Wish Upon A Dish: A Trend in Every Pot - Recipe Redux Challenge January 2013

January 21, 2013

A Trend in Every Pot - Recipe Redux Challenge January 2013

Ah, the start of a new year. Everyone mentally makes lists of all the "new" things they promise to do or try in 2013 and it's not just in fashion, health or organizing. Food is a huge trend this year as more and more people are aware of its health benefits, it's importance to the family unit and a huge part of our social life.
I would not hesitate to state that food finally has made it back to the main stream. I am psyched.

Last year saw the insurgence of Vegan's and the awareness of Celiac and gluten-free diets. Tapas are bye bye as well as the tasting and kid's menus. Gone are the meatballs and the awful offal.

The gals over at The Recipe Redux have challenged us to pick a new trend and make a one pot meal that reflects that trend.
Already on my radar is one trend mentioned in every food news site.......eating more grains.

As a matter of fact about a year ago I bought every grain and flour there was, and then they sat there. The only thing I do make often is quinoa, but even that is getting old. I am totally intrigued with millet at the moment and that's the grain I choose for this challenge.

Pearl Millet is a principal source of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals for millions of the poorest people in the regions where it is cultivated. Pearl millet, like sorghum, is generally 9 to 13% protein, but large variations in protein content, from 6 to 21%, have been observed. Pearl millet grains are all very high in calories—precisely the reason they do wonders for growing children and pregnant women.
I have read about popping them like corn and using them as a coating for meats and fish (recipes are already in the works) and in making puddings. In South America they mix it with honey, molasses and chocolate for breakfast.

It will be expensive just like quinoa was before it became all the rage, but 1/2 cup of dry yielded 2 cups cooked so a little goes a long way. Most sites suggested pairing other grains with millet because it does have a strong flavor, but if you toast it first and then cook it, it makes it nutty and sweet. I like it, as well will you.

My first dish using this new seed is Stuffed Peppers. I wanted it to appeal to everyone (which isn't always easy to do) so I made it Vegan, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Low Fat and totally through the roof tasty. Even kids will go for this.

After 30 minutes in the oven, the millet puffs up and looks like mini Bulgar wheat. It has a great nutty taste which works with the vegetables.
A sprinkling of Vegan Parmesan will give it a nice salty component and the pignoli, a crunch.

We ate these with a roasted chicken and declared them worthy of using again. A big deal here because The Nudge is skeptical of unique, weird foods he's never heard of before, especially when I told him it's most commonly used in bird seed. Yea, that really went over BIG.

Millet Stuffed Peppers
makes 4 peppers

* 4 red bell peppers
* 1/2 cup toasted millet
* 2 cups water
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
* 1/4 cup chopped white onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 small can fire roasted peppers

Preheat oven to 350°

1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, heat for 3 minutes and pour the millet in and cover. As soon as you hear popping, stir continuously until they start to brown.
2. Add the water, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes.
3. Remove to a bowl. Wipe out the pan and add the olive oil.
4. Saute the onions, garlic and vegetables until the onions soften.
5. Add the juice from the tomatoes, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Cut the tops off the peppers, slice the bottom to level and clean out the seeds and membranes.
7. Fill each pepper with millet mixed with vegetables.
8. Place the peppers back into the same saucepan the vegetables were cooked in. Spoon the tomatoes around the peppers, cover tightly and bake for 40 minutes.

Carefully remove the peppers to a platter and puree the tomatoes. Toast the pignoli nuts and garnish with the sauce and nuts.

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Dixya said...

this year one of my goal is to incorporate new grains and not just quinoa and couscous. Millet is a great addition. thanks for the recipe and your tips on cooking millet.

Regan - The Professional Palate said...

Definitely adding this to my list of my-try grain recipes!

Deanna - Teaspoon of Spice said...

Totally cracking up over your birdseed comment to the spouse :) I've been writing about millet for trends pieces but have yet to try it - your recipe looks delish. I need to expand my grain horizons beyond farro and couscous (never have been a big quinoa fan - dietitian confession!)

achat caviar said...

Thumbs Up to this post! I had a great read with grains as super special recipe. And this millet cooking tip is really awesome.

Thanks for sharing.