Brown Rice Congee (Asian Rice Porridge)

Congee, also known as Zhou, Kayu, Chok, Jook and other names depending on the culture, is a thick rice porridge made typically from white rice. There are countless variations to how and what it is eaten with. Sometimes it is served as a meal in itself paired with meats, veggies, condiments and other toppings. Other times it’s served plain as a side dish with only soy sauce. In most cultures it is served as a breakfast or late supper, but in others is eaten plain as a snack from a street vendor. Because it is well cooked in copious amounts of bone broth (at least this version-it can be made plain in water as well), it is considered food medicine and is easily digestible and good for the digestive tract.

We make a large batch in the crockpot and keep it warm for several days, scooping out a bowl as often as we want it and topping with prepared veggies and condiments in the fridge. Change your toppings up each time to keep it new and enjoyable. This is a wonderful way to get your daily bone broth supplement if you have a hard time drinking plain broth.

Rinse brown rice well and cover with filtered water. Add the acidyfier. Cover and allow to soak for at least 8 hours, but preferably 24.
Drain and rinse rice (reserve 10 % soaking water if using the grain water method.)
Place rice, ginger, garlic and chicken stock into a crockpot and set to High. Cook for 6-12 hours or until rice is super soft and broken and the congee is thick and creamy. Or cook on LOW for 10-14 hours then set the crockpot to warm and enjoy for several days (stir often and add more stock/water as necessary to keep it from sticking on the bottom). Be sure to check the crockpot every once in a while during the cooking process and skim off any foam or scum that rises to the surface.

*Fermenting brown rice before cooking it allows to anti-nutrients like phytic acid to break down and the grain to become more digestible. You can ferment your grains by adding live whey drained from yogurt or kefir that has active cultures, raw apple cider vinegar like Bragg’s, or by using the grain water method.
The grain water soaking method works by soaking brown rice in plain filtered water for 24 hours, drain off and reserve 10%-which keeps a long time in the fridge. Cook rice in fresh water as usual. Next time, soak your rice in fresh water to cover plus the reserved soaking liquid for 24 hours. Drain, again reserving 10% and cook the rice as usual in fresh water. Repeat this cycle of reserving 10% and always adding the previous reserved soaking water to your next soak and eventually up to 96% of phytic acid will be reduced in 24 hours. Meanwhile you get to eat healthy and nutritious whole grains. Read more about the grain water soaking method here.

**Serve topped with you choice of toppings:
Chjopped scallions
Boiled Egg
Poached Egg
Chopped Chicken
Gingered Carrots
Julienne Carrots
Fresh Parsley
Snap Peas
Fried or Carmelized Onions
Serrano Chilis
Cayenne Pepper
Cold-pressed sesame oil
Coconut Milk
Coconut Oil
Toasted Peanuts

Greens Soup Enhancer

I make these soup enhancers out of strongly flavored greens from spring and fall garden. I use mustard greens, kales, arugula, and broccoli leaves. These soup enhancers go well in just about any soup, pot roast, or other dish that could use a flavor boost.

Place the greens and water in a blender, food processor, or in a wide mouth jar for an immersion blender.
Finely chop the greens with your choice appliance.
Fill the ice cube tray with greens. Add any excess water to the green filled cubes. Adding the excess water will allow you to remove the green cubes easier from the ice cube tray.
Freeze over night.
Remove the green cubes from the ice cube tray and move to an air tight container in the freezer or toss in any smoothie, soup, pot roast, or other dish that you want to add extra flavor and vitamins to.

Grass-Fed Hamburger Soup

From my family cookbook, an adaptable, simple but hearty soup. Perfect for a lunch, delightful with a hearty bread and salad.

In a stockpot put ground beef, cover with stock or water. Heat to a simmer and cook meat, breaking it into bit sized chunks as it cooks.
Add seasonings, tomatoes and frozen veggies. Add any desired optional ingredients.
Simmer until cooked/heated through 20-30 minutes maximum.
Serve with sourdough bread or salad or just as a hearty lunch

Tomato Soup with Chicken Stock

This version of tomato soup is filling and nourishing. I use basil that I preserve in the refrigerator in raw apple cider vinegar (, but fresh basil will do admirably. Warm homemade muffins make this a complete meal, or served as a soup course, sprinkled with a few homemade croutons, it is very nice as well.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan.
Saute the onions and garlic on medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until soft.
Add tomatoes, chicken stock, pepper, basil and salt. Simmer for 1/2 hour.
Add the milk and either using a stick blender or a stand blender, blend until smooth.
Serve. Makes about 1/2 gallon of soup.
Like so many dishes, this is best the next day. It freezes well also.

