What’s congee? It’s rice, rice baby. Rice porridge…cooked slowly for a long time or under pressure until the rice is completely broken down and soft. Rice gets a bad rap as a grain, but a staple of East Asian cultures. While white rice does not have much nutritional value, short grain brown rice has fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6 and manganese. Magnesium is good for or regulating blood pressure and offsetting sodium in the body. When the rice is cooked down into a porridge, it is easy to digest. To give it even more nutrition, I included an seed and grain blend that included quinoa, hemp, chia, flax, amaranth, sprouted buckwheat, and sprouted millet. Topped with a Maitake mushroom breaded with a gluten-free nut breading, quick pickled radish, fermented carrots and ginger, avocado, sauteed asparagus, sunflower seeds and a soft boiled egg, this was a satisfying flavorful brunch.
One of the most important aspects of diet I try to teach my little one is that everyone is different – Diet and what we chose to eat is up to an individual. At home we are vegetarian and at times Whole30-challenged vegetarians. I don’t eat meat but outside of the house, I feed her meat and fish, as long as it is good quality, preferably locally sourced. When she grows up, she can make conscious decisions about her diet, all I can do and lay a foundation, offer her choice and teach her that diets are personal and as a result she may eat differently depending on where she is. I also know that if we are too strict with our diets then we lose interest in food or eat that which is not good for us. As a vegetarian, the Whole30-like diet without legumes and quinoa can be a bit daunting. I have learned a lot about myself and my tendencies with regards to consuming these foods, but that does not mean I buy into Whole30/paleo mantra against it, just like I don’t believe that the amount of meat the diet suggests is environmentally or physiologically (if not sourced well) sustainable in the long-term. Nothing is wholly good and nothing is wholly bad. Everything – even water and oxygen – must be consumed in moderation. I have not eaten quinoa or legumes in months and I thought it was time to offer up a choice when making stuffed peppers – quinoa or riced cauliflower, because, well, why not. Both were tasty – so I suggest both varieties. The choice is yours.
I am participating in this Whole30-like challenge with a bunch of people that I CrossFit with and my box. So you can imagine that the majority of them follow a paleo-like diet for the most part and are looking to clean up their diet. At the very least, they eat meat.
I believe I am the only non-fish eating vegetarian. At least I eat eggs, because if I did not, I would not be able to adhere to the no legumes rule as they are one of the richest sources of plant based proteins.