food in pregnancy

Recipe: Portobello and Black Bean Breakfast Burritos

If you’re always on the go in the mornings, you don’t need to start your day with boring meals. Try these portobello and black bean breakfast burritos. “This is the kind of breakfast where I would make a few batches of it beforehand and put it in the fridge,” says Lenkert. “Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms, and cook the brown rice on Sunday, and then put the rest together when you’re ready to grab it and go.” You might want to cut back on the garlic and onion if you’re experiencing too much heartburn.

Portobello & Black Bean Breakfast Burrito

A Protein Rich Breakfast Recipe for Pregnancy

Serving Size: 4


4 large flour tortillas

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 cup of onion, diced

1 teaspoon of fresh garlic, minced

2 large Portobello mushrooms, diced

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of brown rice miso paste

1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 dash of Tabasco

1 cup of canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup of brown rice, cooked

4 egg whites

1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1/2 cup of salsa


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Wrap tortillas in foil and heat for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in sauté plan and add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Stir occasionally until brown.
  4. In a bowl, whisk lemon juice, miso paste, hoisin sauce, salt and Tabasco.
  5. Pour mixture over sautéed vegetables.
  6. Use a food processor to pulse vegetable mixture until chopped.
  7. Return mixture to pan and add egg whites, brown rice and black beans. Cook on medium heat until 
  8. egg whites are fully cooked.
  9. Place warm tortillas on a plate and evenly distribute vegetable/egg mixture, cheese and salsa.
  10. Wrap tortillas into burritos and enjoy!


Per serving: 642 calories, 12.52 g fat, 84.48 g carbs, 7.50 g fiber, 21.6 g protein, 255 mg calcium, 4.1 mg iron, 1,125 mg sodium, 101 mcg folate

Recipe transcribed from:

Protein in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women’s protein needs are greater than ever.  In fact, the Institute of Medicine recommends women between ages 19 and 70 consume 46 grams of protein per day, whereas pregnant women are advised to consume nearly twice that, or approximately 80 grams.  This extra protein consumption is vital, given the increased amount and size of a woman’s tissues, the baby’s needs, the effects of labor and birth, postpartum healing, and breastfeeding.

In this post we’ll talk about protein’s functions and benefits for mom and baby, talk about good protein-rich foods, and ideas for incorporating more protein into your diet while pregnant.

The functions and benefits of protein

…In general

Second only to water, protein is abundant in the body.  It builds and repairs our body’s tissues.  Bones, blood, skin, muscles, hair, organs, nails, and connective tissues are all made of proteins. Protein helps us maintain Ph and fluid balance in the body.  It also helps form the antibodies necessary to fight infection. With adequate protein-to-carbohydrate consumption, we enjoy a stable blood sugar and have energy for our daily activities (including growing a baby).

…For fetus/baby

Protein is the raw material from which your baby and placenta are made.  Protein is key in the baby’s hormones, growth, metabolism, and sexual development.

For mama

Protein helps keep the uterus strong.  It also contributes to the formation of breast milk.  It is essential for blood clotting, which is important in childbirth.  Protein helps us heal after childbirth.

Insufficient protein can lead to reduced muscle tone, abnormal development and growth, lowered ability to fight infection, lack of energy and stamina, slow recovery from injury and illness, and depression.

Protein in our foods

Our body’s protein is constantly being broken down, utilized and replaced through the foods we eat.  Protein in the foods we eat is broken down into amino acids that are used by the body.  Of these amino acids about half can be made by the body or converted into another kind if needed.  But the other half cannot be made and must be consumed through our foods. These are called the essential amino acids. Approximately 9 are essential for adults and an additional 3 are needed by infants and children (sources vary).

While these essential amino acids are found in many foods, they need to be found in specific proportions to be useful to the body.  Complete proteins are foods that have the right amounts of these amino acids.  Incomplete proteins are either missing or low in certain essential amino acids. (However, they can be paired with other foods to make a complete protein. Recent studies show the body can combine proteins eaten in the same day to create a “complete protein.”)

Complete proteins include: meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, and soybean products.

high-protein-diet meat

Incomplete proteins include: grains, legumes (beans and lentils), seeds, nuts and nut butters, and some vegetables.

protein-vegAmaranth, buckwheat, hempseed, quinoa, and spirulina are considered nearly complete, while corn protein, for example, is lower in the essential amino acids.  (Spirulina is considered one of the most nutrient dense protein forms.)

Eating protein in Pregnancy

It’s important to consume protein from a variety of sources with each meal and snack throughout the day when pregnant.  This is the best way to meet your daily requirements.

Some high protein meals:
  • Bean and rice (and cheese) burrito (whole wheat or sprouted tortilla)
  • Scrambled eggs with quinoa (see recipe here for tasty meal)
  • Oatmeal (maybe add in fruit and nuts)
  • Lentil soup with kale, other soups with meat, beans, legumes
  • Lean meats or “safe” fish
Some high protein snacks:
  • Hummus with veggies or pita
  • Nuts (trail mix)
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Cottage cheese with nuts and fruit
  • Peanut or almond butter on whole grain or sprouted toast or an apple
  • Smoothie (consider any of these great ingredients: spirulina, kale, raw spinach, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, nut butter, coconut water, bananas)
  • Yogurt
  • Edamame

What are your favorite protein-rich snacks and meals in pregnancy?