Wendy’s-Style Crockpot Chili

Before our family’s food conversion, our favorite fast food stop was a side of Wendy’s chili with french fries dunked in for good measure. It was hearty and fast — but far from nourishing. If you want to serve your family a dish that’s even more delicious and nutritious — but just as easy! — as drive-thru fare, this is the ultimate crockpot chili recipe you are looking for.

In a large crockpot, combine ingredients, stirring well.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours until flavors have melded together.
IN A HURRY? Cook on the stove top for 45 minutes until simmering.
MAKING EXTRA? Freeze in meal-size portions for an instant lunch or one-pot-dinner.
FOR GAPS: use only white navy beans.
BEAN TIP: Cook large batches of beans and freeze in two-cup increments in your freezer. You can’t beat the price of these “instant cans”!

Ham and Mushroom Soup

This soup is so easy! Throw together some veggies, ham, broth and spices…and voila! Paleo-friendly, GAPS-approved, perfect for kids or quick lunches.

Saute the onions and peppers in coconut oil until translucent. Add the mushrooms and celery. Continue cooking for four minutes.
Add the ham and enough chicken stock to cover.
Add spices and lemon juice - I basically went with some slightly spicy, chipotle/southwestern combination. Feel free to make your own edits.
Simmer until the good smells have brought everyone to the kitchen.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Canned tomato soup and grilled cheese. It was a staple on rainy summer days in elementary school, or snow days in the winter. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any sort of tomato soup, but this adult version put the canned tomato soup of my childhood to shame.

Preheat the broiler. Place the red pepper halves, onions and garlic cut side down (with liberal use of evoo), in a baking pan and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until the skins are black and blistered, about 8 minutes. Let cool, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes.
In a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium heat, simmer tomatoes, along with their juices, and the paprika. Bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, purée the soup in small batches until smooth. Return purée to the pan and stir in broth and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Curried Cauliflower Coconut Soup

A super easy, vegan curried cauliflower soup made with coconut oil and dried coconut for extra creaminess. Perfect for those avoiding dairy, or for those times when there isn’t enough homemade broth or stock to make soup.

Chop and saute onion and garlic: Chop 1 yellow or red onion and saute it on medium heat in a large pot with 2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil. When the onion becomes translucent, add 2-3 cloves of minced garlic and saute for a few more minutes.
Chop cauliflower and add to pot: Once the onions have very lightly browned and become fragrant, add the chopped cauliflower and saute for another few minutes.
Heat water: In a teapot or other pot, add 6-7 cups of filtered water and heat. Pour into pot with cauliflower, onions and garlic, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes or so until cauliflower has cooked.
Blend and add seasoning: Using an immersion blender (it’s easier than transferring to blender), blend the cauliflower, onions, garlic and water into a creamy puree. Add 3-4 tablespoons coconut manna (dried coconut), and blend again to melt and incorporate the flavors. Spice it up by adding the turmeric, garam masala, allspice, cumin, coriander, and crushed cardamom pods. Add salt and pepper to taste, blend to mix in spices, and serve while hot, with a few drops of fresh lemon juice if you wish.

Meaty Chili (GAPS Legal)

This is my very favorite soup to eat. It is satisfying, has a little kick, and my kids will actually gobble it up. Making it with homemade stock gives the soup an extra nutritional punch. Enjoy this before the weather gets too hot!

In a large pot, melt butter. Stir in ground beef and onions. Break beef up as it browns then add carrots, tomatoes, pepper, and beans. Add in spices and pour in chicken stock until about 1/2 inch above the beef/vegetable mixture (you can add more or less to your liking). Bring to a boil, then simmer until serving - it can be simmered anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or so. Stir in the garlic near the end of the simmering time. Check seasoning then top with sour cream, cheese, guacamole/avocado and enjoy!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Don’t pop open that can! Make this creamy soup and serve with freshly baked bread and butter. Great for lunch or dinner on a cold winter day. You can also use this in casseroles or as a pasta sauce.

