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pregnancy recipe

  • Pregnancy Quiche - Vegan Tofu Quiche

    vegan quiche 1

    During pregnancy food aversions, such as eggs, can be a turn off foods such as quiche. However, this yummy vegan version can give you a great alternative that's also super healthy!

    Spring brunches get an upgrade with this healthy dish! Make this for family get-togethers, potlucks, or just a weekend in. Quiches, packed with cheese, cream, and meat, are loved by many and are a comfort food indeed, but are usually not so healthy. Don’t worry though - this quiche will satisfy your comfort food cravings and provide good nutrition for you and your baby.

    This yummy quiche is packed with veggies and has a hashbrown crust -- which is way easier to make and healthier. Instead of having to use multiple ingredients, roll, refrigerate and shape the crust, you can just shred potatoes and toss them in a pan with vegan butter! This quiche uses mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, and green onions. However, you can use the same amounts of any veggies you have in your fridge! It’s a great way to use leftovers and make a delicious dish.

    Instead of using the traditional method of eggs, tofu is used. The texture and flavor is very similar, so vegans and non-vegans will love it!

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    Here is a comparison between tofu and eggs per 100 grams:

     

    Tofu Eggs (generic scrambled)
    Calories 62 212
    Fat 2.70 grams 16.18 grams
    Protein 6.90 grams 13.84 grams
    Carbs 2.40 grams 2.08 grams

     

    Tofu has a third of the calories and a fifth of the fat of eggs. Eggs also take more resources (water, feed, and space) and excrete more waste than producing tofu. Many eggs are also from factory farms where animals are subjected to terrible conditions (cramped, dirty areas).  Sometimes soy is seen as questionable, but Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D. says “During pregnancy, one to two servings of soy daily is fine” (fitPregancy). She adds that, “Besides high-quality protein, soy is a great source of folate, iron, calcium, zinc and trace minerals.”

     

    This quiche is good for you, your baby and the earth (and it tastes amazing!).

     

    Vegan Tofu Quiche Recipe:

    Hashbrown Crust:

    4 ½ cups grated, shredded golden potatoes (about 4 medium)

    2 tablespoons vegan butter or oil of choice

    Salt and pepper to taste

     

    Filling:

    Egg:

    2 cups tofu

    3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

    4 tablespoons hummus

     

    Roasted veggies:

    2 green onions, chopped

    2 cups chopped broccoli

    Olive oil spray

    salt and pepper

     

    Sautee:

    2 cups chopped mushrooms

    1 big handful spinach, chopped

    3 garlic cloves, chopped

    1 teaspoon olive oil

    Vegan quiche

    Directions:

    1. Roasted veggies: Combine chopped broccoli and green onions in a medium bowl. Spray lightly with olive oil and toss with salt and pepper. Roast at 450 F until golden brown (about 20-25 minutes).
    2. Hashbrown Crust: While the veggies are roasting, wash and grate the potatoes. Put the grated potatoes into a 9x13 inch glass dish and drizzle with the melted vegan butter or oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss everything by hand. Press into the pan to form a crust. Bake at 450 F until slightly golden (about 20 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside until the filling is ready.
    3. Sauteed Veggies: Heat up a medium pan and add the olive oil and garlic and sautee until fragrant and starting to golden. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft (on medium heat). Add the spinach, put heat on low, and cook covered until the spinach is lightly wilted. After everything is cooked, drain the cooking juice and save for the filling.
    4. Egg Filling: Blend the tofu, hummus, and nutritional yeast in a food processor. Add in the reserved cooking juice from the mushrooms.
    5. Fold all the veggies into the egg mixture in a large bowl. Spread over hashbrown crust and bake at 375 F for 25-35 minutes.

     

    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2016, All Rights Reserved.

  • Healthy Pregnancy Drink --Delicious Island Smoothie!

    Healthy Island Smoothie

    This is the best smoothie you will ever taste, hands down. It doesn’t taste like any smoothie you have ever had before. The fresh vanilla bean and young coconut make you feel like you’re in Tahiti or Hawaii and are absolutely healthy and satisfying.

    Coconut water is known as a very healthy drink - and rightly so. Just a cup has 17% of your recommended amount of potassium, 15% magnesium, and 17% manganese. When feeling bogged down, fatigued, or icky, a glass of cold, fresh coconut water can leave you more energized and rejuvenated. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in pregnancy, and coconut water can help you keep your fluids up. Water is essential for lots of our body processes. It contributes to the following when you’re expecting:

    • Delivers nutrients to fetus through the placenta.

    • Keeps fatigue at bay - one of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue.

    • Water is used in the amniotic sac.

    • Prevents over-heating.

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    It is recommended to drink 12 to 13 8-ounce glasses each day. Some ways to keep this up is to:

    • Flavor water with stevia drops and squeezed citrus, or cucumber, mint or berries.

    • Have a bottle you like and bring it with you everywhere.

    • Have a couple glasses right when you wake up while getting ready in the morning.

    • Eat fruit! One cup has about 4-5 ounces.

