Thursday, 17 November 2011

brown rice congee and christmas budgeting

hey everyone! today's post i want to share with you a favorite breakfast recipe of mine - brown rice congee.

congee is a thai dish involving grinding rice, adding it to boiling water and stirring until thick. it's a great one for those who want to steer clear of wheat and gluten, and is super fast. this is usually a savoury dish, but i prefer it sweetened and served like regular porridge...

if i can't convince you that this is super easy, super yummy, and highly nutritious, then hopefully the photos, and the fact that this will cost you next to nothing to make, will encourage you to give it a go!

it makes a great breakfast, enjoyed along with Vogue and Waitrose Weekend magazine :)

the texture is pleasant, it hardens after you serve it into the bowl, and so cuts like regular oatmeal.

brown rice congee recipe
serves 1 or 2, adapted from the whole life nutrition kitchen

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups water (or almond/coconut milk)
a sprinkle of salt

1. grind the brown rice in a coffee grinder, until half as flour, half as halved coarse grains (a little like medium oatmeal).
2. heat the water/milk in a small saucepan, then once it reaches a simmer, whisk in the ground rice.
3. bring to a boil, stirring all the time.
4. reduce heat to simmer, cover with a lid and leave to cook for the remainder of the rice's normal cooking time (look at packet for instructions - 10-20 mins is about right).
5. every few minutes remove lid, whisk and add more water/milk if necessary.
6. scoop into bowls, and add your toppings - honey, ground flaxseed and fresh berries tastes wonderful!

cook's notes: you can multiply this recipe to serve a greater number of people! and kick it with some spice at the beginning of cooking time for a little flavour enhancement - cinnamon, cloves or fresh nutmeg would taste gorgeous.

now onto the latest from the big budget challenge:

well, it's been another interesting week - i never seem to have a boring one in terms of budget finds!
  • there's currently £9.56 in the account. BUT, that's only because this morning when there was over £50, we decided it was time to get our Christmas ducks for the freezer (and because they are currently half price in Waitrose, there's no better time for it). they cost £16.13, and although i personally thought one would be enough, i was overruled.
  • i also bought some things for the house which were on offer, and we've been needing to get in preparation for Christmas - bathroom sealant (£5), a shower curtain (£7), a compost bin with filter (£4.50 - thank you Tesco), Cillit Bang (£3.05) and super glue (99p - to fix my favorite spoon rest, and not have to buy another one). we want the house to look good for guests in the weeks to come...
  • olive oil was on half price offer in Waitrose too, so i got some of that.
  • plus, mum and i have bought double items this week accidentally because we both went shopping - so we've got lots of Cranks wholemeal in the freezer, lots of butter in the fridge and serious quantities of baking powder in the pantry.
  • and also, yesterday evening we went to the theatre (CFT - Madness of George III, it was amazing!), and on the way there we stopped for some dinner at M&S and so that went on the card too - deli chicken, reduced moroccan hummus and wholewheat bagels to dip = genius cheap supermarket takeaway meal.
  • the fridge seems to be performing minor miracles, in continuing to remain stocked, even though we keep eating!
  • last weekend i purchased a couple of plates for £1.80 from Street with my auntie, and i bought a Christmas tree decoration for £2.99 - i do this each year, so one day when i have a tree of my own, i'll have gorgeous memorable decorations to put on it!
  • i've been snacking on wild hazelnuts - the ultimate in local, free, nutritious snacks!
  • we've also roasted a giant squash from the allotment - which we've eaten in a variety of ways, in soup, in stir fries, in omelettes. very delicious with lots of cracked black pepper, and totally free.
we've finished writing the Christmas to-do list, in prep for the holiday season. the next thing on the list to prepare for Christmas are some spanakopita, which will be frozen down for Christmas tea, and then i've got to practice my steamed plum and almond pudding  - i can't wait!

how are all your budgets looking as you get closer to Christmas?

currently watching: the food hospital on channel 4 - interesting stuff, but there's so much untapped potential in the idea. i just wish they were a little more adventurous.

ps. thanks to the lovely Faye @ Raw Lawyer for reviewing my apple cucumber brown rice salad - so glad you liked it! check out her version and pics here.


  1. I've never heard of this but now really want to try it! It looks so soft and mushy-something I love in a breakfast :)

  2. Thanks for the update! That congee sounds delicious and just the type of thing I'd like!

  3. Great post and quite convincing to make! I love how you used a coffee grinder...seems like less of a task than having to bust out the food processor!

  4. Glad to hear you've had another great budgeting week :)
    For the first time in years, we're hosting Christmas (and the in-laws are coming). I'm probably the least organised person in the world but I really do want to make Christmas special this year. Reading about how you're already thinking about your Christmas meals has inspired me to change a habit of a lifetime and start planning ahead rather than leaving everything to the last minute. I can't wait to start checking out festive recipes! :)

  5. oh this looks wonderful i love brown rice!

  6. Oooooooo that sounds like a wonderful breakfast : )

  7. I hear you with the buying more than what you need :) I always think I need things only to find I have 4 of them! I start Christmas shopping early in the year to pull my budget further. :)


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