Monday, December 14, 2015

Millet Pilaf

   Millet is an under appreciated grain in America, but very popular with the centenarians of China. If you have never tried this little yellow grain, you are in for a treat! Millet is nutritionally richer than wheat and has the bonus of being gluten free. This recipe is a popular one among many centenarians, which is not surprising, as it is a nice balance of nutrients and healthy oils with beneficial herbs and spices.

    4 servings
1¼ cups vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup millet
¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup frozen fava beans, thawed
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
   1. Heat ¼ cup of the vegetable stock in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and cardamom and cook for a few more minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves and discard. Stir in the millet and remaining vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Check occasionally and add water if the pan is dry.
   2. Stir the peas and fava beans into the millet, cover, and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover the pan and fluff the millet with a fork. Stir in the pumpkin seeds, parsley and mint and transfer the millet to a serving bowl.
   3. Serve warm or at room temperature.
   Though technically a seed, millet is categorized as a grain from a culinary perspective. A good source of magnesium and fiber, millet can significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Millet contains a phytonutrient called plant lignans, which may help protect against breast cancer and heart disease. All this and gluten free, too!

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