Friday, 10 October 2014

Millet Cakes with Spinach and Artichoke Salad - Lunch on "M" Day

Well it's now lunch time on "M" day and I'm using MILLET

I made Millet Cakes with Spinach and Artichoke Salad. This combination with the Millet and Chickpeas in a crunchy cake, with lemon zest infused throughout, makes for a suprisingly tangy fresh taste and an all around balanced and nutritious lunch. Yummy!

Servings: 4


Lemon Basil Dressing

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp finely chopped fresh basil
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
S & P

Millet Cakes

1 cup raw millet
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp butter
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1/4 - 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Finely grated zest of 2 medium lemons
3 Tbsp olive oil
Cooking spray

Spinach and Artichoke Salad

8 oz baby spinach (about 6 lightly packed cups)
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained, rinsed, and sliced
10 - 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
S & P


Lemon Basil Dressing:
In a small jar, combine the lemon juice, basil, and olive oil. Season to taste with the S & P. Place lid on jar and shake vigorously until combined.

Millet Cakes:
No need to rinse millet before cooking, but check for any black pebble-like pieces and remove if you see any (they are unhulled grain). In a large, dry saucepan, toast the raw millet over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes or until the millet is a rich golden brown in colour and the grains are fragrant. 

Once toasted add the broth, zest of 1 lemon, and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir the millet really well, increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Once boiling add the butter, decrease the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer about 15 minutes or until the grains have absorbed most of the broth. Remove from the heat and allow to sit covered and undisturbed for 10 minutes to absorb the remaining liquid. 

Meanwhile coarsely chop the garlic in a food processor (or magic bullet-pulsing). Add the parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas and 1 tsp salt and pulse until coarsely chopped. 

Uncover the millet and fluff with a fork. Let sit uncovered for about 5 minutes and then stir in the chickpea mixture, eggs, and remaining lemon zest until well combined. Spry a 1/4 cup measuring cup with cooking spray, then press the millet mixture into the measuring cup, smooth the top, and invert to release the cake onto a plate or cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining millet mixture (only need to spray measuring cup once). You should have about 10 - 12 cakes. 

Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Add 4 or 5 millet cakes and using a small spatula, gently flatten the cakes so they're about 3/4 inch thick. Cook, flipping once, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, 2 - 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined cooling rack. Add the remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet and cook the remaining cakes the same way.

In a large bowl, toss the spinach, artichokes, and tomatoes with about 3/4 of the dressing. Season to taste with S & P. At the table divide the salad between 4 plates, top each plate with a few millet cakes, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. 


Millet is often associated as the main ingredient in bird seed...but it is not just "for the birds". This delicious grain can accompany many types of food. Millet is a good source of some very important nutrients, including copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Magnesium can reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, severity of asthma, reduce risk of heart attack and lower high blood pressure. 

Phosphorus plays its role in forming the mineral matrix of bone and is an essential component in the molecule that is the energy currency of the body. In addition, the metabolism of lipids (fats) relies on phosphorus, and is also an essential component of lipid-containing structures such as cell membranes and nervous system structures. 

Eating grains daily, such as Millet, will substantially lower your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and improve your overall glycemic index, if you have Diabetes. 

Consuming foods high in insoluble fiber, such as Millet, can help women avoid gallstones. Insoluble fiber not only speeds intestinal transit time, but reduces the secretion of bile acids. Abundant in all whole grains, insoluble fiber is also found in nuts and edible skins of fruits and vegetables.

Pre-menopausal women eating the most whole grain fiber have a 41 % reduced risk of breast cancer. 

Millet originated in North Africa, specifically in Ethiopia and there is even mention of it in the Bible as an ingredient for unleavened bread. Millet is a gluten-free grain alternative to wheat. 

Next time you are looking for an alternative to rice or potatoes, serve Millet instead. Or cook and eat for a wholesome breakfast with dried fruit and nuts. 

Millet, cooked
(1 cup)

Copper  31.1 %
Phosphorus  24.8 %
Manganese  23.5 %
Magnesium  19.1 %

Have you enjoyed some Millet lately?

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