How to Prepare a Complete Confinement Meal (with Recipes!)
As a new mom, you are probably not encouraged to cook, especially during the confinement period – and rightfully so. You should be focused on resting and recuperating. However, we understand that some mothers like to take things into their own hands.
Perhaps you wish to continue eating confinement meals even after the confinement month has passed. To that, we say; smart move. So we’d like to help you with it by providing several basic recipes that do not compromise the health benefits and taste.
With these recipes, you won’t have to spend a long time in your kitchen! The best thing is, you don’t have to look any farther than your kitchen cabinet for the ingredients! Browse through the ingredients and you’ll see what we’re talking about. No unfamiliar names, no complicated herbs, nothing you wouldn’t easily find at your nearby market. Without further ado, let’s get right into the recipes!
This can be the side dish or the staple to substitute your normal plain rice with. Highly rich in protein, quinoa is said to be able to help with digestion and your recovery. It contains magnesium, iron, calcium, and abundant antioxidants. Not to mention, many mothers have claimed that quinoa also helps increase their milk supply! Bonus point: you can cook quinoa in a large amount and keep it for days because it keeps well. Now just which mom wouldn’t love that?
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1 cup (or 1½ cup) Water
- Add water and quinoa into a pot
- Stir well to evenly moisten the quinoa
- Leave for around 15 to 20 minutes
- Once it is done, keep warm for up to 20 minutes and transfer to a container to cool before storing.
If you ask us, this is what comfort food looks like! Braised chicken is a homestyle dish comprising flavourful, tender meat with the sauce seeping deep into the meat. Chicken is undoubtedly one of the best sources of animal-based protein. As you may already know, at this point, protein is incredibly crucial as you need to repair your damaged tissues from your pregnancy and delivery. It carries an abundance of nutrients that are good for your hearth and that can promote weight loss. But enough about the benefits – because that would take us the whole day – and let’s get right to the recipe!
- Dried Chinese mushroom
- Vegetable oil
- Sesame oil
- Ginger (thinly sliced)
- Garlic cloves
- Chicken (cut into small pieces)
- Dark soy sauce
- Cooking wine
- Sugar & Salt
- Corn starch
- Rinse and wash mushrooms. When they turn soft, wash again to remove any dirt. Trim stalks and soak until they are ready for use.
- Heat up vegetables and sesame oil in a pot.
- Throw in ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant for several minutes.
- Add in chicken pieces and fry until they look solid. Continue to add in dark soy sauce.
- Remove mushrooms from soaking water and put aside half a cup of the water.
- Add mushrooms and soaking water to the chicken.
- When the sauce is boiling, add in cooking wine, sugar, and salt.
- Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes and stir occasionally.
- On the side, make a mixture of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water.
- Pour the mixture over the chicken pieces and let it cook for another 5 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough. Best served warm!
Credit: Roti & Rice
Sweet Potato Ginger Soup
The name sounds a lot, but it could not be easier to make! While it isn’t like a lot of other desserts you may think of, it is indeed just as tasty and refreshing! This soup is a classic Chinese dessert that warms up your body. It is perfect for a cold morning or any time of day, really! Sweet potatoes are rich in fibre that can ease your digestive system. Plus, it requires very little ingredients. Just take a look below!
- Sweet potato
- Rock sugar / Slab sugar
- Dried dates
- Peel off potato and ginger skins.
- Chop sweet potato into cubes.
- Cut ginger into slices (to make them easier to remove later)
- In a large pot, add in water and sweet potato and bring them to a boil.
- Once it comes to a boil, add in ginger, red dates, and 1 slab of sugar.
- Boil over medium heat until the yam is soft all the way through for approximately 15 minutes.
- Simmer and stir for a bit more to dissolve the slab sugar completely.
- Before serving, remove the ginger slices.
Credit: The Hong Kong Cookery
Red dates tea
Red dates tea is nothing new for postpartum moms. The practice of drinking it (daily or every now and then) during the early postnatal period has been a part of the confinement practices for ages. Many of the elderly folks would possibly suggest this tea if you ask for some recommendations to recover.
The best part about this tea is how it can keep you warm. The TCM theories suggest that a new mom’s body is in a ‘cold’ state after childbirth. To revive your body’s ‘warmth’, you are advised to consume foods and drinks with heaty properties, such as of course none other than the red dates tea itself. Aside from that, red dates tea is high in protein and fibre and rich in antioxidants. It is also known to be THE confinement beverage for its main purpose to cleanse the blood, which is excellent for moms who had just lost a lot of blood.
With red dates tea, there is no need for additional sugar! This does not mean that this delicious cup of tea has to be exceptionally sweet. In fact, you can modify the sweetness level according to how you like it. If you want the tea to taste sweeter, add in more longan. Otherwise, just reduce it. We believe red dates and dried longans are the main ingredients and you could honestly get away with having just these two, but feel free to add any ingredients that you like.
- Red dates
*the amount of each ingredient is up to your liking
- Remove the dates’ seeds
- Cut the red dates up into small pieces.
- In a pot, soak the red dates in water for at least one hour
- Add in dried longans into the pot (without removing the soaking water) and cook for about 25 minutes.
- Add in goji berries and cook for several more minutes.
- Serve warm.
Credit: Foodie Baker
And there you have it – a complete confinement meal comprising the staple, ample protein, dessert/sweet soup, and even a drink! Isn’t this such a colourful list of recipes? That’s because your daily meals SHOULD be colourful! Take away the idea that confinement meals have to be bland from your head, and you will rejoice over what you can prepare for yourself during this important month!
If you wish to find more confinement food recipe ideas, simply take a trip down our menu at Tian Wei Signature. We have these dishes inside too, but with a healthy (yes, even healthier) twist and various essential ingredients. Want to know more? Talk to us at Tian Wei Signature!