When you’re pregnant and it’s hot outside, the last thing you might want is to cook or eat a heavy meal. Here are four fast and easy recipes to give you lots of time to kick back and enjoy the summer:
Summer Bounty Quinoa Salad
Two cups of cooked quinoa (can use red, white, or black quinoa)
One half each of red, yellow, and orange peppers, diced
Two green onions, finely sliced
½ cup of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise in half
1 stick of carrot, shredded
Add all of the ingredients in a pretty bowl. Top with this Lemony Herb dressing:
½ cup of olive oil
½ lemon, squeezed
1 tsp of honey
2 tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar
½ tsp of basil (fresh preferred)
¼ tsp of oregano
¼ tsp of parsley
Instead of using corn or flour tortillas, opt for the lighter and healthier version using lettuce leaves.
One pound of antiobiotic-free, grass fed beef thoroughly browned.
Or for an even lighter version, use roasted sweet potatoes cut in cubes
Seasoning: garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, and seasoned salt (No need to buy pre-made taco seasonings!)
Top with fresh tomatoes, colorful peppers (green, yellow, orange, and red), and shredded sharp cheddar. Add a dallop of sour cream and top with a dash of hot sauce if you dare.
Creamy Mushroom Soup
This is fast and delicious--no measurements so that you can make as much or as little as you want.
Baby portabella mushrooms, sliced and cut in half
Green onions, thinly sliced
Garlic powder to taste
Salt to taste
Dash of soy sauce
1 cup of vegetable stock (adjust to more if making a larger batch)
Half and half, rice, or almond milk
Almond, coconut or unbleached flour
Butter or coconut oil
Melt 4 ounces of butter or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a soup pot. Add a tsp of flour at a time, stirring frequently. Add milk in ¼ cup increments, alternating with the vegetable stock, continuing to stir as it heats up. You may need to add more flour if the stock is too thin. Add the mushrooms and onions, continue to cook until thick and hot.
For added flavor, I cook the mushrooms and onions in an iron pan, searing for flavor.
Grilled Zucchini Halves
When the garden starts spewing out one zucchini after another, here’s a simple way to create an instant side dish to go with any meal:
Wash zucchini and remove both ends. Slice lengthwise in half. Brush with olive oil and season salt. Grill upside down or sear in an iron pan until tender. Turn the halves over, sprinkle with fresh grated (trust me, this makes a difference!) parmesan or romano cheese (or both!)
If cooking indoors, you can put the iron pan directly under the broiler to brown the cheese.