Baby-Making Cuisine: Recipes for Fertility

Fertility Menus

A high-protein, low-carb diet may help women trying to conceive produce better quality eggs and embryos, boosting fertility, according to new research.

Here’s a menu, tips and recipes to get you started!

First, stock up on these high-protein, low/no-carb foods for meals:


  • Meats and poultry (lean cuts), such as chicken breasts, turkey breast/burgers
  • Fish and shellfish (cod, shrimp, tuna, and salmon)
  • Soy products such as tofu, edamame
  • Dairy, eggs: non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat cheeses such as cottage cheese, mozzarella
  • Seeds, nuts, legumes:  hemp seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds

Related Link: Pushing For An Early Pregnancy? Think Again

Keep these cooking tips in mind for high-protein, low-carb diets:

  • Coat fish and lean chicken cuts with seeds and bake.
  • Go with non-starch veggies including spinach, chard, kale, celery, cabbage, avocado, asparagus, fennel, green beans, tomatoes, eggplant, avocado
  • Build salads with dark, leafy greens, chicken or turkey, avocado, eggs, nuts and seeds, lean cheeses.
  • Add a few tablespoons of plain low/non-fat yogurt to your favorite vinaigrette and drizzle on salads.
  • Mix plain yogurt with grated cucumber and a pinch of salt to sauce chicken and fish.
  • Snack on guacamole—made with avocado and a little yogurt and sprinkled with seeds—with broccoli florets or cauliflowerets. for dipping.
  • Add seeds to peanut butter sandwiches.
  • Shy away from breads and white potatoes.
  • Make every carb count: Mix cooked whole grains half-and-half with vegetables, nuts, and seeds to lighten up the carb load.

Here is a menu for two:

Toasted Sesame Salmon and Roasted Asparagus

1 (3/4- to 1 pound) salmon fillet

1/2 to 3/4 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

3 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

3 tablespoons toasted same seeds, divided


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil.Place salmon fillet on one side of baking sheet; place asparagus on the other half.

Combine honey, soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, and ginger in a small bowl; mix well.Spoon and spread over top of salmon.

Drizzle remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil over asparagus and toss to coat.Spread asparagus in single layer.

Bake until asparagus is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer asparagus to a plate; continue roasting fish until it is just opaque, about 6 minutes.Divide salmon and asparagus on serving plates; sprinkle sesame seeds evenly over both.Makes 2 servings.

Green Salad with Avocado, Walnuts, and Yogurt Balsamic Dressing

Arrange leafy salad greens on serving plates.  Dice and avocado and toss with a teaspoon of lemon juice; sprinkle avocado and walnuts on salads.  Drizzle with Yogurt Balsamic Dressing:

1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; whisk to blend.  Store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Related Link:Sex and Pregnancy: Top 3 Questions Answered

Food writer Debby Maugans, who lives in Asheville, North Carolina, is the author of Small Batch Baking and Small Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers, and is writing a new book, Farmer and Chef Asheville.