Protein-Packed Meal for New Moms-To-Be - Healthy Pregnancy Recipes!

Looking for a protein-packed meal for you and your growing little one? This low-fat and high-protein grilled chicken pesto with pumpkin seeds recipe will fuel both you and baby in the yummiest way possible! Pumpkin seeds are a potent and natural source of magnesium, which helps with nerve functioning and blood sugar - and there is some evidence that magnesium may help improve your sleep!


Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preparation:

In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the pepitas, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the seeds puff and begin to pop and turn brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a food processor, process the garlic until minced. Add the parsley, cilantro, green onions, and lemon juice. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Measure out 1/4 cup of the parsley mixture, leaving the remaining mixture in the processor.

Place the 1/4 cup parsley mixture in a zippered plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and mix to combine. Add the chicken breasts, seal the bag, and massage to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Add the cooled pumpkin seeds to the parsley mixture reserved in the food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup water and process to a coarse puree. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside. You should have a generous 1 cup pumpkin-seed pesto.

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place the chicken breasts on the hottest part of the grill and cook, turning once, until nicely browned on the outside and opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes per side.

Transfer the chicken to plates, drizzle with your pesto, and serve warm. Enjoy! 

Pregnant woman cooking a healthy meal.

We hope this nutritious, pregnancy friendly recipe helps nourish you and your growing family when you need it most! Follow along for more pregnancy tips, tricks, and healthy recipes.

September 29, 2022 — Stephanie McClintock