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!

FullSizeRender-128

 

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.

 

FullSizeRender-127

 

Savory Congee with parsley pesto

FullSizeRender-129.jpg

 

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.

FullSizeRender-130.jpg

Advertisements

Salted Caramel Infused with Chai Tea

Delicious caramel free of refined sugars, butter and health concerning ingredients? Ummm yes please! Creamy and sweet, with a hint of saltiness paired with the subtle chai tea flavors make this caramel sauce a winner in my sweet indulgences lately. Not only that, but it is (almost) raw, vegan and super quick to make!

I’ve had this caramel in some almond milk for a sweet drink, on top of homemade ice cream, with strawberries dipped in it, but mostly just out of the jar with a spoon.

This sauce was an accident. I had set out to make some chocolate creation. After putting the dates, mesquite and coconut oil in the blender, I realized that I was out of cacao powder (gasp!!!) How did I let that happen?? AND I was out of almond milk. I was sipping on some chai while I was making this, so I figured I would use that to get the blender going. After tasting it I quickly recovered form my chocolateless upset. It was delicious. Salt came to mind very quickly and in a matter of seconds the blender was going again to create this beautiful concoction that I have made a few times already.

While I am proud of my creation, I must admit, it’s hard to screw up when using such wholesome and delicious ingredients.

FullSizeRender-65

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Coconut oil
  • 10 soft Medjool Dates (approx 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp mesquite
  • 1/4 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chai tea (more or less depending on the consistency you like)

Steps:

  • boil some water and pour over chai tea, let steep for 5 minutes and strain
  • add all ingredients to blender and blend on high until a nice and smooth texture is acheived
  • store in an airtight container int he fridge for at leaf a week (maybe more?)

Note: Depending on the ingredients and how things got mixed, the caramel may or may not harden while in the fridge. The first time I made it it got hard in the fridge but quickly soften when put in some warm water. The second time it kept it’s creamy texture but I needed to put it in some walt water to be able to pour it over ice cream. No matter the texture though, it will become liquid again when warm and it will always taste delicious 🙂

Strawberry and Fig Compote

This fruit compote is packed with flavor and texture. After scoring a huge box of fresh figs, I already had a few recipes in my mind of what I was going to do with them. But this wasn’t one of them 🙂 This idea came about when I had a bunch of strawberries that needed to be used up very soon. While I generally choose to eat my fruits raw, every now and then I enjoy cooking them to switch up the flavors a bit and also to bring something interesting to my kids. Cooking these fruits really brings out their sweetness and flavors.

IMG_4150-2

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups fresh chopped figs
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS honey
  • dash of cinnamon

Steps:

  • Put everything in a saucepan
  • bring to a simmer then leave on very low heat with a lid on for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • let it cool before putting into a jar and store in the fridge
  • use it how ever your imagination wishes!

This compote stays good at least a week in the fridge in an airtight container.

Not only is this compote delicious on it’s own, but it is so versatile also!

IMG_4145

Here I pan roasted peaches in light coconut oil and stuffed them with some fruit compote then drizzled it with chocolate sauce.

IMG_4154

And this one time my daughter wanted a banana split and we ended up making this with the compote and some almond butter.

FullSizeRender-48

Or this yummy basic chia bowl with fruit compote and homemade chocolate chunks. 

We’ve also used this compote on rice cakes, toast and sit reed in oatmeal.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

Whip yourself a batch and get creative with it! Stimulating my tastebuds is always an exciting experience 🙂