So, despite my best efforts (best = not giving into my donut cravings on every occasion), I am — according to my doctor and online resources — already at the weight I should’ve gained for my whole pregnancy with a ways to go.
Sure, it’s been challenging not being able to work out or really leave the house — that certainly hasn’t helped. But neither did the 10 pounds I gained in the first trimester due to peanut butter & jelly waffles being literally the only food I could stomach without throwing up.
Long story short, I’ve been trying my darndest to be really good during my third trimester. Weight gain is inevitable, obviously. But I’m trying to limit it as much as I can.
My rules of the road? 21 day fix and paleo-inspired recipes — limiting my carbs, processed foods and fats, and replacing with proteins, veggies and the right fruits. Smart snacking — trading tortilla chips for carrots, and pretzels for almonds. And limiting my indulgences — I say limiting because I’ve totally snuck in a few desserts here and there. But I’m trying!
One of my fave ways to lighten up a meal is by using veggie noodles instead of pasta noodles. Still the same heartiness of eating pasta without the carbs. And since I’ve kind of over-done zoodles, I decided to try butternut squash noodles.
The verdict? Love!
(And if you’re feeling super lazy like me, you can pick up the pre-spiralized version at Whole Foods. Hey – an 8 month pregnant lady’s gotta’ do what she’s gotta’ do.)
Butternut Squash Noodles with Spinach & Grilled Sausage
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 Italian chicken sausages (I used Applegate)
1 tablespoon minced or chopped garlic
~3 cups of butternut squash, spiralized (love this how-to)
Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon your favorite basil pesto (I like to test a lot of different brands, but used this classic one)
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
A dash of red pepper flakes
2 cups fresh spinach
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Option: shredded parmesan for topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; add cherry tomatoes to baking sheet and season with pepper. Toss to coat. Bake for ~15 minutes or until they start to brown and wrinkle.
Grill sausages on high for 8 minutes (4 minutes per side). Slice sausages into 1/2-inch pieces.
Meanwhile, heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add butternut squash noodles and a heavy seasoning of pepper. Using tongs, toss to coat in oil and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, or until noodles are tender.
Add basil pesto, chicken broth and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat.
Add spinach and grated parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and cook for 2 additional minutes or until spinach is wilted.
Plate your pasta and top with cherry tomatoes and additional grated parmesan (if desired). Enjoy!