    • Keep a bottle on your desk when working and have a sip right away. After you take one sip and it’s just sitting there, you feel thirsty and can’t stop reaching for it!

    Pretty soon it will be a habit and you will naturally want to keep drinking water throughout the day.

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    If you don’t like the taste of coconut water, this smoothie is a good way to sneak it in. It doesn’t have the strong taste of coconut water - but still has the benefits! This is a great drink to make on the weekends when relaxing with your spouse. It is quick enough to throw together for a weeknight dessert, too! If you don’t have access to fresh young coconuts, use coconut water and either dried cooconut or a bit of coconut cream or butter.

    Ingredients (makes 2 small servings)

    ¼ cup coconut meat

    Water from 1 young coconut (about 1 cup)

    1-2 tablespoons almond butter

    ¾ - 1 inch piece of fresh vanilla bean

    ¼ cup of dates

    Optional: pinch of salt

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    Directions:

    Open the young coconut by shaving the white fiber from cone top. After the white is gone and you have creates a “bald head” on the coconut, tap around the top in a circle. Use the back corner of a large knife. Watch a video on this technique here.

    After the coconut is open, pour the water over a strainer into a large measuring cup. Scrape out the flesh inside and clean off any leftover husk/fibers.

    Measure out ¼ cup of the flesh and pour the water and flesh into a blender. Add in the other ingredients: 1-2 tablespoons almond butter, ¾ - 1 inch piece of fresh vanilla bean, ¼ cup of dates and pinch of salt if you would like. Blend until very smooth.

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    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2016, All Rights Reserved.
     
  • Mint Chocolate Truffles - ease your pregnancy carvings!

     
    mint c Mint Chocolate Truffles
    Just the smell of mint can refresh and re-energize you when you are feeling that pregnancy fatigue. These truffles are packed with fresh mint leaves and cacao - two superfoods that are beneficial to pregnancy.
    Sometimes you just feel like relaxing, eating truffles, doing a face mask and watching a movie. These truffles are perfect for that occasion - super simple, quick and no waiting around for anything to chill or bake. The cacao adds a deep, rich chocolate flavor that is decadent, yet healthy!
    mint chocolate truffles 1Eating, drinking and smelling mint is very effective for treating nausea. For this reason, it is especially helpful to have some mint tea, grow some in a windowsill or buy some to add to smoothies and salads during pregnancy. Morning sickness can be a very unpleasant experience for many women during their first months, and mint can help relieve those icky feelings. Mint is also very helpful for digestion, headaches, and fatigue.

     

    It is not recommended for pregnant women to consume large amounts of caffeine during pregnancy. Chocolate and cacao do contain small amounts of caffeine, but not enough to pose any risk when eaten in moderation. Cacao is also very high in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, fiber, and other minerals. It also contains theobromine, which dilates blood vessels and relaxes smooth muscle, which helps to lower blood pressure.
    If you don’t like the flavor of mint, you can try fresh ginger, which has similar benefits to mint. Start with a ½ inch piece and add in more to taste.
    These can also be packaged up in a jar with some festive ribbon and a cute gift tag to give to friends and family for the holidays or as winter gifts. You can even print out the recipe and attach it so that they can re-create the bliss.
    mint chocolate truffles 2
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of nuts
    1 ½ cup dates
    ⅔ cup packed fresh mint leaves
    5 tablespoons cacao powder
    3 tablespoons dried unsweetened shredded coconut
    Process the nuts and mint until you get a rough sand texture. Add in the other ingredients and pulse until combined. Test the mixture by trying to pinch together a small ball. If it falls apart, pulse a bit longer. Try not to overmix -- the processing will separate the oil from the nuts if it is blended too long.  When the dough stays together, form into small balls and roll in cacao powder, chopped nuts, shredded coconut or cacao nibs. These keep well in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a couple weeks.
    You can use any blend of nuts you want: walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, or seeds such as sunflower seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
    Lastly, enjoy your guilt-free desert!
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    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2016, All Rights Reserved.



  • Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever!

    Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever - only 5 ingredients!

    If you are looking for a yummy pregnancy snack that is as good as it is healthy, then check out this super easy Cinnamon Rolls Vegan recipe! There is no dough-making involved - which means less waiting, less work and more fun! For this recipe, pre-made whole-wheat pizza dough is used, so all you have to do is make the filling, roll, cut and bake. Traditionally, cinnamon rolls use butter and refined sugar for the filling. For these super healthy vegan rolls, it is recommended to use vegan butter, coconut oil, any specialty oils (hazelnut, walnut, pistachio), or a blend with olive oil. Or, experiment with nut butters!

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    There is some debate about whether vegan butter is actually a better choice than butter.

    Here is a comparison of the two:

    Vegan Butter Dairy Butter
    Most brands contain ingredients that are sustainably sourced (cruelty free). Most brands use generic milk from cows in factory farms (bad living conditions).
    Plant foods take less resources (space and water) than animal products. Animal products (namely dairy and meats), take huge amounts of resources.
    Plant foods contain no cholesterol. Dairy contains cholesterol.
    Less saturated fats. More saturated fats.

