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When hunger strikes, you may be tempted to run out to the nearest burger joint. Not so fast. Now more than ever, it’s important to eat healthful meals. Your little one is counting on it.
But when you’re busy raising a family and perhaps working as well, it isn’t always easy to find the time to cook. What you need are quick, well-balanced meals tailored to meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy. Using a minimum of time and pots, we’ve created six simple dishes that are loaded with all the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
“The steamed salmon and seafood stew dishes are rich in protein, B vitamins, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid — perfect for a pregnant woman,” says Philadelphia nutritionist Jayne Davies, M.N.S., R.D. “The linguini with broccoli and cherry tomatoes dish is high in calcium, B vitamins and C, and the broiled pork chop and chicken dishes are loaded with protein, folic acid, iron and vitamin A.”
Not only are these recipes packed with nutrients, but they also will feed a hungry group of four in record time: 20 minutes. The key is to use fewer and fresher ingredients; thinly cut meats, poultry and fish; and quick-cooking techniques, such as grilling, broiling, steaming and blanching. (For other fast-cooking tips, see “Ready, Set, Cook”)
Even though these recipes are light on fat, they’re no less tasty. In fact, they’re so mouthwatering that you’ll forget all about that Big Mac or Seven-Layer Burrito, if you haven’t already.
Linguini With Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes
3 quarts water
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound bite-size broccoli florets
12 ounces fresh linguini
1 clove garlic, crushed and coarsely chopped
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, finely grated
In a large pot, boil water over high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon olive oil and broccoli. Cook no more than 3 minutes. Add linguini and cook until tender, no longer than 2 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of water; set florets and pasta aside.
In a skillet, warm remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and reserved water. Reduce heat to low, and stir in florets, pasta and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn to coat well, and heat about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with parsley and black pepper. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.