We love stir-fry at our house! My favorite thing about this recipe is you can really toss in whatever veggies you have on hand. You can customize it exactly how you like it. This is especially helpful during pregnancy when you have certain cravings or aversions. Some of my favorite veggies for stir-fry include bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, asparagus, and snow peas. The secret to a good stir-fry is the sauce, and the sauce for this recipe seals the deal.
2 cups bell peppers, sliced
2 cups zucchini, sliced
2 cups broccoli, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
3 cups brown rice
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Directions: Sauté chicken in 1 tbsp. canola oil until cooked through. Then add veggies, and sauté until tender. Stir in rice and add sauce.
For sauce, mix water and cornstarch together, then add to other ingredients. Cook until sauce begins to thicken.
I usually use brown rice as the grain for stir-fry, but you could just as easily use quinoa or even barley. It is good to have a wide variety in your diet, so I encourage you to use a grain you don’t use as often. Brown rice is a good option because it is a great source of fiber, which is important for digestive health and preventing constipation, as well as increasing satiety. It has a significantly lower glycemic index than white rice, meaning that it does not cause a blood sugar spike like white rice can. This is especially important to help prevent and treat gestational diabetes. It is high in selenium and manganese, both of which have antioxidant properties and are important for reproductive and nervous system health.
I love how many vegetables you can get in this recipe. You can literally get a couple of cups of veggies in per person, even more than a typical salad when you consider that many veggies shrink as you cook them. Veggies are low in calories but high in nutrition, which can help manage your weight gain while you are pregnant. Here are a few highlights from my favorites.
- Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, as well as phosphorus, zinc, and iron. They have also been found to help with weight management and improved immune system function.
- Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables which are known for their anti-cancer properties. It is also rich in fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.
- Bell peppers are high in carotenoids which are important for eye and cardiovascular health and can protect against certain cancers. They are also great sources of vitamin C and potassium.
- Zucchinis are high in vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin A.
When combined with chicken breast, this makes a well-balanced meal that contains countless nutrients that are important both for your health, as well as the health and development of your growing baby.