A Week of Healthy, Low-Effort Dinners for Expecting Parents

published Jul 25, 2021
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(Image credit: Monday: Joe Lingeman; Tuesday: Karen Biton-Cohen; Wednesday: Leela Cyd; Thursday: Lauren Volo; Friday; Joe Lingeman)

I’m kicking things off with a week of easy, mostly healthy dinners for my family of two (two and a half?), as we gear up for the arrival of our first baby in a few months. While my eating style — veggie-heavy, wholesome, and comforting food — hasn’t changed much since becoming pregnant (save for my frequent tater tot cravings), I do have less energy at the end of the day now and am much more inclined to seek out low-stress, low-effort quick and easy dinners. Bonus points when they can be partially meal prepped in advance or come together in 20 minutes or less.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I always bake a few sweet potatoes during my Sunday meal prep, which means this dinner comes together in a flash. It’s ideal for Mondays, when my energy to cook is low. I’ll plan to reheat the potatoes while I make the black bean filling and toss together a quick salad.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

Half the reason I keep frittatas in my meal plan rotation is because I love having the leftovers for lunch later in the week. It’s also my chance to use up asparagus and mushrooms that have been lingering in the crisper, along with a little bit of goat cheese. I’ll serve this with some sourdough toast and a simple arugula salad.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

The cheesy tortellini hits my pasta craving for the week, and the broth keeps it light. Thankfully I’ll also have just enough leftover sourdough bread for dunking.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

If you’re cooking for two, as I am, this is an easy recipe to scale down. I’ll halve the recipe since it’s just me and my husband, and we don’t love leftover fish. I’m inspired by the recipe photo and will turn this into a one-bowl meal with brown rice I have stashed in the freezer, steamed spinach, and avocado. Best of all, the whole thing comes together in about 20 minutes.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

My husband is on dinner duty tonight, and chooses our favorite turkey burgers. We’ll partner them with extra-crispy tater tots and save the extra burgers for lunch over the weekend.