In honor of Labor Day Weekend, when everyone is looking to enjoy the last “official” day of Summer holiday, I thought I would post a recipe that is as cooling as it is fast and delicious. (And it is delicious.)
Millet is one of those grains that you can use in place of just about every other grain in your house. It is naturally gluten-free, nutty, a little crunchy, yet blends in to your dishes, taking on whatever flavor you decide to impart. In our house, where we rotate our grains and use wheat very sparingly, (to avoid wheat and gluten intolerance), millet takes the place of cous cous, burghul, and rice. We use it in many recipes calling for quinoa as, in this day and age, this trendy grain appears in so many vegetarian recipes that I want to run screaming for the hills. I don’t like food trends. Quinoa is delicious and nutritious, however, as with anything in life, too much is just too much and when you eat too much of anything your body will rebel! This is one reason we have so many allergies these days. Overuse of wheat, corn, soy, and many other food ingredients (along with the Mengelian modifications that make normal nutritious foods into “frankenfoods”) is a big reason our bodies are going into crisis mode. Millet is a largely ignored grain relegated to bird seed. Yet it is a super healthy base for many recipes.
Mexican Millet Salad was created one night when my husband asked for Corsican Quinoa Salad and my basil plant had just died, I didn’t have any chickpeas, and the only thing I had left over was millet from the previous night’s Moroccan Vegetable Soup. I did, however, have some really lovely fresh cilantro, a perfectly ripe avocado, and some of the tastiest limes I had ever had the pleasure of eating. (I have no idea how that happened. Normally they try to pass off green lemons as limes where I live.) 20 minutes from start to finish, my husband ate 3 servings! I swear he would have eaten mine if I would have let him.
If you haven’t noticed, my hubby is sometimes skeptical of the scarcity of meat in our home and definitely not always on board when I start cooking something new. When he devours his plate and asks for more…..I know I am onto something!
Black beans are a good source of molybdenum, folate and fibre and a range of other nutrients. They are a good choice for vegans, as a good source of iron and protein. The fibre is excellent for managing blood sugar and are a very high quality protein. They also detoxify sulphates, a type of food preservative that some people react to if they’re low in molybdenum.
This fiber and prebiotic packed tiny grain is rich in seratonin, keeping you calm and helps combat insomnia. It is rich in Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) and Magnesium and has been shown to be beneficial in treating and preventing cardiovascular disease. It is also a great source of protein, making it a fantastic plant-based protein source for vegetarians and vegans alike. It is also a highly alkaline grain, making this little grain perfect for those trying to conceive a child, or those battling chronic illness.
The nutritional value of avocado is amazing being rich in vitamin K, fiber, potassium, folate, B6 and vitamin C. The oleic acid within this fruit promotes heart health and increases your absorption of other nutrients.
- 1 cup millet (cooked )
- 1 Medium red onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes (quartered (or 1 large chopped tomato))
- 1 Large avocado (chopped)
- 1 cup kalamata olives (halved)
- 1 Large Cucumber (Chopped)
- 1 can Black Beans (Drained and rinsed)
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 2 cloves garlic (pressed)
- 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
- Toast millet in a dry pan over high heat until it starts to pop and smell toasty. (about 10 minutes) Toss often.
- To cook millet, place 1 cup of millet in a medium pan with 2 cups of water. Bring water to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed. (Don't peek!) Remove from heat and allow to steam in pan for about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
- To make dressing, juice lime (can use lemon), add in vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper (and garlic if using). Whisk well to incorporate.
- To a large bowl add tomatoes, onions, olives, avocado, cucumber, black beans and millet. Mix carefully (so as not to "mush" the avocado) but incorporate well.
- Pour dressing over salad and add freshly chopped cilantro. Toss well. Serve and enjoy.