Brown rice congee

Brown rice congee with wakame and sprouts: Journey to wellness

I can not say enough wonderful things about this nutritionally tweaked congee. I love it for breakfast piled with fresh sprouts. Simple, nutritious and very inexpensive to make. This really is healing food in a bowl. I like to make it in a big batch and keep it in the fridge for a quick wholesome breakfasts during the week.

Brown Rice Congee

Serves 6


Enjoy x


Humpback Whales on route to the Kimberley

Journey to Wellness

“I see you go bare-shod. This is most likely extremely sensible. Shoes are no end of trouble for girls. . . . How many have danced to death in slippers of silk and glass and fur and wood? Too many to count—the graveyards, they are so full these days. You are very wise to let your soles become grubby with mud, to let them grow their own slippers of moss and clay and calluses.
― Catherynne M. Valente, In the Cities of Coin and Spice

My greatest achievement this year is going without shoes for months on end. Apart from an hour or two of running shoes, my feet go bare and connect to me to the earth. In response to this, my feet have spread and the skin has thickened to protect me, like tanning a hide, the elements create a shoe like environment of my bare foot.

I treated myself to a pedicure a while ago and the young and very beautiful beautician held my foot as though I had just done a pooh on her lap. She explained that going bare foot contributed to the foot thickening and widening. Apparently this is undesirable, but I figure it is all a matter of perspective. What was clearly an abominable foot for a beautician is something that fits my vision of a life well lived; A splayed foot with thick leathery skin, streaked with dirt and bumpy with running blisters.  I can read the  tracks in the thick ropey lines of my feet. I read of a life barefoot on the earth. They are not conventionally beautiful feet, but they are rich feet, free feet, happy feet.

Humpback frolic

Living in nature with no shoes brings me great joy. We are based on the Ningaloo Coast which is an amazing place to be right now as the humpback whales are on route to the Kimberley to give birth.

What was clearly an abominable foot for a beautician is something that fits my vision of a life well lived.

It has been an extraordinary experience to sit in a small tin boat while the graceful giants lollop around us.  There was an inspiring article in The Conversation a few weeks back, suggesting that the Humpback population could be delisted from the official list of threatened species. Australia has one of the highest rates of threatened species in the world so it would be wrong to get too optimistic about one species surviving the rapaciousness of humanity, and yet as I sat in the dinghy and watched the graceful giants breaching it was impossible not to feel real hope for the future of our oceans and planet. The sheer magnificence of a humpback mid flight could melt the most cynical of hearts and how amazing to think they have outlived the whalers and increased their numbers with such success. They have so much to teach us.

Humpback Mother and nanny with calf

These are the great moments in my very simple life; Feet without shoes and bobbing on the ocean in a little tin boat surrounded by the splendor of the humpback whales. At night while I am drifting to sleep I can hear the cannon boom sound of whales breaching out in the distance. It is a great gift to live alongside nature and witness the daily miracles of ocean life. I may have ugly feet, but are bounding joyful on the earth, rich and dirty, happy and free.





Brown rice congee with wakame and sprouts: Journey to wellness

By: Bell Harding

Simple, nutritious and very inexpensive to make. This really is healing food in a bowl.


Prep time

Cook time



  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 4 cups vegetable stock – if you eat meat, chicken stock would be great here
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 piece wakame seaweed – hydrated in water and drained
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • ¼ cup sliced spring onions
  • ¼ cup fresh sprouts – I used adzuki bean sprouts


  • Place the brown rice in a dry frying pan and heat over a medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until toasty brown.
  • Place toasted rice in a heavy based saucepan, add water and stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to the low. Cook on low heat until the liquid has mostly absorbed. This can take 1 to 2 hours depending on the level of heat.
  • The congee should have a thick soupy consistency. Spoon the congee in to bowls and top with wakame, seeds, sprouts, spring onions and tamari.


Tried this recipe? Mention @wellbeing_magazine or tag #wbrecipe!

Bell Harding

Bell Harding

Bell is wholefood cook and a barefoot gypsy. In search of a life less ordinary, she packed a tent and art supplies and took to the road. Seeking the dirt and poetry in the Australian landscape, she also discovered a path to wellness. Bell discovered what it means to be well by healing herself from weight gain and alcohol dependence. She draws on a professional career in cooking to create recipes that celebrate real food and shares her journey as a curious nomad.

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