a bowl of congee

Congee – The Ultimate Comfort Food

Congee is the ultimate comfort food. Congee is a super simple creamy rice porridge, the consistency of oatmeal. Also known as jook, congee is traditionally consumed as a breakfast food, but it’s also suitable for lunch, or dinner. The basics are a small amount of rice with lots of water or stock simmered and stirred for a couple of hours until it reaches a thick, creamy consistency. The rice becomes silkier the more frequently it is stirred. Below is a slow cooker chicken & ginger congee for those of us who aren’t inclined to repeatedly stir their congee on the stove. There are, however, many recipes for those without a slow cooker. Besides its versatility, congee is economical – about 3/4-1 cup of rice to 6-8 cups of water. And like all rice, the dish adapts to almost any sort of addition you’d like.

a bowl of congee

Congee – The Ultimate Comfort Food

Nurture Your Digestion

Chinese Medicine emphasizes a diet that reduces internal dampness to avoid developing digestive troubles and to strengthen immunity. Dampness forms in the body when we’ve eaten a diet rich in dairy, wheat, and animal protein as well as too much raw food like salad and fruit in the cold months. (See the Chinese Medicine Diet links in the Nutritional Counseling section of our website for more information on dampness in the diet.) Chinese Medicine practitioners encourage their patients to eat foods that are easily digested; such as cooked vegetables instead of raw cold vegetables. This is especially true in the winter months. Since congee is cooked for such a long time, it’s easily digested and often given to children or to older people with weak digestion. As we descend deeper into winter, nourishing the digestion with foods such as congee becomes important for our health. This simple dish is very warming in cold weather and is a delicious, nutritious meal for anyone and everyone!

CHICKEN & GINGER CONGEE

INGREDIENTS

For the congee:

  • 8 cups water
  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, preferably jasmine
  • 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices fresh ginger, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more as needed
  • Optional toppings:

    • Roasted peanuts
    • Thinly sliced scallions
    • Minced fresh ginger
    • Fresh cilantro leaves
    • Tamari or soy sauce
    • Place all the ingredients for the congee in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook until very creamy and the rice is completely broken down, 8 to 10 hours on the LOW setting or 5 hours on the HIGH setting.
    • Transfer the chicken and ginger to a plate. Stir the congee with a wooden spoon, making sure to scrape against the bottom and sides of the slow cooker to incorporate congee that’s sticking there.
    • Shred the chicken, then stir the meat back into the slow cooker, discarding the bones, skin, cartilage, and ginger. If you would like a thinner congee, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Taste and season with more salt as needed. Serve hot with the toppings.

RECIPE NOTES

Storage: The congee can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Recipe from: Christine Gallary  https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooker-chicken-ginger-congee-234439

Acupuncture for Weight Loss

Many people ask if acupuncture is good for weight loss and obesity. Weight loss with acupuncture is such a hot topic that Dr. Oz reviewed it on his blog. Acupuncture is not a quick fix for such a complex problem as controlling your weight. But research shows that  adding acupuncture treatment to your weight loss regimen can help. Losing weight involves multiple factors. Dr Oz says it requires a ‘multi pronged approach’.  Read more

Weight Loss With Acupuncture

Weight loss is more successful with acupuncture. Obesity is rampant in our country and seems to be on the rise. Acupuncture for weight loss is proven successful in research studies.

Acupuncture Weight Loss Research

Research on acupuncture and weight loss show positive benefits for people with obesity. Most studies focus on auricular acupuncture tiny needles or magnets placed at key spots on the ear. Why would an acupuncturist treat the ear? The ear represents a small version of the human body – a microcosm of the larger macrocosm of the body. Many acupuncturists do not perform acupuncture weight loss treatment on the ear, however, so don’t be confused if your acupuncturist chooses body points exclusively.

Acupuncture Points for Successful Weight Loss

Acupuncture points on the body are known to affect brain chemistry and regulate hunger signals. Some of the major points for treating weight gain are located on the arms and legs near your knees and elbows, as well as near your ankles and wrists. One of the main points for weight loss is called “Stomach 36” or Leg Three Miles (Zusanli in Chinese). Stomach 36 is located on the muscle near your shin just below the knee about one hand’s width below the kneecap.

Legend has it that the “Leg Three Miles” point helped soldiers walk ‘three more miles’ when they would become fatigued on long marches. Stomach 36 known to increase energy production because it boosts metabolism by regulating stomach function. Chinese medicine recognizes that weight gain is caused by blockage in the acupuncture meridians, or channels that course through your abdomen and body. Certain foods block the acupuncture meridians because they affect the underlying organ system that regulates the meridian. Foods such as dairy, wheat, and sugar affect an organ system responsible for extracting energy from food. When the extraction process is disrupted, metabolism slows resulting in unwanted weight gain.

Chinese Medicine & Nutrition

Acupuncture doesn’t work alone – diet is important. Choosing lighter foods such as an abundance of cooked vegetables (not raw), rice, and small quantities or animal or vegetable protein helps keep the meridians flowing because these foods nourish the underlying organ system responsible for regulating the Stomach meridian. Bottom line? Acupuncture combined with proper food choices is a winning combination for weight loss.

Nutritional Counseling & Digestion Treatment

For more information on acupuncture for weight loss, digestive problems, and success stories, read our Acupuncture for Digestion page

For more information on Chinese medicine diet recommendations check out our Nutritional Counseling page for printable articles on how to make the Asian medicine diet a part of your healthy lifestyle for 2014!