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. Congratulations on Peter turning 1 year corrected! Such a big milestone! And congrats on meeting your breastfeeding goal!! I am still breastfeeding and am planning to continue for a while if all goes well. (PS. I would like to be removed from the giveaway chance, I would rather the book goes to someone starting on their breastfeeding journey)

  2. Nice timing! I’m working on getting my supply up and getting a good deep latch while waiting for little man to “grow into my nips.” 😩

  3. As luck would have it, I read this while feeding my 13 day old. I’ve made a bunch of tasty lactation cookies but didn’t know there were other options. I’m all for dump and eat slow cooker recipes and this looks like a good recipe for early fall. I’ll also be trying this in my instant pot.

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

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

  6. Breastfeeding has been a rocky road! My first I only lasted 2 weeks. My second I had diagnosed with a tongue tie at about 1 week old. I started to dry up around 3 months, but managed to continue exclusively breastfeeding until she was 13 months. My third also had a tongue tie but I knew from the beginning and had it fixed when she was 3 days old. I nursed her until she was 16 months. I’m sad to know that when we have another we will probably have to suffer through another tongue tie, but happy to know there are so many ways to help keep supply up during that time! Would love to have a great resource like this book 🙂

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

  8. 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.

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

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: