Smokey Millet Super Grain Bowl
Let’s discuss millet. Millet is an ancient seed originating from Africa and Northern China. Millet has been around for centuries and remains a “staple” in the diets of about 1/3 of the world’s population. With a milk sweet corn-like flavor, this grain is naturally gluten-free–making it a go-to for Celiac sufferers.
Millet is a whole grain, making it even more appealing to those minding their diets. Achieving whole grain status means 100% of the bran, germ and endosperm are retained by the grain throughout the hulling process. Millet and quinoa are similar in these ways. Millet is an excellent natural source of fiber, magnesium and antioxidants. In the US, millet is actually used more in the production of bird seed than it is for human consumption. But in India, China, South America and Russia, millet is a consumer staple.
Millet comes in several forms including: pearl, proso, finger, and foxtail and comes in several colors: white, red, yellow or gray. Pearl millet is the variety most commonly seen, and what I use to make my smokey millet super grain bowl.
This is a healthful and flavorful recipe loaded with goodies. This quickly became a favorite of my older son after I developed it. I’m not sure if it was the millet or the tofu that drew him in. Millet, unlike quinoa, requires a bit of practice to cook properly. This super grain is a thirsty grain and can almost quadruple in size when cooking. Not enough cooking liquid can lead to gritty, dry millet. But, if you master the hydration, you are left with a beautiful bowl of fluffy grains.
In this recipe, millet absorbs the flavor of my add-ins. Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce gives it a smoky depth. Crispy tofu, and chopped walnuts, add protein, texture, and enhance the nutrition profile. This is not a quick dish, but trust me, the prep time is worth it.
Recipe: Millet Super Grain Bowl
- 2 cups cooked millet
- 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 ears of corn, off the cob
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 package riced cauliflower
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 packages gluten-free baked tofu, teriyaki flavor, diced into 1/4-inch squares (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons chipotle pepper in Adobe sauce, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch fresh chives, thinly sliced
- Step 1 Cook the millet per the package instructions using water or vegetable stock. Once cooked, remove from the pan and place in a medium size mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Step 2 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly toast the walnuts until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, finely chop and add to the cooked millet.
- Step 3 Place a large sauté pan oven medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot, but not smoking, add the corn. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir to incorporate. Cook until the corn is a vibrant yellow color, about 4-5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook an additional 30 seconds. Remove form the heat and place in the bowl with the millet.
- Step 4 Place the pan you used for the corn back on a medium-high heat. Add an additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the cauliflower rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and add to the millet mixture.
- Step 5 Wipe out the pan and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, add the diced tofu and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally as needed until the tofu begins to brown and get crispy, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the millet-mixture.
- Step 6 Add the desired amount of chipotle to the millet-tofu mixture based on your desired heat preference. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat.
- Step 7 To serve, divide among serving bowls. Garnish with sliced radishes and chopped chives. This grain bowl can be served at warm or at room temperature.