Breakfast Rice

I’ve been making this sweet baked rice for breakfast for the past year. It’s easy and provides a slightly sweet carbohydrate to begin the day. Those who like hot cereal in the morning might like this. I find that generally about 2 hours later I’m ready for some protein.

Lately I’ve been eating local Amish eggs. I’ve been assured that the chickens are well treated, spend lots of time outdoors and have plenty of room to move about. So as a vegan, I’m ok with eating these eggs that are raised on small, local farms. They provide animal protein which Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) feels is a required source of nutrition for building blood.

I found this recipe in The Angelica Home Kitchen cookbook (Leslie Mc Eachern). Angelica’s Kitchen is one of NY’s oldest and most highly regarded vegetarian restaurant, established 1976. The food is delicious. Last time i visited i spied Adrian Grenier outside with his entourage, waiting for cabs.

This recipe will help those with digestive issues, or who aren’t hungry in the morning. In Chinese dietary therapy we use congees (rice porridge) to help build the digestive systems for those with chronic illness, including cancer. Congees are easy to digest and provides some nutrition for those who find it difficult to eat. This recipe is kind of a baked congee. It’s derived from the Angelica’s Kitchen recipe, but I’ve made changes.

3 1/2C filtered water (soaked white rice: 4 1/2C for brown basmati or unsoaked rice)
1 1/2C rice milk
1/4t sea salt
1 vanilla bean (French Broad Food Co-op in Asheville has organic vanilla beans)
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/3C white basmati rice, rinsed & soaked 24h (brown rice takes longer to cook)
3/4 C raisins
1/4C Gou Ji berries (gou qi zi: tonify blood, Liver & Kidney qi & eyes)
freshly grated nutmeg

I use all organic ingredients. Soak the rice 24h in advance. It makes it easier to digest and requires less water and cooking time. You can use the soaking water as part of the liquid in the recipe. Those with loose stools should use white rice, not brown.

Preheat oven to 325. Bring water, rice milk & salt to a boil in a covered pot. While the water is coming to a boil, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and then cut in half crosswise. Using the tip of a small knife, scape out the seeds and add the seeds and pod to the cooking liquid with the cinnamon stick and dried fruit. (i’ve tried subing vanilla extract. You need the whole bean for the flavor in this unseasoned dish.) When the liquid comes to a boil, add the rice and reduce to a simmer.

Grease a casserole with coconut oil (its got the healthy types of fats we need: much better than Crisco. i always sub coconut oil for the oil in recipes for baked goods.) Pour the rice/liquid into the casserole and top with grated nutmeg. Bake in convection ovens for 35min (or less: until liquid has absorbed). Conventional ovens and brown or unsoaked rice will require longer cooking times).

Remove from oven, discard cinnamon stick and vanilla bean (they are usually on the top) and allow to cool a bit before serving. I like to float it in a bowl with rice milk.

Store it in the refridge. For one person, this will provide breakfast for about a week. If you want to serve it for dessert, you could add 1/3C maple syrup. KB