Pregnancy is such a wonderful and special time for a couple. There is so much joy and anticipation of how your life is about to change. For many, getting to this point was a difficult one and there is pride and excitement about the next steps in your future. But cooking while pregnant? It is a major constraint!

pesto cooking while pregnant


There are also constraints in foods that you can’t eat. Pregnancy brings a long list of foods that are not healthy for pregnant woman, such as raw fish in sushi; deli meats; soft cheese; etc. And, there is also the constraint that most pregnant women get tired during their pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. Cooking while pregnant can be difficult – heat and exhaustion pile on – so this is the time for the spouse to step up!

In my own family, my stepson and daughter-in-law are expecting soon. My stepson is a truly wonderful man with more good qualities than I can list, but cooking is just not his thing. My daughter-in-law is working full time right up until the due date and, understandably, is getting tired. I suggested to my son that he take over dinner duties to give her a break. She was ecstatic and he was less than thrilled at my idea. But, I promised to help him with some super easy recipes that he can make without any more cooking skills than he has that will help out around the house during this last couple of months. Knowing where his heart is, I’ll know he will do it!

When they told us about the great news, my daughter-in-law asked us what we want to be called – Grandma? Grandpa? Nonna? We thought about it, but I knew right away that Grandma was not for me. My husband decided upon Xerxes, a famous Persian king. I decided on Soka, short for Ahsoka, the kick ass female lead in Star Wars Rebels. I think he will be able to say Soka way before he can say Xerxes…


Back to the matter at hand. The key when you lack cooking skills is to make simple recipes. Don’t try the recipe with more than 5 ingredients or pages of instructions. Keep it simple. Also, be organized. Get all of your prep done first so that you don’t feel flustered or rushed, which can lead to #kitchen dramas. I’ll tell you all the story of my husband making an exploding chicken while I was sick with the flu another time…

So, spouses – here are some recipes for you to already published recipes on various parts of the blog. They are simple, delicious and pregnancy approved 🙂 And congratulations to all of you in any way involved in bringing a new life into the world!

Recipes for spouses – cooking while pregnant

Panzanella Salad
Asian Noodles
Vegan Sushi Salad
Breakfast Tacos
Turkey Wing Tacos
Marinara Sauce
No Skillet Grilled Cheese

Now, here are a few more recipes that are super easy that spouses can whip up in a snap and I happen to know that pregnant women desire.

Zucchini constrained gourmet


Cucumber Salad
1 large cucumber
1 small onion, preferably red
5-10 leaves of basil
olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice
1 large tomato, diced (optional)

Slice 1 large cucumber in half moons (cut cucumber horizontally in half and then slice each half thinly). Slice one small onion the same way and add to cucumber. Add tomato, if using. Rip 5-10 leaves of basil into the bowl with cucumber and onion. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Use 3 tablespoons of olive oil to 1 tablespoon of vinegar or fresh lemon juice. This can be prepared up to 2 hours in advance.

fresh pasta constrained gourmet

Fresh pasta drying

Pasta with Butter and Cheese
1/2 pound of pasta, preferably angel hair but any pasta is fine
3/4 cup of parmesan
1.5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Boil 1/2 pound of pasta per the package instructions. When it is done, place in a big bowl and toss in parmesan. Toss repeatedly until cheese is distributed evenly and melted. Add butter, toss again until butter is melted. Add the cream, distributing it evenly and toss again. Grind fresh pepper over the top and serve, with a little additional cheese if desired.

Pan de Tomato
1/2 baguette, sliced thin
1 tomato, cut in half

Place sliced baguette on sheet pan. Broil for 1-2 minutes until lightly brown (watch carefully – this can burn quickly!). Turn and brown for about 1 minute on the opposite side. Remove from broiler and rub the cut tomato on the hot bread. Grind some fresh black pepper on top, if desired. Serve warm.

Roast Chicken

Roast chicken cooking while pregnant

Roast chicken

2 chicken thighs per person (skin on, with bone)
salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from package and wash under running water. Dry very thoroughly with paper towels. This is important – the chicken needs to be totally dry and room temperature. Place chicken in a roasting pan. (Clean up the counter after yourself by using anti-bacterial spray anywhere the chicken was set down, even over paper towels.) Use 1 teaspoon salt for 4 chicken thighs and spread over the chicken, both sides. Grind pepper over chicken. Place chicken in preheated oven for 2 hours. Serve with salad, roasted potatoes or pasta.

Italian roasted potatoes
1 large russet potato
2 tablespoons of minced herbs – rosemary, sage or thyme
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place potatoes on sheet pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and herbs. Place in oven for 1 hour, shaking occasionally to loosen from pan. (Do not worry if they stick initially – as they cook, they will release. Do not force them by using a spatula because you will tear the crust that is forming.) When they are nicely brown, remove from oven and toss with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Just keep the freezer stocked with her favorite ice cream!