Millet Spinach Bake (People’s Recipe)

December 3, 2012

In the current state of my ever-progressing diet, I eat a (mostly) whole foods diet. I say “mostly” because I do have the occasional cracker or pita chip, eat out a few (1-3) meals a week, and like to have a slice of pizza (but only in NY or NJ!).  Trading chemicals, pesticides, and hormones found in processed conventional foods for the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are dense in real foods seems an obvious choice for better health.

Wheat is cheap in part because it is subsidized by the government.  Farming techniques have favored a strain that is higher in gluten (a protein found in wheat) than in years past.  Gluten adds to a product’s texture and chewiness and overall marketability, but also tends to be difficult to digest – especially for those with weakened digestive systems.  Unfortunately, wheat is also the most present grain in our country’s food supply.

But all grains are not created (or hybridized or modified) equally.  Millet is a wheat-free grain alternative that is actually a seed.  It’s cooked like rice or quinoa and has a very pleasant taste on its own.  It tends to be digested relatively easily, though individual tolerances will vary.

When I lived in San Diego, I shopped at an organic food co-op, People’s.  If you ever find yourself in Ocean Beach, I highly recommend making a visit.  It is a small store, but full of nutrient dense, organic products.  Upstairs they have an amazing onsite kitchen and deli which I frequented 6 times in my recent 4-night trip!  I own a copy of their cookbook and recently tried the Spinach Millet Bake – it turned out just as delicious as their version.  Great for a snack, side dish, or light meal.

Millet Spinach Bake

Serves 4-6

2 cups millet

4 ½ cups water

2 ½ bunches of spinach, coarsely chopped (I used less)

½ cup sesame oil

1 ½ cups red onion, diced

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

¾ teaspoon caraway seeds

6 tablespoons tahini

1/3 cup tamari

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine millet and water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes*.  Sauté onions and garlic in oil until browned, then add the caraway and sauté for 1 minute.  Add spinach and sauté until just wilted, then remove from heat.  Mix tamari lemon, and tahini, then combine with sautéed ingredients and cooked millet and mix.  Place into a covered 8 x 8-inch baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for approximately 5 minutes to brown the top.

*To promote digestibility, I have been soaking my grains for a few hours (or overnight) and rinsing them before cooking.  You may need less cooking water if you soak first.

You are what you eat.

In good health,

Molly

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