Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Sides (part 11) - Summer Squash and Barley Risotto, Indian-Spiced Chickpeas with Spinach

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Summer Squash and Barley Risotto

A smooth and saucy risotto with barley instead of rice is perfect for those hot summer nights—or those pregnancy hot flashes. Fresh asparagus instead of squash would also be lovely in this untraditional risotto. Top it off with some vegan Parmesan cheese, if you happen to have some on hand.


4 cloves garlic, minced

12 onion, diced

1 zucchini, chopped

1 yellow squash, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup pearled barley

3–4 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons vegan margarine

Salt and pepper, to taste

Folic Acid: 

Vitamin B12: 





Vitamin D: NA

1. Sauté garlic, onions, zucchini, and yellow squash in olive oil until soft, about 3–4 minutes. Add barley; heat for 1 minute, stirring to coat well with oil and to prevent burning.

2. Add 1 cup broth; bring to a simmer. Cover; allow to cook for a few minutes, until broth is almost absorbed.

3. Add another cup of broth; continue cooking until barley is soft, about 20–25 minutes, adding more broth as needed.

4. When barley is done, add an additional 14 cup broth and basil; stir well to combine just until heated through.

5. Stir in yeast and margarine; season generously with salt and pepper, to taste.

Per Serving

Calories: 323 | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 797mg | Fiber: 9g | Protein: 7g


Indian-Spiced Chickpeas with Spinach (Chana Masala)

This is a mild recipe, suitable for the whole family, but if you want to turn up the heat, toss in some fresh minced chilies or a hearty dash of cayenne pepper. It’s enjoyable as is for a side dish or piled on top of rice or another grain for a main meal.


1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons vegan margarine

34 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, undrained

3 tomatoes, puréed or ⅔ cup tomato paste

12 teaspoon curry

14 teaspoon turmeric

14 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 bunch fresh spinach

Folic Acid: 

Vitamin B12: NA





Vitamin D: NA

1. In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in margarine until almost soft, about 2 minutes.

2 Reduce heat to medium-low and add coriander and cumin. Toast the spices, stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the chickpeas with liquid in can, tomatoes, curry, turmeric, and salt and bring to a slow simmer. Allow to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10–12 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add lemon juice.

4. Add spinach and stir to combine. Cook just until spinach begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Per Serving

Calories: 306 | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 818mg | Fiber: 11g | Protein: 12g

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