Every new mother-to-be gets a laundry list of things that she can’t eat when she’s pregnant. What about all the yummy things that she can (and should!) eat? Proper nutrition during pregnancy and after delivery is so critical — your body’s working so hard! Eating healthy foods not only makes sense, but also can lessen some major pregnancy discomforts, like nausea, water retention and cramping.
Taking a “food-as-medicine” approach, Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, nutrition experts for SELF Magazine and registered dieticians, have released a cookbook designed to help you take the guesswork out of what you’ll need to fuel up pre- and post-partum. The best part about Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook is that it’s organized by what you really care about: relieving those less than lovely pregnancy symptoms. I totally needed “Chapter One: I’m Gonna Hurl…But I’m Still Hungry” when I was pregnant — in fact, I probably could’ve written a book with the same title. Other chapters include “My Chest Is On Fire” (heartburn) and “I’m Officially a Walking Snack Machine” (for nursing mamas).
The introduction to the book is thoughtfully written, full of scientific yet easy-to-read information and interesting facts that help you understand why you can’t have certain things and why you may want to have more of some others. There’s also handy, relevant guides that answer your most burning questions, like how much caffeine is in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Buzz ice cream. (Mmmmmmm…)
I’m not much of a chef, so I really appreciated the fact that all of the 120-plus recipes in this book require just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients, are fairly quick to make, and don’t call for any fancy equipment or advanced cooking skills. Here’s one of my favorite recipes:
Barley Crab Cakes (serves 4)
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup shredded zucchini
½ cup shredded onion
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
3 (six-ounce) cans lump crabmeat, drained and flaked
2 cups cooked barley
½ cup whole grain bread crumbs
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, zucchini, onions, paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper and sauté until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until blended. Stir in the crabmeat and vegetable mixture. Add the barley and stir until it is totally incorporated. Add the bread crumbs and stir until the mixture begins to stick together. Form the crabmeat mixture into 8 patties, squeezing each with firm pressure so it holds together.
Heat the remaining 4 teaspoons of oil in the same skillet used for cooking the veggies over medium-high heat. Cook the crab cakes in the skillet until browned on each side, about 4 minutes per side.