Tuesday, June 7, 2016

spinach millet cakes + carrot salsa

Here is another great way to get whole grains into your diet. Millet is an amazing grain that often gets overlooked and generally classified as birdseed. But it's chock full of nutrients that our bodies need and thrive on such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. The more I read about food and nutrition, the more I realize how important it is to get all of the essential nutrients from whole foods rather than supplements or fortified foods. Although these can be a good way to get nutrients that we don't consume enough of, like vitamin B12 in nutritional yeast, nutrients are the most bio-available to us when we eat them in their natural form: whole foods.

Millet is also super versatile. It can be eaten for breakfast as a cereal, thrown in salads, served as a substitute to rice in any dish, ground and used as a flour, and it can even be munched on raw or toasted such as in muesli bars or homemade granola. It's not a grain I have all the time but it is cheap and easy (I just cook it like rice in the rice cooker) and works really well in veggie burgers or little cakes like these ones. If you like these, give my broccoli millet burgers a try.

spinach millet cakes
  • 1 cup uncooked millet
  • 2 cups water
    • cook millet in a rice cooker or stove top (bring to boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, all water should be absorbed and millet should be tender)
  • 1/2 cup chives or green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 flax "eggs" (whisk together 2 Tbsp flax meal with 6 Tbsp water and let set for about 5 minutes)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

Cook millet and allow to cool. Mix flax "eggs" and set aside. Chop chives, garlic and spinach. When the millet is cool enough to handle, but still warm enough to wilt the spinach, add it and all other ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with your hands. I think that mixing with your hands is key here because it gives you a chance to really massage all the ingredients together so they stick.

Form mixture into small patties about 2-3 inches in diameter and arrange on a greased or lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.

These little cakes are great as an appetizer with a zesty sauce, pesto, or dressing, or as a hearty topping to a salad.

Here I made a rainbow carrot salsa. Super easy, fresh, and crunchy!

carrot salsa
  • 4 medium/small carrots, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • juice from 1/2 lime
Whisk together dressing ingredients (ACV, honey, cumin, salt, and lime) to dissolve and incorporate the honey. Add to chopped carrots and cilantro and let marinate in the fridge while you make your millet cakes. Enjoy by the forkfull.

To learn more about millet, visit organicfacts.net.

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