20-Minute Meals | Fit Pregnancy

20-Minute Meals

Fast dinners that make it easy to keep your prenatal nutrition on track.


It's late. You're starved. You see the closest pair of Golden Arches and make a beeline. When you’re pregnant and working, it’s tempting to zoom through a drive-through and pick up something fast, but such a meal probably wouldn’t offer the good nutrition you need.

More than ever before, now is when you should be eating right — your little one is counting on it. But it isn’t always easy to find the time to cook when you’re working and perhaps already raising a family. (Besides, you have plenty of other things to do, like plan your maternity leave, your baby’s nursery and date nights with your other half.) What you could use are quick, satisfying, well-balanced meals tailored to meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy.

We’re here to help. Using as little time and few pots as possible, we’ve created five simple dishes loaded with all the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy. These recipes are a working woman’s dream: Not only are they delicious, but they’ll feed a hungry group of four in just 20 minutes. The key is that they use fewer and fresher ingredients; thinly cut meats, poultry and fish; and quick-cooking techniques, such as grilling, broiling, steaming or blanching. So the next time you need some good food — fast — don’t aim for the drive-through; head toward your own kitchen instead.  


Broiled Pork Chops with Apple Slices
Serves 4

    4       4-ounce pork loin chops
    1       teaspoon salt, divided
    ½     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
    2       tablespoons vegetable oil
    1      Gala apple, cored and thinly sliced
    1      15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
    ¼    teaspoon cayenne pepper
             Juice of 1/2 orange

Preheat oven to broil. Rub pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Line a 10-by-12-inch pan with foil and place pork chops on it; fold up edges of foil and set aside.

Warm oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat until it smokes. Add apple; cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add beans, cayenne pepper, and remaining salt and pepper. Pour orange juice over mixture; stir. Cook until beans brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer.

Place pork chops under broiler for 5 minutes on each side. Serve with apple slices and bean mixture.

Nutritional information per serving (1 pork chop plus 1/3 cup apple-bean mixture): 408 calories, 32 percent fat (14.5 grams), 37 percent carbohydrate, 31 percent protein, 5.4 grams fiber, 2.7 milligrams iron, 75 milligrams calcium, 92 micrograms folate.



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