Healing Congee

This bowl full of comfort is one of the oldest recorded meals on the planet. Traditional Chinese Medicine holds congee up as a “great importance and medical benefit”. Versatile and nourishing, this easily digestible meal is great as a first meal postpartum as it warms the digestive system, enhances circulation, tonifies the blood and is highly satiating. Although commonly eaten as breakfast, this porridge is tasty any time of the

day.


BASE RECIPE

1 Cup Basmati Rice, well rinsed

3 Cups Bone Broth

3 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock

2 TSP Fresh Ginger, grated

1 TBS Nooch

1 -2 TSP Warming Spice Blend**

1 TBS Ghee

Big Pinch Kosher Salt, to taste

Whatever toppings/accoutrement you like


EASY IP METHOD

  1. Set IP to saute, melt ghee > add fresh ginger, nooch, salt, and spice blend and cook for a minute or two

  2. Put rice in, mix to coat rice in spice

  3. Add liquids

  4. Set 20 minutes Porridge setting

  5. While that is coming to temp and cooking, prepare accouterment as desired.

  6. Natural Release for 5 minutes, then Quick Release the rest.

  7. Season the congee up to taste. This may mean adding more salts, white pepper, a splash of tamari, or coconut aminos, maple, sesame oil, and more ghee!

  8. Taste as you go but be careful with the salt.

  9. Layer on the toppings, 3 'fingers' of the chicken thigh, jammy egg, veggies etc (see toppings post)

STOVE TOP METHOD

  1. In large pot add liquid, rice, spices, salt and ginger.

  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Stir occasionally so that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom.

  3. Simmer the congee for about 1 hour or until the congee is thickened and creamy.

  4. Season to taste and layer on the toppings.

As the congee cools, it will become thicker. Add additional stock or water if necessary to make the congee to your desired thickness


WARMING SPICE BLEND**

For congee, this would be a mix of any or all of the following cardamon, cumin, star anise, fennel,

yellow mustard seeds. Also sometimes use the Umami Spice Blend from Trader Joe's



There is a separate post for this but here is a quick overview.

MARINATED MEAT

We mostly stick with chicken thighs for this as it offers more nutrients and fat then breast. In general, meat is not the star of the dish, it's a layered topping and source of protein -it is just anther add on. Find your favorite marinate and leave it for an hour or two (or more) before preparing the congee.


My favorites are a gently cooked (low and slow) Cilantro Lime or a Maple Soy prepared in Cast Iron Pan with ghee. You can really use whatever left over meat if you have it hanging around. A typical portion would be about three fingers worth.



SEASONAL VEGGIES

This can be whatever you want from beets to carrots to asparagus. Look for what is fresh. If within the first 21 days postpartum, avoid brassicas/cruciferous such as brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli. Many veggies can be cooked one at a time in the cast iron pan that was used for the chicken (but honestly, however you want to knock it will work). Use ghee liberally to coat hot cast iron, place veggies in there until done. You may at a tablespoon of water and cover to help steam veggies a bit softer. We don’t want to fry these, they should be soft but with some color. Low and slow. Salt and pepper when first in pan.


Our favorites:

Sweet Potato, Bok Choy, Roasted Beet, Carrot, Parsnip, Squashes, Fresh Garden Veggies like Zucchini