(Don't Worry) Eat Happy

Miss sushi? Crave a rare steak? With a few easy swaps, you can enjoy delicious, nutritious meals that mimic the real deal.

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now, more than ever, taking care of yourself is top priority. With your baby developing inside you, you know you should get the most out of what you’re eating. You also know that you need extra calories for your baby’s development. But there may be something you haven’t thought about: Avoiding foods that make you sick or that harm your growing baby is also an important part of the equation. The fact is, certain foods, such as soft cheeses, deli meats, and uncooked meat, poultry or fish, are dangerous during pregnancy because your immune system is suppressed. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you love. With just a few changes in your diet, it is possible to enjoy your favorite foods and eat safely. And you may just discover some new favorites to enjoy after your pregnancy. Here’s a guide to the basics of pregnancy nutrition, plus recipes so good, you’ll hardly miss the real thing.

Foods to avoid Some foods can pose risks even when you’re not pregnant but can be seriously hazardous to you or your baby during pregnancy. Here are some. (soft cheeses and deli meats) Listeria is a dangerous bacterium found in foods like soft cheeses and ready-to-eat deli meats. “This bacterium can cause flulike symptoms and fetal infections that may lead to miscarriage,” says Elizabeth Ward, M.S., R.D., author of Pregnancy Nutrition: Good Health for You and Your Baby (John Wiley & Sons, 1998). Ward recommends avoiding brie, feta, blue, Camembert, soft Mexican cheeses and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk. A combination of Romano and creamy ricotta gives a similar texture and flavor. Avoid deli-counter meats; hot dogs and sausages should be heated to 165 F. (raw foods) Eating raw, rare or undercooked meat, poultry fish or shellfish, and undercooked eggs is discouraged during pregnancy. The food-borne illnesses associated with these foods can cause diarrhea and fever, and can be passed on to the fetus. So sushi is out for now, unless made with cooked seafood; burgers should be well-done; poultry and fish must be cooked thoroughly; and dishes with soft-cooked or uncooked eggs should be avoided. (some fish) Swordfish and shark are among the large predatory fish that should be eaten no more than once a month, says the Food and Drug Administration. Mercury accumulates in these fish and can cause brain damage in the human fetus.

(Recipes)

Greek-Style Frittata With Spinach and Peppers

Serves 4

4 whole eggs 6 egg whites Salt and pepper to taste 1 1/2 ounces freshly grated Pecorino Romano 1 1/2 ounces low-fat ricotta 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1/4 pound fresh spinach, washed, spun and stems removed 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped Zest of 1 small lemon, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly beat eggs and egg whites in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper; set aside. In another bowl, combine Pecorino Romano, ricotta and lemon juice using a fork. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a 9-inch, oven-proof, nonstick pan; add bell pepper and slowly sauté over medium heat until very soft. Add spinach, mint and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and toss until spinach is just wilted. Pour in eggs, top with cheese mixture, and put in oven. Bake 25–30 min- or until eggs are set. Place under broiler for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer onto a plate and let cool slightly before cutting into wedges.

Nutritional information per serving: 171 calories, 49 percent fat (9.4 grams), 10 percent carbohydrate, 41 percent protein, 243 milligrams calcium, 3 milligrams iron; 34 micrograms folate, 3 grams fiber.

Note: The fat percentage in the above recipe is higher than normally recommended, so choose lower-fat selections throughout the rest of the day.

Roasted Sea Bass, Asparagus and Rice With Ginger-Soy Sauce Serves 4

4 6-ounce fresh sea bass fillets Salt and pepper to taste 16 stalks asparagus 2 teaspoons olive oil 2 cups cooked white rice

Preheat oven to 500 F. Season sea bass with salt and pepper. Roast on a nonstick sheet pan for 8–10 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. Remove from oven and set aside. Snap tough ends off asparagus. On a nonstick sheet pan, drizzle asparagus with just enough olive oil to lightly coat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 6 minutes, or until al dente. Serve fish and asparagus with rice and drizzle with Ginger-Soy Sauce.

Ginger-Soy Sauce: 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped 1 teaspoon garlic, minced 1 scallion, chopped 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1/3 cup soy sauce

Blend ingredients in a food processor.

Nutritional information per serving: 325 calories, 20 percent fat (7 grams), 35 percent carbohydrate, 45 percent protein, 57 milligrams calcium, 2.6 milligrams iron, 58.8 micrograms folate, 2.3 grams fiber.

Hearts of Romaine With Anchovy-Garlic Vinaigrette Serves 4

Croutons: 1/4 of a day-old baguette, torn into bite-sized pieces 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss torn baguette in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake on a sheet pan for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden.

Anchovy-Garlic Vinaigrette: 1 clove of garlic, green inner core removed, chopped 3 anchovy fillets, minced Juice of 1 lemon 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients.

Salad: 2 hearts of romaine, washed, well-dried and cut into bite-sized pieces 1 ounce Reggiano Parmesan cheese Freshly ground pepper to taste Combine romaine and croutons in a large bowl; dress with vinaigrette. Add parmesan and season with pepper. Nutritional information per serving: (approximately 2 cups): 178 calories, 61 percent fat (12 grams), 23 percent carbohydrate, 16 percent protein, 158 milligrams calcium, 2 milligrams iron, 168 micrograms folate, 2 grams fiber.

Note: The fat percentage in the above recipe is higher than normally recommended, so choose lower-fat selections throughout the rest of the day.

Grilled Shrimp and Scallops on Cress Serves 4 1/2 pound medium fresh shrimp, shells on, feet removed 1/4 pound medium bay scallops 1 teaspoon olive oil Juice of 1/2 lime Salt and pepper to taste 2 large handfuls of cress (curly, ancho or watercress)

Toss shrimp, scallops, olive oil and lime juice in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Remove from bowl and grill over medium-hot fire until thoroughly cooked, about 5 minutes. Peel shrimp. Dress cress with vinaigrette and pepper, reserving about a tablespoon of vinaigrette (recipe follows). Make a bed of cress and arrange shrimp and scallops on each plate. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette: 1/2 small shallot, finely diced 1 teaspoon champagne or white wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon cumin Juice of 1 1/2 limes Zest of 1 lime, chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil Pinch of salt

Soak shallot in vinegar for at least 15 minutes; then combine with remaining ingredients. Whisk until emulsified.

Nutritional information per serving (approximately 4 shrimp and 3 scallops): 137 calories, 42 percent fat (6.4 grams), 10 percent carbohydrate, 48 percent protein, 61 milligrams calcium, 1.5 milligrams iron, 5 micrograms folate, .5 gram fiber.

Turkey-Apple Burger Makes 4 burgers

1 teaspoon olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 1 medium apple, peeled and grated 1 pound ground turkey thigh (ground turkey thigh stays moister than ground turkey breast; available at most supermarkets) 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce Salt and pepper to taste 4 rolls, split and lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 450 F. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan; add onion and slowly sauté until golden brown. (If the onion begins to stick to the pan, add small amounts of water a bit at a time.) Add grated apple and cook for another 3–5 minutes, or until soft. Transfer to a small bowl and cool thoroughly. Combine ground turkey with onion-and-apple mixture and season with Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Divide into 4 equal parts and shape into burgers. Roast on a nonstick sheet pan for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160? F. Remove from oven and serve on rolls.

Nutritional information per serving: 312 calories, 24 percent fat (8.3 grams), 42 percent carbohydrate, 34 percent protein, 105 milligrams calcium, 4 milligrams iron; 54 micrograms folate, 2 grams fiber.

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