No matter how you toss it, a salad makes an ideal summer lunch or dinner. That’s because these easy-to-make meals truly satisfy without weighing you down. Full of wholesome, summer-fresh fruits and vegetables, entrée salads can contain vital nutrients your pregnant body needs, including calcium, folate, iron and protein. They’re filling, too, thanks to the fiber-rich produce and added protein in ingredients such as lean meat, cheese and legumes.
Full-meal salads also can satisfy cravings because you can toss almost anything into a salad bowl with spectacular results. Want Italian? Think ripe tomatoes, white beans and peppery arugula. In the mood for meat? Try grilled pork over spinach with red grapes and goat cheese. They contribute terrific
flavor, fiber, and important vitamins and minerals. Bon appétit!
Chicken-Arugula Salad (Shown above)
Nutrient spotlight: protein
One serving provides more than half
your daily requirement (71 g).
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 5 minutes
12 cups arugula leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1 pint cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons grainy mustard
2 ounces Asiago cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Combine arugula, cherry tomatoes and white beans in large bowl. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, chicken tenders and several pinches of salt and pepper; sauté until juicy and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add to salad.
Whisk remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil with vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss to coat. Divide salad among four dinner plates and sprinkle with Asiago cheese.
Nutritional information per serving (2 1/2 cups with 1/4 pound chicken tenders): 445 calories, 32% fat (16 g), 31% carbohydrate (34 g), 37% protein (41 g), 7 g fiber, 5 mg iron, 343 mg calcium, 146 mcg folate.
Flank Steak & Asparagus Salad
Nutrient spotlight: folate
One serving provides more than half your daily requirement (600 mcg).
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
3 tablespoons garlic oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 cups mixed spring greens
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off
4 large eggs
1 pound raw flank steak
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 slices whole-grain sandwich bread, toasted and cut into small squares
8 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat a grill or broiler to medium. Whisk together garlic oil and lemon juice until combined. Season with salt and pepper; set aside. Place mixed spring greens in a large salad bowl.
Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 6 minutes, or until tender yet still crisp. Remove spears with a slotted spoon; set aside to cool.
Bring same skillet of water back to a boil. Poach eggs by breaking open each egg and gently slipping them into
the water. Cook over medium-low heat for about 3 to 6 minutes, occasionally spooning water over the yolks to help cook them (yolks should be soft-cooked when you’re done).
Rub flank steak on both sides with garlic, soy sauce and several pinches of salt and pepper. Place steak on grill or broiler pan. Cook for 4 minutes, then turn over and cook an additional 4 minutes, or until steak is rosy in the center when cut. Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest.
Cut cooled asparagus into 1-inch pieces; add to salad bowl, along with toast squares. Toss salad mixture with half of dressing. Divide salad among four shallow salad bowls. Place a poached egg over greens.
Cut flank steak on the diagonal into thin slices, then arrange steak slices around each egg. Drizzle salads with steak juices and remaining dressing, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Nutritional information per serving (3 cups salad, 1 egg, 1 slice whole-grain toast, 3 ounces flank steak, and 2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese): 473 calories, 49% fat (26 g), 20% carbohydrate (24 g), 31% protein (37 g), 6 g fiber, 6 mg iron, 183 mg calcium, 304 mcg folate.