I fell in love with this salad at a women’s craft gathering. Even though it was made with couscous (cracked semolina wheat), I knew I could adapt it using a wheatless power grain like quinoa. In the interest of making it gluten-free and creating another way to promote millet, I played around until I got to this version.
Millet is a behind-the scenes nutritional champion. Its benefits go beyond gluten-free; check out these healthy attributes:
- 15% protein
- Rich in iron, essential amino acids, lecithin and phosphorous
- High fiber content
- Loaded with B vitamins
- High alkaline ash content, making it alkaline vs. acidic
- Easiest grain to digest
- Rich in phytochemicals, including phytic acid, which is believed to lower cholesterol, and phytate which is associated with reducing cancer risks
And now for the recipe so you can get cooking, enjoying and benefiting from this awesome grain.
CURRIED MILLET SALAD WITH CRAISINS
1 1/3 cup millet
2 1/2 cup purified water
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can garbanzo or cannellini beans, rinsed and well drained , optional
1/3 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel or 5 drops pure essential oil of orange
2 Tbsp. purified water
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
In a heavy (I like cast iron) 2 qt. pot with lid, lightly toast the millet over medium low heat, stirring often, until fragrant = approximately 5 minutes. Watch closely so it does not get scorched. (Toasting is optional but I find it makes for a fluffier and dryer cooked product.)
Remove millet from pan into small bowl. Add purified water to pot and bring to boil. Stir in millet and cover. Reduce heat so water grain is at a slow simmer. Cook for 25 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat.
While millet is cooking, then cooling, prep your vegetables and seasonings. Prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients in glass jar. Shake vigorously.
Transfer slightly cooled millet to large bowl. Stir in craisins, peas, green onion and basil. (If using beans, add at this time.) Pour dressing over all and stir well, yet gently, to combine and coat millet with dressing.
Cover and chill for 1 hour or longer. Serve over torn mixed greens. Arugula is particularly nice with this salad.
And there you have it! A gluten-free main dish or side salad that is packed with healthy goodies from overlooked millet. This salad travels well so include it with your next outing and show off millet’s magic to all of your pals.