By Molly Rouse
Coconut milk stew was all I wanted to eat for weeks. I still make it for my family, and for almost every client, both pregnant and postpartum. Even skeptics fall in love with it. Coconut milk stew fits the bill of great postpartum foods: cooked, warm, mushy, oily, and filling. These qualities are those of the best comfort foods as well.
I no longer include mushrooms, and can’t even remember the name of the one I was instructed to eat. When you make this, please throw in the veggies you desire. The vegetables that are listed tend to be easy to digest and don’t cause gas in breastfed babies’ bellies. Other likewise safe options are chopped chard, mushrooms, and sweet potato.
COCONUT MILK STEW
2-3 small or medium potatoes, chopped in ½” chunks
1 large zucchini, chopped
4 carrots, chopped in coins
½-1 lb protein (chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu, can garbanzo beans, Quorn)
1 can coconut milk
1-2 c broth (vegetable or chicken stock, bone broth)
1 ½ c quinoa
3 c water or broth
Salt and pepper
Sunflower oil, butter, or coconut oil
Optional: fresh cilantro, roasted cashews
1. Put quinoa and 3c water/broth in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn down to a simmer and let cook 10-15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
2. Pan fry protein in oil (if it needs to be cooked), sprinkling with salt and pepper on each side.
3. Sautee potatoes in oil in another larger pan, adding salt and pepper, then a bit of broth as they cook so they don’t stick to pan.
4. When potatoes start to get soft, add carrots, then zucchini. Season with salt and pepper.
5. When veggies are almost all cooked, add can of coconut milk.
6. When coconut milk is melted, add enough broth to make it as soupy as desired.
7. Cut protein (if it isn’t already bite sized) into small chunks and add to stew.
8. Serve stew over quinoa in a beautiful bowl. Garnish with cilantro or cashews if available.
The secret is giving the potatoes time to get soft, and maybe even crispy on the edges, before adding the other veggies. I hope when you eat this, it feels like a warm soupy hug!
Let me know how it goes, what variations you prefer, and if you have any questions.