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An Ayurveda-Inspired Shrimp Stew To Stay Balanced This Winter

Leslie McDonald
January 22, 2017
Leslie McDonald
Written by
Photo by Stocksy
January 22, 2017

As the weather gets colder, warm food warms the heart and body. And this is my new favorite winter warming meal.

In Ayurveda tradition, winter is a vata season. It's characterized by elements of cold and dry. When there are too many vata qualities, the body becomes unbalanced and experiences symptoms of dry skin, constipation, insomnia, and emotional disorders. There are many ways to add warmth to the body and keep the vata qualities balanced in the body.

How to balance vata qualities:

  • Eat warm foods.
  • Avoid raw foods.
  • Drink hot tea and warm lemon water.
  • Wear warm clothing with earth tone colors.
  • Massage the body with warm oils to nourish the skin.
  • Avoid drafts and open ventilation/keep the body warm.

This time of year, I'm nourishing my body with warming foods. This Ayurveda Shrimp + Chorizo Stew was exactly what my body was craving—the warming spices of the chorizo (red pepper, paprika, and chili powder) are perfect for balancing vata qualities.

This stew is also made with bone broth to nourish the gut. The bone broth warms the body, soothes the gut, and provides essential nutrients and minerals for healthy bones.

Benefits of bone broth include:

  • Helps to alleviate achy joints
  • Reduces inflammation in the body
  • Helps the liver detox
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Boosts brain function and mental alertness

Another amazing thing about this stew for the winter season is it incorporates vegetables, but they're cooked so it's easier for the body to digest. In colder months, it is best to avoid raw foods and eat warming foods to help the body stay warm and nourished. This stew has turnips and zucchini but can easily be made with sweet potatoes or any vegetable that you have in the house.

The stew also incorporates shrimp (feel free to leave it out if you don't have it on hand or don't want to eat seafood). It's vata-balancing and helps promote clear skin.

So now that I've talked all about the health benefits of this winter stew, let's get to the recipe! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did—it's so easy to make, too. Basically, just keep adding one ingredient at a time to the pot, so it gets the chance to cook and bring its own flavors to the dish.

My only wish is that I made more to freeze for a rainy day!

Ayurveda Shrimp + Chorizo Stew


  • 1 pound chorizo
  • 1 pound shrimp, cleaned
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 parsnip, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¾ cup bone broth
  • 1 tablespoon garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil.

2. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, until pink. Make sure to flip the shrimp to cook both sides. Remove the shrimp from the pot and set aside.

3. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and add the diced onion and minced garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

4. Add the sliced parsnip to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, until the parsnip begins to soften.

5. Add the chorizo to the pot and cook for 8 minutes until it is cooked through, making sure to break up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks. If you need to add more oil to the pan you can so the meat and vegetables don't stick!

6. Add the sliced zucchini to the pan and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally until the zucchini has softened.

7. Add the tomato paste, bone broth, and seasoning to the pot and stir everything to combine. Cook for 5 minutes until the stew thickens and bone broth is absorbed.

8. Add the shrimp back to the pot and stir to combine all of the ingredients.

9. Cook for 3 more minutes until the shrimp is warmed through. Remove from the heat and serve in deep bowls!

Leslie McDonald author page.
Leslie McDonald

Leslie McDonald is a certified integrative nutrition health coach, currently enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the co-founder of Holistic Happening. She holds BA and MSPC degrees from Clark University, where she met her best friend and husband, Ryan. Her approach to wellness does not just focus on the foods you eat, but also on the relationships you have, your career choices and physical activity.

You can find her most mornings before the sun rises working out, at home cooking with her husband, at the dog park with her rescue dog, Sadie, or starting the day with a green smoothie in one hand and dark chocolate in the other.