Old Garden Vegan Millet Bowl with Anytime Sauce

by Maria Theresa Maggi on May 30, 2014

Maria's Old Garden Millet Bowl

Even though I sometimes freeze my fingers doing it, if there isn’t snow on the ground, I like to start sugar snap peas in my garden around Spring Equinox. The peas like it cold and wet, and if  I get them in then or soon after, by now they are starting to climb the wire fence I always plant them along. Our rather cold and unpredictable Springs also allow the planting of hardy greens and roots like radishes, kale and broccoli rabe. I often see them volunteering, along with flat leaf parsley and dill, and I get excited for another season.

And even though I got hit by a lightning bolt that told me it was time to move, I still planted some things that I could enjoy for a while and then leave to my lovely buyer. So amidst the hectic and overwhelming labor of sorting through and starting to pack up, I can go out and pick from the bounty of new baby greens.

Remember those romaine crowns I stuck in water a few months ago? They’ve been in the dirt for over a month, and have produced lots of tasty leaves. They’re going to seed now, but other new sprouts from seeds are taking their place.

romaine crowns planted in garden

This is a very simple lunch bowl featuring the things that grow in abundance in Spring in my old established garden. I’ll be taking a little of each of these wonders to my new place. But right now, let’s celebrate the old garden with a lunch made special by it’s greening glory. I’ll list the things I was able to pick from my old garden, but you use the baby greens you have, either in your own garden or from the farmer’s market, or even the grocery store. And be sure to use some fresh herbs too. Mint is often abundant at this time of year, and it adds a wonderful dimension to both Asian and Mexican style bowls.

I’m still a bit shy about what conventional eaters will think of my food. Nearly every day there’s something happening related to the move, or someone coming over to pick something up and put it somewhere else, check something out, have me read a form and sign it. I was hungry and decided I had better eat before the friend coming over to take some stuff away for me  or the homeowner’s insurance agent appeared. On this particular day I had made this bowl with Sprouted Buckwheat Sunshine Burger crumbled into it, since I didn’t have any chickpeas cooked. I had flavored the basic Anytime Sauce with a pinch of orange zest, and topped the whole thing with some of the fresh dill that’s volunteering all over my old garden bed.

The homeowner’s agent came just a few minutes after I had finished. I’d never met him before, since my long time insurance agent has retired. The first thing the new guy said when he walked in the door was, “It smells like lunch in here. Smells really good!” And he just stood taking the aromas in. I always enjoy it when someone who probably eats bacon and eggs for breakfast says that about the way my food smells. And it never fails to happen. I just smile and say thank you, while inside I’m feeling such deep gratitude I’m found this burning bush: these low fat plant-based lunch strategies that are carrying me through what it takes to rezone, sell, buy a house and move into a new one with the kind of stamina I wouldn’t even have known to dream about before.

Maria (moonwatcher)



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pam May 31, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Maria, I always enjoy your “bowl” recipes and I particularly like your Anytime Sauce recipe. I’m a fan of quick sauces, so I’ll make a note of this one. Thanks!


2 moonwatcher May 31, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Thanks, Pam! I’m a fan of quick sauces too, that require no appliances that have to be plugged in, if at all possible. This one fits the bill. 🙂


3 Dena May 31, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Thanks I can smell it cooking! Love bowl meals. Sure pray your move goes calm and easy. I’ve not moved in 23 years! I’m making the Anytime Sauce right now. Take care


4 moonwatcher May 31, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Thanks Dena! Hope you enjoy the Anytime Sauce as much as I do. Thanks for the calm and easy wishes and prayers for the move. I’ve lived here almost as long as you’ve been where you are–it’s a big job!! All is going really well though, considering. 🙂


5 Marcia May 31, 2014 at 3:52 pm

OMGosh! Another yummy lunch (breakfast-dinner) bowl for my collection, thanks Maria! They are just the best aren’t they? They turn out to be a catch all for whatever is on hand and I’ve never had a bad one yet. Anytime Sauce sounds like another winner, thanks! You are so very creative; the world needs more people like you!

Moving eh? I suppose it’s good to look at it as a good way to let go of items you don’t really need so you can start fresh again, but it is such a pain! Sure hope your new diggs are as nice as where you are now.

I wish we could have a food garden, but it’s just WAY too hot here. I’ve tried three separate times and nothing survived. This time, I’m growing herbs and so far so good! How fun to walk out and snip some flat leaf parsley, Thai basil or (are you ready???) some chocolate mint! It is very gratifying to grow your own foods and herbs. Love it!

Thanks again for the great ideas! Marcia


6 moonwatcher May 31, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Hi Marica–I know what you mean about the bowls–it’s hard to go wrong–sure glad this one sounds good to you! Those herbs you’re growing sound just wonderful! I bet they add a great dimension to your meals–chocolate mint–woohoo! I bet that would be good on something Mexican style. Thanks for kind words about being creative and the good wishes for the move. The new place is every bit as nice and charming in its own way as my blue house. I’m really excited to get there, but oh, the sorting out after 20 years is a big job!


7 Michelle June 1, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Oh boy your mix and match recipe is one I can use right now even on the FODMAPS & McD MWL phase I am in now. Love bowls and love that someone loved the scent of your cooking enough to say so 🙂

Glad to that things surrounding the move all sen to be happening on a good schedule too. What a lot to do – so happy you are sufficiently plant-powered to pull it all off 🙂

oxoxoxo – Michelle


8 moonwatcher June 1, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Michelle! So great to hear from you on the blog again! I am SO happy this bowl fits your current FODMAPS 7 McD MWL phase–yipee!! Thanks for your encouragement and kind words about the move. 🙂 xoxo


9 Veronica June 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

Another delicious bowl! I really like your anytime sauce – I’ve got one, too, with a bit more Asian-influenced flavors. The thing is, you can never have too many variations of this theme!
I’m glad your garden is still alive and well, waiting for the new owner of the house. It’s a great idea to take some of the starts and seeds to your new space! I’m in the process of figuring out what I want to plant and where… I just saw a deer visit my yard, so I’m going to have to figure out some … diversions for her to keep her from all my fresh growings!
I also just bought some millet, so I’ll be making some millet bowls this week. 🙂
I feel the same about how conventional eaters will take to my new food… It is a wonderful feeling when they appreciate the smell and taste of whole food cookin’. Perhaps it will help more people realize that you are what you eat, and spark a little change and thought. I’m glad you’re finding all the strength and patience to get through this stressful & exciting time!


10 moonwatcher June 2, 2014 at 10:30 am

Thanks, Veronica!! Yes, I agree, these simple sauces are endlessly adaptable. I really enjoyed reading your supportive feedback here. Enjoy your millet! I especially liked your hope that being attracted to the smell and taste of whole food cooking will help people realize they are what they eat. There’s NO WAY I could get through this move otherwise. Sore as can be today, but that’s after moving what seemed like mountains. And I will move more mountains again soon. Yes, it sure does take strength and patience–and rest– to get through this stressful and exciting time!!


11 Marge Evans June 2, 2014 at 9:02 am

we eat with our eyes as well as our other senses. your bowls always look so amazing. who doesn’t enjoy beautiful colorful food? take care!


12 moonwatcher June 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

Thanks, Marge! I love this observation about how we eat with our eyes–so true!! I’m so happy my bowls appeal that way to you. 🙂


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