a skillet of salted water to a boil; add asparagus and simmer until barely limp and tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and set on a clean towel. Slide tofu out of its container, blot off water and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Arrange vegetables and tofu on a platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds and dressing (recipe follows). Toss at the table.

Dressing:

1 garlic clove

4 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar, or to taste

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced

1 tablespoon peanut butter, tahini or cashew butter

6 mint leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons basil, slivered

Mash garlic in a mortar; gradually add remaining ingredients and work together to make a thick sauce.

Nutritional information per serving (3 cups): 282 calories, 61% fat (19 g), 20% carbohydrate, 19% protein, 6 g fiber, 4.5 mg iron, 201 mg. calcium, 306 mcg folate.

Chickpea, Potato and Tomato Stew with Chard

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 45 minutes

1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 to 4 medium potatoes (1 pound), scrubbed and cut into large chunks

2 plump cloves garlic, pressed

Pinch red pepper flakes

11/2 teaspoons paprika

Pinch thyme

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley plus extra for garnish

1 28-ounce can peeled, diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

15 ounces chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 bunch chard, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat in a large nonstick sauté pan or Dutch oven. Add onion, potatoes, garlic, red pepper, paprika, thyme and parsley. Sauté for 2 minutes; lower heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas and stock;

season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

While stew is simmering, cook chard in a small amount of water until tender, approximately 7–10 minutes. Salt lightly. Garnish stew with chard (or mix together). Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over each serving and garnish with remaining parsley.

Nutritional information per serving (3 cups): 509 calories, 19% fat (11 g), 67% carbohydrate, 14% protein, 13 g fiber, 7 mg iron, 181 mg calcium, 186 mcg folate.

Baked Rhubarb with Berries and Candied Ginger

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOKING TIME: 45 minutes

2 pounds rhubarb

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon minute tapioca

Juice and long strands of zest of 1/2 orange

3 cloves

1 pint ripe strawberries, blackberries or mulberries, sliced

2 tablespoons candied ginger, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons strained plain yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Wash rhubarb, remove ends of stalks, then slice crosswise into 1/2-inch chunks. If the stalks are very thick, halve them lengthwise first. Toss sugar, tapioca, juice, zest and cloves together and place in an 8-by-10-inch gratin dish.

Cover mixture with foil and bake until rhubarb is tender, approximately 35–45 minutes. When rhubarb is finished cooking, add berries and gently break mixture up with a fork. Serve chilled or at room temperature, garnished with ginger and a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving (1 cup): 256 calories, 4% fat (1 g), 90% carbohydrate, 6% protein, 6 g fiber, 2 mg iron, 249 mg calcium, 43 mcg folate.

Red Lentil Soup with Lime and Spinach

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 35 minutes

2 cups split red lentils (or yellow split peas), picked over and rinsed several times

1 tablespoon turmeric

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon salt

1 large onion, finely diced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 bunch chopped cilantro

Juice of 3 limes, or to taste

1 bunch spinach, chopped

4 to 6 tablespoons plain yogurt, strained

Place lentils in a soup pot with 2 1/2 quarts water, turmeric, 1 tablespoon butter and salt. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer, covered, until lentils are soft, about 20 minutes. Purée in a blender or food processor.

Cook onion in remaining 1 tablespoon butter with cumin and mustard over low heat until soft, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add cilantro and cook for 1 minute. Add onion mixture to soup and season with lime juice.

Just before serving, add spinach to soup and cook just until it wilts. Top with a swirl of yogurt.

Nutritional information per serving (3 cups): 477 calories, 15% fat (8g), 59% carbohydrate, 26% protein, 4 g fiber, 13 mg iron, 245 mg calcium, 599 mcg folate.

Braised Curried Tofu in Coconut Milk with Peas

SERVES 3

PREP TIME: 7 minutes

COOK TIME: 8 minutes

1 16-ounce carton soft or firm tofu, packed in water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 15-ounce can light coconut milk

1 teaspoon Thai curry paste (or 1 tablespoon Patak’s Hot Curry Paste), or to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems plus chopped leaves for garnish

1 cup frozen peas

Juice of 1 lime, or to taste

4 cups cooked brown or white rice

2 tablespoons roasted peanuts or cashews (optional)

Drain tofu and set on a cutting board while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.

Heat oil in a 10-inch sauté pan. Add onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until limp and translucent, 3–4 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger; add coconut milk, curry paste, salt and cilantro stems. Simmer gently.

Cut tofu into cubes or triangles. Add to sauce, raise heat to medium and cook until heated through, approximately 5 minutes. Add peas and cook for a few minutes until hot. Season with lime juice.

Spoon tofu and sauce over rice and garnish with roasted nuts and reserved cilantro leaves.

Nutritional information per serving (1 1/2 cups tofu over 1 1/3 cups rice): 640 calories, 34% fat (24 g), 50% carbohydrate, 16% protein, 10 g fiber, 13 mg iron, 236 mg calcium, 85 mcg folate.

Broccoli and Roasted

Pepper Salad

SERVES 4

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

COOK TIME: 4 minutes

Salad:

2 pounds broccoli with stems

1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons chopped marjoram or parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (this is a hard cheese)

Separate broccoli flowers from stems. Peel stems and dice into cubes. Blanch stems and flowers in boiling salted water until tender, approximately 4 minutes, then drain and place in a large bowl. Add roasted peppers, marjoram or parsley, salt and pepper and toss with vinaigrette (recipe follows). Add ricotta salata and toss again. Serve warm or cool.

Vinaigrette:

1 garlic clove, minced

1 shallot, finely diced, or 2 tablespoons chopped onion

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 Roma tomatoes, diced

Combine garlic, shallot, vinegars, capers, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, then whisk in oil and add tomatoes.

Nutritional information per serving with dressing (1 1/2 cups): 272 calories, 53% fat (16 g), 32% carbohydrates, 15% protein, 10 g fiber, 3 mg iron, 211 mg calcium, 182 mcg folate.

Fettuccine with Shiitake Mushrooms & Basil

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (1 1/2 cups)

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice, juice

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine, or spaghetti (see Ingredient note)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, (1 ounce)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided

PREPARATION

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking pasta.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 9 to 11 minutes or according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Add the pasta, the reserved cooking liquid, Parmesan and 1/4 cup basil to the mushrooms in the skillet; toss to coat well. Serve immediately, garnished with remaining basil.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Healthy Pregnancy is about Mother-to-be and her Baby's health.Good overall health depends on healthy food, good nutrition,rest,low stress level,love and caring attention from love ones.You have very good points about it. Thank you for sharing it with us

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 5 years ago

      this is informative lens; thanks for your time spent to build it