If there were such a thing needed as a walking won’t-stop-talking-about-it One Woman Advisory Council On The Wonders of Millet, I would be it. In fact, I hereby nominate and appoint myself to the position. You may have read me tout these wonders in Millet: Gluten Free Fat Free Comfort Food or Midwinter Soy Free Miso Soup: My New Favorite or Happy Healthy Heart Chakra Lunch, but I’m going to do it again, because it bears repeating. This recipe gives millet a cool simple summer remake that doesn’t have to be layered in a jar like the salad in Happy Healthy Heart Chakra (but it could).
If you’re looking for a gluten free grain you can digest easily that doesn’t break your bank, millet is it. At my co-op, it’s about half the price of bulk quinoa. If you are mindful of carbon footprints, it’s grown in the USA, not on another continent. Even though it’s grown here, it’s underappreciated in the US, and often thought of as “for the birds” (as in bird “seed”). But it’s not a seed; it’s a grain that actually aids in the digestive process, so it’s great for people with sensitive tummies. And I find it has definite anti-inflammatory effects in general, making it a great food to eat when my fibromyalgia pain happens to flare due to a fall, bump, pull or some other stress that sets it off. In fact, this One-Woman Advisory Council On The Wonders of Millet believes folks with fibromyalgia might benefit by feeding themselves with it regularly. You can read about it in 12 Health Benefits of Millet. . .The Alkalizing Grain. Here are a few of them: it has a high antioxidant profile. It acts as a prebiotic. It hydrates the colon. It’s alkaline and easy to digest. It has high levels of tryptophan and magnesium, which raise serotonin and help relax muscles, respectively.
I’ve also included pineapple in this recipe, which has strong anti-inflammatory effects coming from micronutrients in the core of the fruit. This One Woman Advisory Council on the Wonders of Millet also moonlights as a One Woman Committee on Why Women (and Men) Should Eat Pineapple Every Chance They Get. In addition to its wonderful nutritional profile, pineapple just plain tastes good with millet (Try them together for breakfast, maybe with a small dab of molasses and a splash of almond milk. Hot or cold. You pick). You can read more about where my love affair with pineapple started, and try a no flour or sugar recipe for delicious cookies in my post Power to the Pineapple (and Hawaiian Holy Shadow Cookies).
The other anti-inflammatory heavy weight in this recipe is turmeric powder. That’s another ingredient I use regularly, as it helps ease that oversensitive pain response. Plus, I like its woody earthy taste.
Those of us with fibromyalgia are often dismayed when pain returns, seemingly mysteriously. We start combing through our recent actions, what we ate, what we did, hoping to nail the cause and address it. But I’ve found that rather than worry too much about finding a single cause or hoping a supplement will address the problem, it’s more effective for me to nurture myself as a matter of course with whole food that is especially easy to assimilate and that literally reduces my inflammatory response. So that’s why these three ingredients are part of this salad. The green onions and mushrooms in this recipe run a close second in this capacity to the millet, pineapple and turmeric powder. And of course greens. So if the world is treating you “sorely,” make sure you have some dark greens on the side with this salad. Or toss it in with some.
Millet Salad with Mushrooms and Pineapple
This makes a large one person salad, or enough for two people to share who are eating it with something else. If you’re feeding more people, double or triple the recipe.
1 ½ cups cooked Millet (there are directions for how to cook millet in Midwinter Soy Free Miso Soup)
1 cup choppd green onions
1 cup chopped sugar snap peas or snow peas
1/3 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 cup sliced sautéed mushrooms
½-1 tsp lime zest
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1-2 tsp grated ginger
Tahini Mustard Lime Dressing
1 tsp tahini or ground sesame seeds
1 tbs no salt added mustard
1 ½ to 2 tbs of lime juice
¼ tsp garlic granules
Mix dressing together in a small cup or bowl with a fork.
Saute mushrooms on medium heat in a non-stick pan until they exude their juices and are browned. You can dry sauté or add a splash of coconut aminos.
Toss millet with onion, peas, pineapple and lime zest. Add the dressing and combine. Sprinkle with turmeric and ginger. Top with the mushrooms. Dig in.
Fresh corn kernels are a nice add-in to this salad. Millet also goes well tossed with fresh parsley. Come to think of it, that’s a whole other amazingly easy salad: millet, corn kernels and lots of Italian Parsley tossed in lemon juice-based tahini-optional dressing, with seasonings of your choice. Some halved cherry tomatoes would be awesome. They’re in season right now. Or maybe a few slices of Kalamata olive as a splurge. See how easy it is?
This One Woman Advisory Council On The Wonders of Millet is open to new membership, although it would require a name change. Interested parties need only “out” themselves about how much they like millet and how good it is for them. It may be a Paleo World out there these days, but don’t let that silence you. We (I mean me–that’s my “royal we” talking, so far, anyway) are here to stay. And with no small help from humble millet.