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat.
Add in the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes.
Add in the sliced mushrooms, stir well, and put the lid on.
Cook 10 minutes until the water has come out of the mushrooms and they are becoming soft.
Take the lid off and cook for 10 more minutes.
Add in the beef broth and simmer another 10 minutes.
Mix the corn starch together with the cold cream. Add to the soup.
Bring the soup just to a boil, stirring frequently, until it thickens.
Using an immersion blender (or regular blender in batches), blend until creamy with a few mushroom pieces left - you don’t want to completely cream it.
Salt and pepper to taste.

“Good for You” Cream of Broccoli Soup (Don’t Throw Away the Broccoli Stalks!)

Eating broccoli stalks doesn’t have to be a chore … and don’t you dare throw those healthy stems away! Simply blend them into a delicious and healthy cream of broccoli soup!

Prepare the bone broth or stock: If you have no broth or stock on hand, use some saved bones (that you’ve previously frozen) from pastured birds to make a nutritious broth by simmering the bones overnight in a pot-full of filtered water, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, an onion, some carrots and celery, and spices. You can also make stock in advance by boiling the pastured bird for an hour or two with an onion, some bay leaves and cardamom seeds, and some salt and pepper. For either, make sure to filter the veggies, bones and spices out before saving the liquid in a glass jar. This recipe assumes you have either bone broth or homemade stock previously prepared.
Chop and saute onion: Peel and dice an onion. In a large stainless steel pot, melt a tablespoon of grass-fed ghee or pastured butter, and saute the onion on medium heat until it has caramelized a bit and has become fragrant, stirring occasionally throughout.
Chop broccoli and carrots and add to pot: Peel the broccoli stalks and chop into small pieces. Chop the carrots as well. Add chopped broccoli and carrots to the pot and saute on medium heat for a few minutes with the onions, stirring frequently.
Pour the stock or bone broth in the pot: Measure approximately three parts stock to two parts veggies, and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and leave to simmer on low for 35 minutes, until the broccoli stalks and carrots have become soft.
Puree the soup, and add milk and spices: Using an immersion blender, blend the soup into liquid. Then, add a cup of raw whole milk to the pot, and blend once again to integrate the flavors. Finally, add the ground ginger, fresh chopped sage leaves and unrefined salt and black pepper, and bring the hand blender to a final whirl. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings as you see fit.
Add the cheese and lemon juice (optional): If you wish, you can add a few drops of fresh lemon juice to the soup for a little zest. In individual plates, you can also add thin slices of hard tasty grass-fed cheese for a little extra flavor and for the texture of melted goodness. Either way, make sure to serve warm, and enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Soup for the Sustainable Soul

A hearty and creamy chicken soup to warm your sustainable soul. I used my mom’s basic homemade chicken broth recipe for this, and it turned out really great!

Chop veggies: Chop carrots, celery and onions and add to a large pot with 1 tablespoon of melted pastured butter or grass-fed ghee. Saute over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add orzo, broth, and spices: Stir in a cup of orzo, 3 or so cups of organic chicken broth (hopefully made from scratch at home), and the spices mentioned above (oregano, basil, sage, savory, salt, pepper). Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes.
Now for the creaminess: In a blender (I used my dinky bullet blender), combine 1 and 1/2 cups organic whole milk with 2 tablespoons of sprouted flour and blend for 10 seconds to mix evenly. Pour into soup slowly, stirring constantly until mixture starts to boil and get thicker - usually about 2-3 minutes.
Dice chicken and add to soup: You should use cooked chicken, so you can easily use some leftover from the day before (as I did). Cook for a couple of minutes until chicken is hot. If you find that the soup has become too thick, add more broth (from the stock you have left) until you reach a desired consistency.
Enjoy a bowl (or two): Add a few drops of fresh lime juice and enjoy! (I usually end up adding a bit more salt too ’cause it’s tastier that way!)