Pleasing the Pregnant Palate | Fit Pregnancy

Pleasing the Pregnant Palate

From mashed potatoes to mango-kiwi salsa, great dishes for every stage of your pregnancy


 third trimester    
 Weeks 25 Through 40

Penne With Flank Steak, Marinated Tomatoes
and Wilted Arugula
Serves 6
This recipe takes advantage of the principle that vitamin C (from the tomatoes) boosts your body’s absorption of iron (from the arugula and steak). Although the dish takes only 20 minutes to prepare, the tomatoes are best when marinated. They can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated.

Tip: Try to use an aged (10 or more years) balsamic vinegar. It is sweeter and less acidic than the mass-produced varieties. Also, since arugula tends to be gritty, it is best to rinse it in 2 changes of water.

    4     medium tomatoes, cored and diced
    6     cloves garlic, peeled
(1 minced and 5 chopped)
    4     teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
    1/3     cup fresh basil, snipped
    Sea salt to taste
    Fresh black pepper to taste
    1     pound penne pasta
    3     teaspoons olive oil
    12     ounces flank steak, trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias
    11/2  pounds arugula, washed, drained and chopped
    1     cup pasta cooking water
    6     tablespoons Parmesan or Romano cheese

In a nonmetal bowl, stir together the tomatoes, minced garlic, vinegar and basil. Add salt and pepper. Cover and marinate for 3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a wok over high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully scatter the flank steak into the wok. Sear the steak until it is cooked through, stirring 2 or 3 times. Reduce  heat and push the meat to one side.

Add the remaining olive oil to the wok. Add the chopped garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, stirring constantly. Raise the heat to high and add the arugula. Cook the arugula only until it wilts, stirring constantly. Stir the meat and arugula together. Remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and add it to the arugula. Reduce the heat to low.

Drain the pasta and stir it into the wok. Season the pasta with salt and pepper. Cook the pasta, meat and arugula together for 2 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the tomatoes and Parmesan.

Nutritional information per serving (2 ounces steak with 3 ounces pasta): 477 calories, 19 percent fat (10.1 grams), 55 percent carbohydrate, 26 percent protein, .4 milligram B6, 279.2 milligrams calcium, 2.7 grams fiber, 140.8 micrograms folic acid, 6.4 milligrams iron, 5.6 milligrams zinc.

Eggplant, Corn, Spinach and Goat Cheese Burritos
Serves 4
This dish is chock-full of fiber, which is the best remedy for constipation so troublesome during pregnancy (especially in the third trimester).

Tip: Japanese and Italian eggplants are sweeter and have fewer seeds than the large purple variety. Also, the salsa can be prepared the day before and refrigerated.

    3     medium tomatoes, cored and diced
    1     clove garlic, minced
    4     scallions, trimmed and sliced
    1/3     cup cilantro, chopped
    2     tablespoons red-wine vinegar
    Sea salt to taste
    Fresh black pepper to taste

    4 1/2  cups water
    Sea salt to taste
    2     cups brown Basmati rice
    3     teaspoons canola oil
    4     Japanese or 3 Italian eggplants, cubed
    1     red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
    3     ears corn, kernels removed, or 1 cup frozen
    3     cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    1     pound spinach, trimmed, washed, drained and chopped
    4     ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
    8     flour tortillas, warmed

In a nonmetal bowl, prepare the salsa by mixing together the tomatoes, garlic, scallions, cilantro and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add a dash of salt and stir in the rice. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook the rice until tender and all water has been absorbed, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a wok over high heat. When it begins to smoke, add the eggplant and bell pepper and spread in a single layer, taking advantage of the high sides of the wok. Sprinkle with salt and cook until tender, stirring 3 or 4 times. Stir the corn into the wok and cook for 1 minute more. Push the vegetables to 1 side. Reduce heat to low.

Add the remaining oil to the wok. Place the garlic in the oil and cook until soft and fragrant, stirring often. Raise the heat to high.

Stir the garlic and vegetables together. Add the spinach and cook only until it wilts, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving platter.

Spread a portion of the goat cheese, rice and salsa on each tortilla. Place the vegetables on the table, and have everyone roll his or her own burritos.

Nutritional information per serving (2 6-ounce burritos): 826 calories, 20 percent fat (18.8 grams), 67 percent carbohydrate, 13 percent protein, 1.2 milligrams B6, 292.9 milligrams calcium, 14.7 grams fiber, 319.3 micrograms folic acid, 8.9 milligrams iron, 3.9 milligrams zinc.

Tofu and Mustard Green
Stuffed Shells
Serves 8
Puréed tofu pinch-hits for the traditional ricotta in this recipe. Tofu is an excellent nondairy source of calcium and, combined with the cheeses, gives this recipe the extra calcium you need in the third trimester. It is also a great postpartum recipe because of the extra calcium, which your body needs while breastfeeding.

Tip: If available, use a combination of portobello, shiitake and cremini mushrooms. The recipe can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. On the day the shells are to be served, they can be stuffed, sauced and baked in 30 minutes.

    1     teaspoon olive oil
    4     cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    1     pound mixed mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
    Sea salt to taste
    2     28-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped
    1/3     cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped
    Fresh black pepper to taste

    2     pounds firm tofu
    1     teaspoon olive oil
    4     cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    1     Spanish onion, peeled and diced
    Sea salt to taste
    11/2   pounds mustard greens, washed, dried and chopped
    1/3     cup grated Romano cheese
    Fresh black pepper to taste
    1     egg
Other Ingredients
    12     ounces large stuffing shells
    12     ounces part-skim mozzarella, grated

To prepare the sauce, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Raise the heat to high and add mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and cook until soft and all liquid evaporates, stirring often.

Pour the tomatoes into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the basil or parsley and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

While the sauce is cooking, prepare the stuffing. Place the tofu in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Reduce heat slightly and add the onion. Sprinkle the onion with salt and cook until soft. Raise the heat to high and add the mustard greens. Cook only until they wilt, stirring constantly. Allow the greens to cool and then mix with the tofu. Stir in the Romano cheese. Season the filling with salt and pepper, and then mix in the egg. Set the filling aside.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the shells to the water and cook until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Stuff each shell with the tofu and filling. Place the shells on 1 large or 2 medium baking trays. Spoon the sauce over the shells and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake the shells until they begin to bubble on the edges and the cheese is golden, approximately 20 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving (8 ounces): 493 calories, 29 percent fat (15.7 grams), 42 percent carbohydrate, 29 percent protein, .2 milligram B6, 585.9 milligrams calcium, 7.8 grams fiber, 86.6 micrograms folic acid, 6.2 milligrams iron, 2.9 milligrams zinc.



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