Wild Rice Congee with Sweet Potatoes & Kale

My health seemed in tip-top shape last night—I ate a hearty dinner of shepherd’s pie and hummus, gave the Ferry kitchen a good scrub-down, and hopped in the sack by my preferred bedtime of 9:45. By the wee hours of the morning, however, flu-like symptoms seized my being and rendered me both pajama-clad and relegated to eating primarily oatmeal and bananas for the rest of the day…or so I thought.

While fathoming alternative easy-on-the-stomach foods, I recalled the traditional rice porridge called congee—first introduced to me via Kim at Affairs of Living—that Chinese and other Asian cultures have long employed to boost longevity, heal the ill, and strengthen the digestive system. Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends congee for boosting the body’s qi energy, which depends upon the proper functioning of the spleen and stomach, since it fortifies the former and harmonizes the latter.

congee (1)

Both immensely comforting and astoundingly simple to make, congee requires no more than cooked rice, spices, veggies, water, and time. For variations on the recipe I’ve offered below, switch around the herbs and spices, add a different grain such as millet or amaranth, or substitute the veggies of your choice (grated carrots, cubed squash, garlic, etc). I can guarantee that any mix of ingredients you choose will aromatize your entire abode nicely.

In the slow-cooker.

In the slow-cooker.

Wild Rice Congee with Sweet Potato and Kale (Soy Free, Oil Free, Nut Free, Low Sodium, Low Fat)

Makes a whole lot.


1 cup cooked wild rice
2 heaping cups cooked brown rice
2-inch piece kombu seaweed
2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled
2 star anise pods
A dash of turmeric
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large leek, white part only, halved and sliced
5-6 medium leaves of kale
8 cups water

Crock Pot Variation: Combine all of the ingredients in a large crock pot. Turn on either high and cook for 4-6 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours. Add more water as needed.

Stovetop Variation: Combine all of the ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1-2 hours, adding water as needed.

Serve as is, with a sprinkle of flax/pumpkin/sunflower/hemp seeds, a cupful of cooked beans, or a dollop of nut butter.

congee (9)

Recipe submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays, Wellness Weekend, Gluten-Free Fridays, and Foodtastic Fridays.

Until next time, Ali.

9 thoughts on “Wild Rice Congee with Sweet Potatoes & Kale

  1. Roberta Joiner says:

    Yours is the first mention of congee that I have seen since I got my new instapot pressure/slow cooker and it had a congee setting. I investigated and have been making millet congee for my husband for breakfast ever since. We mix it with cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg vanilla etc and serve with lots of fresh fruit. He uses a non dairy milk, I don’t. Love the idea of wild rice – hope you are feeling better soon!! Love your blog!

  2. vegetarianmamma says:

    Sounds really YUMMY!
    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  3. Katherine Natalia @ Green Thickies says:

    That’s really interesting reading about congee as I’d not heard anything about it before. I love hearing about ways of preparing food that other cultures implement to be healthier.
    Well done for eating something so healthy when you were ill! It must have done the job if you recovered so fast!
    Thank you for sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check back to see if you were one of the Top 3! We hope to see you again today. You can submit a post from Friday to end of Tuesday:

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