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Can We Stop Demonising Carbs - PART 2

By Jane Wake MSc

My Savoury Porridge with Edamame Beans, Shiitake Mushrooms and Smoked Tofu.

If you have been made to feel that Carbs are now a guilty pleasure, I hope this following recipe will restore your faith in carbs as a main feature in for your health. It's important that you get them in proportion and that you also mix it up a little bit which is why I want to introduce you to the beauty that is Savoury Porridge. To understand why carbs are essential for your workouts, have a look at PART 1 of this article where I explain more. If we can come away from the idea of porridge being sweet and always made from oats, then we can improve how we value this as a breakfast staple....or lunch or dinner! You really could eat this at any time!

I was introduced last year to the Chinese medicinal food 'Congee' which is a porridge often made from rice or other grains. This one is made from rice and millet. What I love about this is that it completely gluten free and very gentle on your stomach. As a migraine sufferer I have had to learn to understand the relationship of gut health to migraines and this porridge has become one of my go too's. It stops me from eating harsher grains that can set off IBS symptoms and, in turn, trigger migraines. It provides lots of nutrients and also is a wonderfully hydrating as it's cooked with lots of water and the millet and rice, absorb all the moisture. Millet is also a low glycemic index food which means it doesn't cause your blood sugar to rise quickly. This is the perfect pre workout meal. I added a vegetable stock pot here to this congee but you could equally use bone or vegan broth if you wanted to further add to its power. I've added edamame beans for extra protein content but you could equally add peas.

To top it off I've done a stir fry of shiitake mushrooms & smoked tofu with peppers and spring opinions. I love Shiitake mushrooms, not only because they are so tasty but also because of their nutrient value - rich in minerals to support bone and blood health. They have a higher protein content than many mushroom varieties, are anti-inflammatory, rich in polysaccharides and reported to support immune health. If you want to avoid Tofu/soya, use peas in the porridge, as suggested above, & omit the tofu but add a 2-3 soft poached eggs on top instead - Yum!

To make the savoury porridge

( This makes 4 portions - You can keep in sealed container in the fridge for 2 days)

50g of Millet 

50g of rice (I use good quality, organic basmati rice) 

1 litre boiled water 

Vegetable stock pot or add stock or broth to water content.  

30 grams edamame beans or peas. 

Seasoning (salt & pepper 

Optional additional flavours.. ...

Ginger, chilli, garlic.

Rinse the rice before placing in a pan with the millet. Add water & stock. 

Bring to boil then lower temp and simmer for around 40 mins. 

Keep adding additional water - you don't want it to boil dry - the rice and millet will continue to absorb the water until they start to appear porridge like . You want the porridge to remain slightly runny. Whilst this initially needs some cooking time, you can store 2/3 portions in the fridge for a couple of days and use for the next 2 mornings or lunch times, adding the peas/

I add the beans/peas per portion of congee so if cooking for one, separate off one portion and heat the peas./beans from frozen, in with your portion of porridge for 3 mins.

For the stir fry (1 portion) 

2 spring onions

1/2 yellow or red pepper 

Handful of shiitake mushrooms

150 grams smoked Tofu



Add spring onion and pepper to a dash of olive oil, Once softened, add mushrooms and finally tofu. keep the pan moving until all have turned a lovely golden colour . Add dried thyme and seasoning at the end. The Thyme works wonderfully well with the earthiness of the mushrooms and the smokiness of the tofu.  

Place your porridge and stir fry in a bowl. And eat slowly and enjoy!

You can mix this up with different vegetables, nuts or add chicken and/or pop a poached or fried egg on top. I like the above because its simple and quick and easy to chop and cook. You can also add different flavours like chilli or garlic and ginger.

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This looks delicious. Tofu and shiitake one of my favourite combos.


Wow!! My kind of food!!! Tks Jane. Also I’ve introduced carbs over the weekend - and my workout this morning was great !! Now going home to eat protein AFTER training as you suggested !!

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