janet @ the taste space

Slow Cooker Vegetable and Barley Stew + Boost Your Breastmilk GIVEAWAY

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on August 20, 2017 at 6:56 AM

Slow Cooker Vegetable and Barley + Boost Your Breastmilk review

We didn’t want to be those parents. But only parents of premies might understand why we wanted to celebrate our son turning one year old, at his corrected age. We celebrated his actual birthdate a couple months ago but also invited people over two months later. We just didn’t tell anyone it was because we were celebrating on the inside.

One goal I am pleased to have met was breastfeeding P until his one year corrected birthday. Despite many set backs and pumping, and more pumping once I returned to work, we made it! It isn’t as easy as one may think and it was well timed that Boost Your Breast Milk: An All-in-One Guide for Nursing Mothers to Build a Healthy Milk Supply by Alicia C. Simpson was published last year.

It was quite odd that there was no lactation consultant at the NICU where P was born, so I picked up tips from online breastfeeding groups (mostly!) as well as public health clinics. I also went to the infamous Jack Newman Breastfeeding Clinic but my experience was not entirely positive. In any case, for someone looking for down-to-earth advice for breastfeeding, all in one place, Boost Your Breast Milk is a great resource. It would have been helpful for me to have read this before and during my struggles.


In addition to navigating breastfeeding, half of the book is dedicated to 75 recipes that support a breastfeeding mama. You may have already recognized the author’s name. Alicia Simpson. She owns Pea Pod Nutrition but has also written 3 vegan cookbooks and this book is no exception. All the recipes are vegan and build on her experiences as both an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Registered Dietician.


I gravitated to the simple main meals because well, I had a newborn. I also ate my way through snacks, too. A new mama can never have too many snacks. I may have an infant/toddler now, but only with a bit more sleep and still a lack of time to spend in the kitchen. I made this Vegetable and Barley Stew in the slow cooker and nothing could have been easier. I sautéed the onion in the slow cooker first and then added the remainder of the ingredients. I have made this a few times, actually, enjoying the simple and homey, comforting flavours.

Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, (don’t worry you won’t magically start making breastmilk!), there are some fun recipes in here. I plan to make the sweet potato red curry later this week.

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in Canada or the United States. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your experiences with breastfeeding (or let me know if you don’t have any!). The winner will be selected at random on September 1, 2017. Good luck!


PS. I am sharing this with Souper Sundays, Meat Free Mondays and My Legume Love Affair.

Vegetable and Barley Stew

Milk Makers: barley, fenugreek seeds

Superfoods: carrots, chickpeas

2 quarts (2 L) vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
One 14.5-ounce (410 g) can diced tomatoes with juice
One 15-ounce (425 g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup (200 g) pearl barley
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 bay leaves

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour. The soup will be very thick. You may adjust by adding more broth, if desired. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Serves 8.

NOTE: This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir in plain warm barley water (page 146) or broth to thin out the soup, if you desire.

PER SERVING Calories: 230; total fat: 2 g; saturated fat: 0 g; cholesterol: 0 mg/dl; sodium: 1,230 mg; total carbohydrate: 50 g; dietary fiber: 11 g; sugar: 6 g; protein: 7 g; vitamin A: 1,350 mcg; vitamin C: 18 mg; calcium: 130 mg; iron: 6.3 mg

Rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, and manganese


Recipe from Boost Your Breast Milk: An All-in-One Guide for Nursing Mothers to Build a Healthy Milk Supply © Alicia C. Simpson, 2017. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com



  1. I didn’t get my breastmilk in the first time, so we had to go with formula.

  2. Thanks for sharing your stew with Souper Sundays this week. It looks delicious. 😉

  3. Such a nice and wholesome dish! Thanks for sending it across to the event

  4. What a neat book! I’ve nursed all 3 of my kids for extended periods. I’m still nursing my third and she’s almost 4 years old.

  5. I know it’s 90 degrees out, but I have been craving a meal just like this. Great timing!

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