30 September 2013

Spiced Tomato Millet and Friends (GF)

Someone asked me to Vegan MoFo up some millet side dishes.  Millet is a great gluten-free substitute for cous-cous and also works well as a substitute for white rice or any kind of grain that tends to clump together when cooked if you don't fluff it.  I was going to do millet and adzuki bean burgers today, but my adzuki beans just did not want to soften in time for dinner, so I made this instead.

Put a glug of olive oil into a sauce pan and gently fry thinly sliced onions and minced garlic on low heat.  Toss in some ground cumin and coriander (and a pinch of chili powder or smoked paprika if you're feeling feisty) and a cup of millet, stirring everything around and letting the millet get toasty in the bottom of the pan for a minute or two.  Then add a finely chopped bell pepper, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp dried parsley (oregano would work well here, too), 2 cups of water, and give everything a good stir.  Put a lid on that sauce pan and let it cook until all the water is absorbed and the millet is tender.  If you take a peek and think things are looking a bit dry, stir in some water 1-2 tbsp at a time.

Once everything is cooked, remove from heat, stir in some lemon or lime juice and soy sauce or salt (feel free to stir in some beans right now, too) and let the millet sit, covered for a few more minutes. 

Now your fancy millet side-dish is ready to serve.  Take advantage of millet's clumpy nature and form it into a ball or a squatty cylindrical shape.  I served mine on a bed of lettuce, topped with some sliced black olives (my husband got his in burrito form) and splashed on some hot sauce. 

You could also wait for the millet to cool and then roll it into balls, smoosh the balls into patties, and bake or pan fry them.  (You can actually form the balls/patties first, but don't bake or fry until they've cooled -- otherwise the starches don't quite set and it can get a bit crumbly.)  Millet is really good for that kind of thing!

Two other options I've blogged about this month that would work well with millet are the Stuffed Bell Peppers and the side of herbed grains from the Tomato and Butter Bean Coriander Casserole.

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