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10 Easy-To-Make Meals for Pregnant Women

Healthy Homemade Meals for Moms-To-Be

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While you’re figuring out the do’s and don’ts of what you should eat while expecting and especially all those foods to avoid during pregnancy, it’s easy to forget that you’ll often feel too tired to get busy in the kitchen – especially during your exhausting first and final trimesters. But, it goes without saying that there´s never been a better time to eat well and cook from scratch. These healthy recipes offer all the nutrition you could want for you and your growing baby, but won’t have you slaving in front of a hot oven.

1. Smoked Mackerel Salad Recipe

Photo © Mo’ Media Publishing
Mackerel is rich in omega fatty acids, which is good for your overall health and your baby´s brain development. This salad teams smoked mackerel with tomatoes, Belgian endives and avocado and offers every element that makes up a great dish: something crunchy, creamy, sweet, tangy, bitter and salty.

2. Andijviestamppot (Raw Endive Mash)

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
Curly endive (otherwise known as frisée or endive lettuce) is a leafy green most often used in the Netherlands to make a traditional winter dish called ´andijviestamppot´. The clever contrast between the slightly bitter edge of the chicory leaves and the creamy richness of the potatoes is what works here. In warmer months, try this stamppot sla recipe, made with crisp butter lettuce.

3. Roasted Hutspot Recipe

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
You'll notice that this dish is somewhat of a deconstructed version of hutspot, that traditional Dutch mash of boiled potatoes, onions and carrots. But because of all those lovely sweet, soft, crunchy and savory flavors and textures, you won't get bored after a few forkfuls. In fact, oven-roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables, giving them a sweet, caramelized taste without any added sugar and with very little fat, while lending texture and interest that is near impossible to achieve on the stove top. And, perhaps the ultimate in laziness, you don't need to peel the onions, garlic and carrots when roasting them in the oven. In fact, leaving the skins on seems to improve the flavor, and you can simply remove the outer layers after cooking.

4. Easy Gazpacho Recipe

Photo © Mo Media
Many women crave fresh, cool, sour flavours during their pregnancy (hello pickles!) and this simple gazpacho is packed with full-on tomato goodness. Traditional gazpacho recipes use onions, cucumber and bread, which produces a slightly more flavorful and filling soup, but also requires quite a bit more work (you need to peel the tomatoes, soak the bread, etc.).

5. Kisir Recipe

Photo © Kosmos
Combine fiber rich bulghur wheat with spring onions, sweet cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper paste and plenty of herbs, for a healthy salad that explodes with flavor.

6. Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
This recipe is an old stand-by in our kitchen and appears - in some form or another - on our table at least once a week. It's good as a side with roast chicken, but most often we bung in some thick juicy sausages with the veggies. Turn the sausages halfway through cooking so that they don't only color on one side. For a veggie version, toss in a handful of hazelnuts and crumble over some pasteurized goat's cheese when the veggies come out of the oven.

7. Scrambled Eggs with Shrimp Recipe

Photo © Jaap van Rijn
Perfect for breakfast, lunch or a light supper, this recipe elevates simple scrambled eggs with the addition of brown shrimp. Alternatively, make an easy omelet with iron rich turnip greens, chili and pasteurised chevre.

8. Brown Bean Soup Recipe (Bruine Bonen Soep)

Photo copyright Ellen Schelkers
A Dutch dietary staple, brown bean soup is nutritious, filling and a cinch to make. Filled with folate, an essential B vitamin that can help prevent certain types of birth defects, particularly neural tube defects (NTD), like spina bifida and anencephaly, this soup is well worth adding to your pregnancy repertoire.

9. Roast Chicken with Chermoula

Photo © Terra
Our easy entertaining secret, poussin – essentially just fancy roast chicken – is the simplest way to feed guests during your pregnancy. Here, the birds are annointed with a flavorful sauce of cilantro, garlic, lemon, caraway seeds, paprika and cayenne pepper before being roasted in the oven.

10. Pan-Fried Salmon with Witlof, Spinach and Fennel

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
This healthy salad is hearty enough to satisfy those who feel that a salad couldn't possibly be a meal, yet still feels very light on its feet. With over half a dozen mixed greens on offer and all those heart-healthy omega fatty acids courtesy of the pan-fried salmon, your baby will be getting everything it needs. To ensure that the fish is cooked all the way through, you may need to cook it for a few minutes slonger than indicated in the recipe.
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