42 Days, 42 Recipes
Simple Foods First: New Mama Recovery Stew
Out of all of the recipes I follow for postpartum moms, this one is definitely a top 5 for me. I ate it a couple times each week in the six quiet weeks that I spent healing and bonding at home with my little guy. Below I’ll share all of the simple cooking details, but first some ayurvedic insight as to the healing properties in the ingredients used.
First off, a friend of mine recently pointed out to me that this recipe is great for the body during any sort of recovery. Period! She was on the mend after a pretty major surgery and was home resting, enjoying this recipe as her body did some deep replenishing and rehabilitating.
Lets go ahead and talk about a few of the key ingredients. We know during postpartum that Ayurveda is really big on using the properties of warming, grounding, heavy, oily and moist, smooth, easy to digest and stabilizing. These are some of the qualities that balance vata dosha (more on that another time!)
The first ingredient used is ghee - an ayurvedic staple, especially after just having a baby. Ghee (clarified butter) is a carrier of nourishment deep to the depleted tissues and the large intestine, meaning it helps to move things through. It also gently stimulates digestive fire (agni) while penetrating and dissolving ama (undigested toxic matter) in the body. I’ll take all of the above!
The long cooked vegetables in the dish, including the potatoes give the dish a sense of rootedness while eating. The way the vegetables are cooked along with the spices used (cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric and cinnamon) healthy absorption is promoted within the digestive system while vata dosha is calmed for digestive ease. This blend works to eliminate bloating or other digestive discomforts.
Believe it or not, using fresh ginger in your cooking has an entire textbook full of benefits for our bodies, and especially for times when extra efforts are being made to stimulate digestion and gently invigorate circulation. Ayurvedically, ginger is used in most meals to awaken the taste buds which play an important role in the early digestive process, before the food is even swallowed!
And lastly I’ll note that I used quinoa in this dish. It was added almost last, and the ratio of liquid to grain left it soupier than what you may be used to. This is really important during the first 42 days. Golden quinoa is a grain that is easier to digest than many other grains. And for nearly all of what a new mama puts in her belly, soupy and warm are top priorities on the menu.
Alright, here we go with the menu. I always start with a clean kitchen and clean hands. From there the chopping and other prep begins!
This recipe will make about 8 bowls.
3 Tbsp ghee
1 chopped yellow onion
2 thinly sliced leeks (just use the heads)
pinch Himalayan salt
4 peeled, chopped carrots
3 or 4 peeled and cubed russet potatos (make sure these are organic)
6 rinsed, chopped mushrooms
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 Sticks cinnamon
1 C chopped in half cashews
3 thin slices ginger
1 dried bay leaf
6 C vegetable broth
1 C golden quinoa
1 C coconut milk
½ squeezed lemon
First melt the ghee in a large pot over the stove. The heat should be at medium. Next add the onions, leeks and pinch of salt. Stir frequently for about 12 minutes until aroma is released and they are tender. Next add all ingredients up to and including the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, and stir occasionally. Keep the pot uncovered and boiling gently for about 15 minutes. Next add the quinoa, bring heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 more minutes. Finally, add the coconut milk and continue to cook for 10 more minutes with the heat on low. The pot should still be covered for this past part. Once you remove from heat, squeeze lemon for taste. Enjoy!