Just in case you haven’t formally met, let me introduce you to quinoa’s equally delicious cousin: Millet
Like its cousin quinoa, millet is a gluten-free grain-like seed that is considered a grain in the culinary world because it is cooked much the same way as rice and other grains. Millet has been grown for centuries in Africa, India, Asia, and Europe and has been used in everything from couscous to bread. In fact, there is even mention in the Bible of using millet to make bread! Because of millet’s amazingly mild, somewhat nutty flavor, it’s a versatile “grain” to use in almost any dish.
Besides the great flavor, there are also many health benefits associated with eating millet:
~Alkalizing in the body
~Is abundant in lignans, a phytonutrient that protects against heart disease
~Has been shown to substantially lower risk for Type 2 diabetes
~Contains niacin, which can help lower cholesterol
~Considered a whole grain and whole grains have been shown to protect against breast cancer
~Contains many wonderful nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, manganese, tryptophan, fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants
Now that you and millet have become better acquainted, let me also introduce you to one of my all-time favorite dishes: Millet Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Basil
This dish is so easy to throw together and it’s amazingly good. I’ll make up a huge serving of this dish and eat it for lunch and dinner for days to come and it never gets old. For those who do eat meat, you could easily toss in some shredded grilled chicken or serve the Millet Salad alongside some grilled or steamed fish.
This is the perfect light Summer salad that will fill you up and keep you feeling healthy and energized. I know I probably shouldn’t say that it’s one of my absolute favorite dishes (because they all are, right?), but it really is! I hope you enjoy, too!
- ⅔ cup millet, soaked for at least 8 hours, rinsed and drained
- 1½ cups water
- 3 roma tomatoes
- ⅓ cup cucumber, chopped
- ¼ cup sweet onion, chopped
- 3 Tbs. kalamata olives, sliced
- ¼ cup basil leaves, sliced in to thin strips
- ½ Tbs. olive oil
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ⅛-1/4 tsp. powdered stevia (or sweetener of choice)
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- To roast the tomatoes, heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice the tomatoes in half and place them on a sheet pan, cut side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender and their skins are beginning to brown.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, also cook the millet. Bring the water to a boil in a small to medium-sized sauce pan. Once the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and add the millet. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. I know it’s hard but try not to peek. Check after 15 minutes to see if the water has been absorbed. Once it has, fluff the millet with a fork or spoon, re-cover the pan and remove from heat. It’s best to let the millet sit for at least 5 minutes to allow it to really fluff.
- While the tomatoes and the millet are cooking, prepare the cucumber, onion, and olives, tossing them into a large bowl as you go.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and stevia and set aside.
- When the tomatoes are done and have been allowed to cool, pour the delicious juice from the tomatoes into the big bowl with the veggies. Then, roughly chop the tomatoes into large chunks and toss them into the bowl, too.
- Add the millet to the large bowl once it has cooled to room temperature. Top with the olive oil mixture and stir everything together until fully combined.
- Serve and top with the sliced basil leaves. Enjoy!
Adapted from here