Congee

Congee is a rice porridge originating from China and other Asian countries. Congee is soft, warm and mushy, requiring minimal effort to digest, making it a perfect comfort food for when you are under the weather, recovering from surgery, or like myself, recovering from childbirth. It is so versatile as it will take on the flavor of what you pair it with.

I started eating congee at the end of my pregnancy, and it was a staple in my diet for the first few weeks postpartum. I continue to eat it because I just fell in love with the possibilities of flavors it promises.

Because this recipe makes such a large batch, I started freezing small portions in zip lock bags that are easily defrosted for a quick add in to most meals. I’ve mixed it with soup, curries, chillies and other veggie one pot meals. During my first weeks postpartum I would add it to simple veggie broths for a little sustenance. I’ve had it sweet as a custard (see below), or just with milk and fruit. Your imagination is the limit here!

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White Rice Congee (from the book The First 40 days)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup white sticky rice

 

Steps:

  • In a large pot bring the uncooked rice with 1 quart of water to a boil, or enough to cover the rice by 1 1/2 inches, to a boil
  • reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, until the grains soften and open up.
  • You’ll want to stir often and add water as its being absorbed. I usually end up adding up to 4 cups of water throughout the cooking to make sure the rice stays moist and becomes pudding like.
  • Eat hot or store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

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Savory Congee with parsley pesto

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Sweet Congee Custard

  • Stir in one whole egg while heating it up, with a splash of milk and some honey and it tastes just like custard!
  • add in whatever you like to have to a sweet bowl! Here I have black sesame seeds, cacao nibs, bananas, cinnamon and coriander powder.

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Herbed Lentil Loaf

This slightly nutty, pleasantly filling loaf has a surprisingly cheesy flavor to it, given the fact that it is dairy free. I had some leftover lentils that I wanted to use up and I always love the idea of having some kind of easy food to grab when I am on the go or I am gone and husband wants to eat something without having to cook. So I decided to make a lentil loaf.

This loaf is a meal in itself, but it was happily enjoyed with a side of carrot soup.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small red onion, thinly chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cups flour (I used garbanzo, quinoa and buckwheat)
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1.2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 3 TBS fresh herbs (I mixed oregano, thyme and rosemary from my garden, using the least amount of rosemary)

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 375*F
  • in a skillet comine first 5 ingredients and cook for about 5-10 minutes until veggies are tender and water was released, put in fridge for 5-10 minutes to cool so that it doesn’t start cooking the eggs once you mix everything
  • in a large bowl combine flours, salt and baking soda
  • mix in eggs, lentils, walnuts, herbs and veggie mixture
  • pour in a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (its not a big deal of your pan is slightly bigger or smaller than this)
  • bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean
  • let sit in pan for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool
  • serve and enjoy warm or cold!

Savory Bell Pepper and Quinoa Pancakes

I’ve been wanting to experiment with savory pancakes more so I am excited to share this recipe with you! It was a total success at my house. The idea came since I had left over quinoa that I wanted to serve in a new way to my kids. It is very basic for now as I wanted to get the texture down before adding too many ingredients, so I will try this again with different flavors very soon! 

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The beautiful red pepper and tomato salad was made by my 6 year old daughter. She washed and cut the veggies and sprinkled ground sesame seeds on top. It was a perfect addition and her idea 🙂 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large red bell pepper
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Steps:

  • Put everything in blender and blend on high until well combined
  • cook in a skillet the way you would regular pancakes (wait for bubbles to form before flipping)
  • serve and enjoy!

Since this was lunch I served it with salad and pesto, but in all honesty, these would taste just as good for breakfast with maple syrup on them.