here are a few recipes from my TCM clinic that specializes in fertility. i haven’t tried them yet but will try to do so in the next couple of weeks.
Middle Eastern Fetteh (Chickpea, Yogurt, and Bread Casserole)
1 large thin pita bread
1 clove garlic
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
12 ounces organic, good quality plain yogurt, full fat or 2%
1 28oz can or overnight soaked chickpeas
pinch of cumin
3 chopped organic tomatoes
Preheat oven to 450 F. Seperate the pita bread in half and toast in the oven until golden brown and toasted, but not burned. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then break into bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, empty chickpeas into a saucepan with their liquid and bring to a simmer. Cook chickpeas until completely tender- most canned chickpeas are too firm and I find they take about 15-20 minutes of simmering before they are tender enough to smush easily between your fingers.
Place yogurt in a bowl. Crush garlic in a mortar and pestle or press garlic through a garlic press. Add the garlic to the yogurt along with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir to combine.
If your yogurt is on the thick side, add a touch of water to make your yogurt pourable consistency.
Divide half the crumbled pita between two individual-size bowls. Spoon half the chickpeas over the pita pieces, allowing a little of the warm chickpea liquid to soak the bread pieces. Pour half the yogurt mixture over the bread and chickpeas, sprinkle with a pinch of cumin. Repeat the layering in the bowls: bread, chickpeas, yogurt, pinch of cumin. Top with chopped tomatoes and parsley (or sauteed pine nuts, if you prefer). Serve immediately.
Benefits of this recipe:
Chickpea-a great source of plant protein (crucial for pregnant women) and B12. Vegans and vegetarians are often lacking in B12, a vitamin vital to the developing embryo and a healthy fetus.
Natural yogurt- Many studies suggest that dairy products help increase fertility. Look for a plain yogurt (especially greek yogurt) with high bacterial content, the probiotics contribute to intestinal, and immune health.
Tomato- High in the antioxidant betacarotene and the power compound Lycopene. Lycopene has been show to help the reproductive system in women (studies show it also helps reduce endometriosis) and consuming tomatoes helps boost lycopene levels in sperm, enhancing motility.
Frisée and Endive Salad with Olive Vinaigrette
6 Tbs. sliced raw almonds
4 cups trimmed organic frisée leaves (12 oz.)
2 heads Belgian endive (8 oz.), leaves thinly sliced
2 stalks organic celery, cut in thin, 3-inch-long strips
3 Tbs. cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 clove organic garlic
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup chopped parsley
To make Salad: Toast almonds in heavy-bottomed small skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden. Set aside.
Combine frisée, endive and celery in large bowl; toss to mix.
To make Vinaigrette: Put olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and pepper to taste in blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Add olives and parsley, and pulse to combine.
Add dressing to greens, and toss well. Divide salad among serving plates, and sprinkle each with almonds.
Benefits to this recipe:
Frisee- this chicory green is very high in folic acid (a small serving supplies almost half the daily RDA- crucial in pregnancy) and the antioxidant vitamin C, which helps in the formation and maintenance of collagen and support to the immune system.
Endive- This bitter green is also high in Vitamin C and folic acid. It provides lots of Vitamin A as well, which contributes to healthy skin and mucous membranes (especially cervix mucousa).
Almonds- A great source of calcium, helping with bone and teeth integrity, as well as a good source of vitamin E, known to boost prostate and ovarian health. Almonds are also chalked full of menstruated fats, contributing to cardiovascular vitality.
Baked Maple Chicken with Wild Rice and Bartlett Pear Pilaf
The addition of pears add a fresh taste to the pilaf in this warming fall entree!
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds) *free range, organic* cut into 8 pieces
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil *cold pressed*
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 small organic onion, chopped & 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups brown and wild rice mix
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 organic Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. Coat 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves with 2 teaspoons olive oil, sprinkle with pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bake 45 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Remove from oven and brush with maple syrup. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat.
4. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in rice and broth; bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 35 minutes.
6. Stir in pears, thyme and remaining salt and continue to cook 10 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Serve rice with chicken.
Benefits to this recipe:
chicken- If organic and ethically raised, poultry is naturally high in the Selenium, an antioxidant mineral, essential to male fertility and prostate health.
pears- Fresh Bartlett pears offer a high level of vitamin C which is also a great overall antioxidant as well. Studies have shown a diet high in this vitamin specifically help defend sperm from harmful free radicals generated in the body. Vitamin C is also present in the seminal plasma to aid in transmission.
wild & brown rice- Provide a high amount of The B-vitamin folate, or folic acid, supports healthy physical development during pregnancy and can help prevent birth defects.