I’ve been trying to experiment a bit with foods lately. I’m interested in improving my health by decreasing the fats and sugars that I consume. I’m also hoping to find foods that are more environmentally friendly than our usual American fare.
Add in the fact that I get bored easily and you can imagine how much fun I’m having with new ancient grains.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend from Uganda. She was telling me how much she misses eating millet, the way she did at home. I heard the word “millet” and recognized it as an old time grain, but had no idea of how to prepare it.
So when I found a package of Bob’s Red Mill Millet, I obviously scooped it up and brought it home. I logged onto the internet and found a handful of recipes using either millet flour or the unground whole grain. I read a few, scanned a few more and took a look through my kitchen to figure out what I could do.
Since we were in the middle of another wicked heat wave, I opted for a cool millet salad. I wanted to make one with a ginger/peanut sauce for one simple reason. I LOVE ginger/peanut sauce. Think Thai food, right? I also have a big bag of candied ginger that was one of my early pandemic panic items. (What, you didn’t worry that you’d run out of candied ginger?)
Several of the recipes I’d read had listed possible additions to the salad, including veggies that ranged from peppers to cabbage to fresh peas. In other words, it looked like I could just toss in whatever was on hand.
First step, of course, was to simmer the millet in salted water until it had softened.
While that was happening, I pulled out some veggies. I had some aging grape tomatoes, one orange bell pepper, and lots of carrots. I chopped them up and when the millet was cooked and rinsed in cool water, I added them to the bowl. A little spritz of peanut oil and I mixed it up.
I made a batch of sauce (see the recipe) and thought that my salad was finished.
DEEEELISH. Seriously. The texture was a wonderful combination of veggie crunch, creamy sauce and satisfying bits of tender grain. Sweet, salty, nutty and just plain good. It was a hit!
Except…….I didn’t like how it looked.
It was just too……bland. Too blond. Too beige. Too bleh.
See what I mean?
Taste and texture were fine. But it didn’t look appealing, at least not to me.
Back to fridge, where I dug around a little more.
I found some nice dinosaur kale and the last bits of a head of purple cabbage.
Chop, chop, mince and chop again. Add them in, toss it around a little more. Sprinkle on some slightly crushed peanuts.
A healthy, very easy new summer favorite. And it looked great, am I right?