I eat a lot of rice.
Basmati rice is the most nutritious of the white rices and is more palatable to most Western tastes than brown rice is.
I serve the rice with one of:
(1) a stir fry of some veggies and pieces of meat (it stretches the meat out further),
(2) beans or lentils. It is cheaper to buy the dried legumes and presoak them overnight and then cook on low for some hours .. but if you do not have that kind of time, buy the canned legumes. Cook up with a bit of ham or ham bone, or bacon or no meat. Cook up with onion, garlic, celery, sweet green pepper. Lentils do well with a bit of potato. Beans do well with some tomato or canned tomato.
Serve the legumes on top of rice, with some grated cheese on top.
I buy a lot of lettuce, and I buy bulk carrots. You need your veggies, especially at this time.
Also make sure you get enough Calcium/milk every day. If you do not get enough Calcium, you might start having leg cramps which are very nasty.
Do NOT bulk up on pastas/noodles. Even the wholewheat variety have limited nutrition in them. They are okay to eat from time to time, but not more than once or twice a week. Potatoes are mostly starch. The bulk of the calories are RIGHT against the skin, so if you eat potatoes, make them as nutritious as possible by eating the skin too (or at least the part that peels away from the cooked skin).
Corn too is mostly starch. So don't try to fill up on the relatively-low-nutrition pasta, potatoes, and corn.
Buy eggs. And whole wheat bread (or, if you have the time and skill, make your own whole wheat bread). Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein.
Winter squash and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of nutrition.
Bake winter squash with cut-up oranges and a bit of honey. Or bake with apples and maybe add nuts before serving if you have some nuts. Cheeese can go well too, including grated parmesan. Goodle recipes on the internet. I recommend butternut and acorn squash, as they both have a good flavor.
Sweet potatoes are good just baked in their skins. Better to bake than boil, because baking retains the vitamins more and also brings out the sweetness in any veggie.
Also buy oatmeal. It is more expensive, and less nutritious, if you buy the prepared kind that takes 60 seconds in the microwave, or just add hot water. The best kind is also the cheapest and also takes the most time ... you have to cook it, stirring, on the stovetop.
Add raisins, nuts, pieces of fresh apple, berries .. whatever. A bit of brown sugar and some milk.
So make sure you eat, everyday:
- protein (either eggs, meat, or legumes+grains)(legumes+ grains = cornbread and beans, legumes and rice, peanut butter and whole wheat, etc)
- veggies and fruits .. or just veggies (a variety, over the course of the week)
- grains (whole wheat bread, rice)
- a bit of fat/oil
A pregnant woman needs only about 90g of protein a day. This is not hard to meet if you are paying attention to what you eat, and eating nutritious food.