Well I survived my first road trip as a vegan. Shwew! Nothing like traveling the interstates of Texas while trying to be plant strong. If you find yourself in this peculiar situation, be prepared friends! Be very prepared.
We made a rather sudden trip over the weekend to Husband’s hometown after learning that his childhood home sold. We piled the Littles and my mother-in-law in the Suburban and headed north to pack up her home. The weekend was bittersweet but the Littles rose to the occasion and dubbed themselves ‘the memory makers’ bringing great levity and laughter to the otherwise long, hard weekend.
Clearly we were not thinking about food this weekend. But thank goodness I packed a cooler of healthy provisions because the options for any kind of healthy eating this weekend were slim pickins, my friends.
One of my new favorite breakfast dishes comes from Alicia Silverstone’s cookbook The Kind Diet. I was curious about this simple recipe made with leftover brown rice because it calls for umeboshi plums. Called ‘The king of alkaline foods’, umeboshi plums are an ancient Japanese food used to balance and strengthen. Known for its delicious flavor and juicy pulp the plums are also highly valued as digestive aids. Just to show you how little I knew of these Japanese delicacies, I naturally assumed they would be with the other plums in the produce section. When I asked the produce guy about them he said that it was still a little early for plums. Not one to give up on a quest I remembered Alicia’s description of the plums as salty, sweet, and pickled. A jar! Or packaged! And there they were sitting right there at eye level in the Asian food section at Whole Foods. I’ve passed them a thousand times! If you are fortunate enough to have a Whole Foods or natural grocer with a varied international section, I’m sure you’ll be able to find umeboshi plums. I’ve spied them around now that I know what they are. (Just don’t try to find them at Quick-Pik in Southwest Dallas County. 😉 )
While the Littles were enjoying the colorful cereal at the all-you-can-eat-breakfast-buffet our hotel generously offered us, I was grateful to have Alicia’s Soft Rice Porridge handy in my cooler. It’s just as delicious rewarmed on a road-trip as it is straight off the stove at home.
Wherever you find yourself having breakfast this week, please try this yummy porridge. If you are in my neck of the woods and want to come borrow a plum or two, holler. I’ll be glad to share. Better yet? Come by for breakfast.
Alicia’s Soft Rice Porridge
(from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet)
1 cup leftover brown rice
4 dried apricots, chopped
1 tsp toasted sunflower seeds
1/3 umeboshi plum, pit removed and cut into tiny pieces
Chopped fresh parsley (I use mint!)
Place the rice, two cups of water, and the apricots in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until most of the water is absorbed and the fruit is soft and plump. Remove from heat and ladle into bowl with a slotted spoon. Top with seeds, umeboshi plum, and fresh mint.