     

    The price is comparable and the taste is almost exactly the same. So make the switch to support a healthier you and care for the planet and animals.

    Coconut sugar is used instead of regular refined sugar. Coconut sugar has a great caramel-y taste and is more sustainable than cane sugar. It also has minerals, amino acids, and a lower glycemic index.

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    Ingredients

    1 package of pre-made whole-wheat pizza dough (Trader Joe’s brand was used)

    ¼ cup coconut sugar

    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

    5 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance was used for this recipe) or about 4 tablespoons of your choice of oil/s

    Optional:

    ¼ cup chopped dates

    ⅓ cup chopped pecans

    cinnamon rolls

    Glaze:

    4 oz. vegan cream cheese or coconut butter

    Maple syrup to taste (a couple tablespoons should do it)

    1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

    water to thin out to desired consistency

    Directions

    Follow the directions for dough prep on the package. This may include setting the dough on a lightly floured surface and letting it rise for 25-30 minutes.

    While you are waiting, mix together the coconut sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and optional add-ins in a small bowl and set aside. After any dough prep is done, roll out into a rectangle about ½ to ¼ inch thick. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a cake pan or 8x8 dish with parchment paper. They will spread out and touch as they bake.

    Spread 2-3 tablespoons of oil or vegan butter onto dough. Sprinkle the sugar mixture. Roll into a log and cut into 8 pieces.

    Put rolls into pan. They should all have a bit of room around them (about ½ an inch). Drizzle the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of vegan butter or oil on the outsides of the rolls.

    Bake for 25-45 minutes. There is variation in the cooking time depending on what oil/butter and dough you use. Mix together glaze ingredients, smear on, and enjoy!

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    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2016, All Rights Reserved.

  • Roasted Chickpeas - A Pregnancy Superfood!

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    Over the years, there has been much research on the benefits of consuming chickpeas during pregnancy. This is what has been concluded thus far: It is common to gain weight during pregnancy. Chickpeas help to maintain a healthy weight by containing fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer.

    1. More importantly, they are good for your heart. Chickpeas have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, along with other legumes.
    2. These beans offer a steady boost of energy that doesn’t plummet later and leave you fatigued.
    3. During pregnancy, you are eating for two! This means you need more quality nourishment and junk food won’t cut it. Your body requires higher amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. A cup of chickpeas contains 12 grams of dietary fiber and 15 grams of protein.
    4. Chickpeas are a great source of iron and vitamin B6 which are essential for the growing fetus.
    5. Lots of people haven’t even heard of choline - but it’s found in chickpeas and is crucial for brain and nerve developments.
    6. One cup of chickpeas packs 65% of your daily manganese requirement during pregnancy. Manganese is also an essential nutrient for your unborn baby, aiding in skeletal development.
    7. Protein, antioxidants, vitamins - these are all widely talked about when nutrition comes up. Copper, zinc and selenium aren’t as well known, but these natural antioxidants protect babies from the damage caused by free radicals and help prevent many diseases.

    Found at: “8 Serious Effects of Chickpeas During Pregnancy.” MomJunction. http://www.momjunction.com/articles/serious-effects-of-chickpeas-during-pregnancy_0083594/

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    What You Need: (makes approximately 7 servings per 2 cans of garbanzos used)

    1-2 cans chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)

    Oil

    1-2 large cookie sheets

    Parchment paper

    Medium mixing bowl/s

    1 clean dish towel

    Any desired spices, sugar, salt, and fun add-ins*

    Directions:

    Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F on convection. Rinse the garbanzo beans in a strainer. Pour them on to the dish towel and gently pat dry. Leave them on the towel to air-dry for 5-10 minutes. They should feel matte when you touch them.

    Once the beans have dried, pour them into a bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil per 2 cans of beans and toss. Do not add the spices yet.

    Put the beans on a cookie sheet lined with one piece of parchment paper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, rotating the pan at about 10 minutes. They are done when they are golden and crispy.

    Transfer to the bowl used for mixing and combine with spices/sugar/add-ins. Enjoy!

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    Note:

    These are best right out of the oven when they are warm and crispy. As they cool, they get deliciously chewy.

    *SPICE IDEAS:

    Herbs de Provence - a classic herbal taste (buy a blend or make your own - rosemary, fennel, thyme, basil, marjoram, lavender, parsley, oregano, tarragon, bay powder). Olive oil recommended.

    Sweet Smokey Barbeque - perfect for summer picnics and backyard barbeques. Use garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, pepper, and a bit of coconut sugar. Avocado oil recommended.

    Cinnamon Sugar - a kid (and parent!) favorite. A much healthier alternative than store-bought sugar cookies or cereal. Coconut oil and coconut sugar recommended.

    Salt ‘n Pepper - the quickest, easiest pick and still delicious and satisfying! Experiment with different salts (smoked, black, himalayan) and different colored peppercorns.

    Nutritional Facts (per ½ cup)

    calories: 142

    fat: 4 grams

    protein: 6 grams

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    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2015, All Rights Reserved.

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