This quinoa congee is a version of the traditional breakfast porridge. Try it savoury or sweet for a nice alternative to oats.
Quinoa congee is the ultimate comfort food. While warm healing foods aren't your typical summer fare, here on the coast summer is different. We are often met with cool air from the Pacific and rain that lets loose over the mountains. One moment I'll be hanging laundry on the line, then the next I'm rushing to save it from a summer storm. It's unpredictable at best.
This last week we were met with summer storms, which had me feeling all those early autumn feelings I love, just starting to bubble up inside. The air was warm enough to have the windows wide open, while cool enough for warm cosy socks.
The heavy summer rain hit the lush foliage outside our widows leaving a plunk plunk which greeted us at every turn like a welcome old friend. I can't think of anything better than the smell and sound of heavy rain on dry earth.
With these cooler mornings, I've been turning to warmer breakfasts. Toasts, oatmeals, and the other high- rotation standards are making welcome comebacks, as are old favourites. Craving a savoury porridge one morning, I turned to a dish I haven't made since my university days, congee.
Congee (also known as Juk) is an ancient traditional porridge eaten all over Eastern Asia and made from slow-cooked grains like rice. It is eaten for its healing qualities as easily assimilated and digested by the body. This makes it a dish often given to those who are weak, ill, or with sensitive digestion.
- 6 cups Vegan Broth or water
- sesame oil
- Grated ginger
- Sesame seeds
- Flax or olive oil
- Rice vinegar
- Honey or liquid sweetener of choice
What is Congee
Being so gentle on the stomach and easily digestible, congee (and quinoa congee) makes the perfect breakfast. Especially for those who don't usually do breakfast. I love how gentle it is on my tummy.
Typically the dish contains animal proteins, but I've listed some vegetarian add-ins we love. If sweet is more you're style, this dish can also be treated like you would any other morning porridge. Try it with a fresh fruit compote, or some maple syrup and nuts.
For this variation, I opted to use quinoa (mainly because we have a Costco sized bag of it) but rice, amaranth, or barley all make good bases. When it comes to a breakfast like this, having fun and playing around is key.
Protein: adzuki beans | tempeh | smoked tofu | marinated and baked tofu | eggs (for vegetarians) |
Vegetables: carrots | sautéed mushrooms | spinach | sautéed greens | radishes | pickled vegetables | seaweeds |
Pungent Vegetables: chives | cilantro | fresh ginger | minced chillies |fried shallots | raw garlic |
Sprinkles: sesame seeds | black pepper | chilli flakes | gomasio |
Sweet Toppings: dried fruit | yoghurt | fresh fruit |cinnamon | dried coconut | nut butter |
Grain Variation: white rice | brown rice | amaranth | millet | barley |
- 1 cup quinoa (soaked overnight with a little lemon juice if possible. If not, use dry quinoa)
- 6 cups liquid (you can use water or stock. Try using the Nourishing Vegan Broth)
Miso Flavour Bomb
- 2 Tbsp. miso (I used chickpea miso)
- 4 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. finely grated ginger
- 2 tsp. crushed sesame seeds ( used a mortar and pestle to crush them)
- 4 tsp. tamari
- 1/4 cup flax oil (or olive oil)
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. honey or liquid sweetener of choice
- Cilantro + cilantro flowers
- Ginger + turmeric fermented carrots (from Pure Earth Superfoods. The carrot ginger sauerkraut found in the e-book is also great)
- Watermelon rashes, sliced into matchsticks
- Black sesame seeds
- If you soaked your quinoa, drain it prior to cooking. Combine either soaked or dry quinoa with 6 cups water or stock. I like to use water for sweet congee and some stock (sometimes watered down for savoury). Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and let simmer on the lowest setting. I like to cook mine for 1 1/4 hours, but it is just as good cooked for 2-4. If you have a slow cooker or a rice cooker you can set this up the night before so that the porridge is ready for you in the morning.
- While the congee is cooking combine the miso bomb ingredients. Stir everything together so that a thick paste is formed.
- Once the porridge is cooked it should have a slightly runny consistency. If you find it too runny, let it simmer with the lid off for a few minutes more. Ladle into bowls and top each with around 2 tsp. miso flavour bomb (I like to stir mine in).
- Garnish each bowl with desired toppings and a splash of tamari for the savoury version.
- Leftover porridge can be whisked up with a splash of water throughout the week.