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Postpartum Recipes: Mama Jambalaya

By Doula Jen

Earlier this week, we shared the benefits of spicy food during postpartum recovery. Of course we have to deliver the goods! This is a family favorite of mine which borrows from Creole tradition and leans heavily on the “dash of this, dash of that, what’s in the fridge” that the modern American mama has come to love. Please use it as a basic sketch and color outside the lines based on what’s in YOUR cabinets.


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 links chicken andouille sausage, sliced into bite-sized rounds
  • approximately 1 lb. chicken tenderloin strips
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 8 – 12 small sweet peppers, sliced into rings
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 small can diced green chiles (additional to the tomato combo)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (or whatever you like)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup dry jasmine rice, cooked and prepared with butter or oil with about 8 minutes less simmering time than instructions suggest


  1. Cook onions and peppers in olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add chicken strips, sausage, and garlic.
  3. Once the meat is fully cooked, lower heat and add tomatoes, chiles, beans WITH ALL CAN JUICES.
  4. Season with cayenne and salt, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Add rice, cover, and simmer for an additional 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remember, most babies are NOT negatively affected by their mother’s choice to eat spicy foods while breastfeeding. This is a myth! If anything, a varied breastfeeding diet may encourage a varied diet in the child. If your breastfed baby is fussy or gassy it is likely due to Mom’s caffeine consumption, dairy sensitivity (crossover from Mom’s diet), incomplete burping (perhaps in conjunction with high milk velocity), or infant acid reflux.

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