About a year and a half ago, I went on a very strict diet to combat some of the stomach problems that I had been having. As someone who loves food so much, this was an extremely challenging exercise to dedicate myself to. I was restricting myself from all of my favorite things – wheat, cheese, sugar.
In the process of eliminating my standard foods, I discovered a whole new set of possible food options. It expanded my cooking and eating horizons in a way that I never would have predicted. Those 4 months show up in the way I think about and prepare food on a daily basis.
Being a carb fiend, I naturally looked to other “alternative” grains that were gluten free and had healthy nutritional profiles to replace the whole wheat grains that I had used as my main source of carbohydrates before the diet. Millet was one of these happy discoveries. It is an ancient grain that does not contain gluten and is high in B vitamins, iron, and other nutrients. The size is roughly that of quinoa or couscous and can be used in much the same way. Here I have used it warm, tossed with vegetables, as a side salad for thai grilled chicken. It would also be great with some chicken or edamame beans mixed right in. And it is especially good leftover as the coconut flavor really comes out.
Thai Millet Salad
1 cup millet
1 can lite coconut milk
About 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 english cucumber, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper
Place a small saucepan over medium heat and spray with olive oil. Toast millet in pan, turning to lightly brown. Remove millet to bowl.
Pour coconut milk into a measuring cup. It should measure about 1 1/2 cups. Add enough water to bring total mixture to 2 cups (about 1/2 cup). Bring to a boil.
Add millet back into coconut mixture. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook about 25-30 minutes until cooked through. Then spread onto a tinfoil lined baking sheet to allow it to cool without lumping together.
Once lightly cooled, mix together millet, vegetables, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. Stirt to combine.