Brought to you by Laura Wilson
Welcome to my autumn/winter obsession – Congee. My go-to meal when feeling run down, under the weather or just in need of some nourishing comfort food.
Congee is a medicinal porridge that has been consumed in Chinese and East Indian homes for centuries to promote good health, strong digestion and increased energy. It is often prepared for people with digestive issues or those who are sick, in convalescence or depleted due to its restorative nutritional qualities.
According to TCM, this simple porridge is easily digested and assimilated, thus harmonising weakened digestion and tonifying blood and qi (life force). By supporting digestive function, Congee can improve bowel regularity, boost metabolism, relieve inflammation and nourish the immune system – promoting healing & recovery from sickness (i.e. cold/flu or food poisoning).
Traditionally made with rice, I make mine with quinoa for an added protein and fibre boost, and use bone broth, shiitake mushrooms and a load of ginger and garlic for added digestive and immune support – and also yum-factor!
1 cup quinoa (soak overnight then rinse and drain to reduce levels of gut-irritating saponins)
6 cups of bone broth (or veggie broth, for my vegan pals)
1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, unpeeled and diced finely
2-3 cloves of garlic (depending on your tastebuds), peeled and crushed
200g sliced shitake mushrooms
2 cups sliced kale
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Sprinkle of diced chives, crispy shallots and/or sesame seeds to garnish
- Add olive oil to pot on medium stovetop heat, then add garlic and ginger to lightly brown.
- Add quinoa and combine well with garlic/ginger. Add broth, cover with lid and bring to a gentle boil.
- Next, add the shiitake mushrooms, kale and salt/pepper and bring the heat down to a low simmer, cover with lid and cook gently for 75-90 minutes until it is thick & creamy, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
- Ladle into bowl/s and add garnish as desired. You can also add shredded chicken, adzuki beans, pickled vegetables or chilli flakes.
Super versatile, this can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner – or a warming snack through the day. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura is a degree-qualified Clinical Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Holistic Nutritionist, Iridologist and Homeopath. Laura holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy obtained from Endeavour College of Natural Health.
Laura was born and bred in New Zealand but moved to Sydney to undergo her studies, where she continues to practice today in Orchard St Clinic in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Laura is passionate about providing practical, evidence-based holistic healthcare to those wanting to improve their health and wellbeing and prevent development of disease. With the foundations of traditional healing wisdom and philosophy alongside scientific research and empirical evidence,
Laura has a well-rounded, extensive knowledge to provide individualised holistic healthcare to her clients.
Laura’s desire is to inspire, educate and empower others to make stronger health choices in order to achieve their personal health goals and experience optimal health, wellbeing and fulfilment in life. Laura’s caring and empathetic nature and ability to easily build rapport with and hold space for others allows her clients to feel truly heard, understood and supported.
Whilst Laura has varied clinical experience and loves supporting all people and conditions, her personal interests are in digestive health, nervous system complaints such as stress, anxiety and burnout, endocrine and hormonal imbalances, women’s health issues, skin complaints, metabolic conditions and immune dysfunction.
Laura was a finalist for an excellence award at the ATMS Natural Medicine Awards in 2020 and in her spare time contributes to the natural health industry by writing journal articles, with 2 articles scheduled for publishing this year.