Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer is here, and it is time put away all those cold weather soup recipes and bring out some fresh and flavorful salads, which is what I have here for you today! We’re making a Mediterranean Millet Salad that will knock your socks off. If Chris enjoyed it (and he isn’t a health nut at all), you will LOVE it.

Just a little background on Millet: - It is a gluten-free cereal crop, grown in semi-arid tropics such as India or Nigeria, and subsequently a main staple in diets of developing countries. While it is the main ingredient in bird food, this little grain has a slew of health benefits for us humans. First of all, it is a good source of manganese (23.5% DV), magnesium ( 19.1% DV) and phosphorus (17.4%) in one cup of cooked millet. Because of its high magnesium levels, it is a heart healthy grain and can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Since phosphorus plays a role in every cell of your body – it can also aid in development and repair of body tissue. Millet is also high in insoluble fiber, which helps to prevent gallstones.

You can cook it to be fluffy like rice (1 part to 2 ½ parts water or brother, let come to a boil add millet, let come to reboil and then down to a simmer for 20 minutes). You can also make it to mashed potato type consistency (or porridge), adding more water and letting it cook longer until you get your desired consistency. Add some olive oil, butter, salt and pepper and serve it along some grilled chicken and vegetables. Or sub it in recipes that call for quinoa or pasta as a salad. Which is exactly what we’re doing today!

Millet is economical, and in my own health food store was 3 times lower, the cost of quinoa (sold in the bulk section).  This is a great salad to throw together for your backyard summer BBQ's and birthday parties and will definitely please the heartiest of eaters.  Since Millet is gluten-free it will also please those that have wheat allergies.

Mediterranean Millet Salad
1 Cucumber, diced
1 Tomato, diced
10-16 Kalamata Olives, sliced
1-2 handfuls of cranberries
1-2 handfuls of feta cheese

Get all of these lovelies in a bowl. Then add the following ingredients as a dressing and give it a stir.

Couple of rounds of Olive Oil
2 spoon fulls Red Wine Vinegar
3 long squirts Lemon Juice
2 spoon fulls Kalamata Juice
2 shakes Onion Powder
3 shakes Garlic Powder
2 shakes Oregano

I didn’t use exact portions on this little dressing. And just added it to the bowl itself and mixed, opposed to making the dressing first then pouring. It’s all up to you though. If you want a more definitive recipe with measurements click here to see Simply Scratch’s greek dressing (that was my inspiration, i love her stuff).

1 cup of millet
2 ½ cups of water

Bring water to a boil and add the millet. Let it come to a reboil, then turn down the heat and let simmer until the water has been absorbed (roughly 20 minutes). Once the millet is done you can add it to the dressed veggies, cranberries and cheese and go to town! Or you layer it with more flavors like roasted pine nuts and avocado. Also – I would have added red onion, but I didn’t have any, hence the onion powder.

Bon Apetite!

To see my other recipes from Instant Mommie, click here.
This post is a part of the Food and Recipe Collections.
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