Millet Bowl with Tangy Tahini Butternut & Chickpeas

Nothing can beat a steaming plate of rice topped with a crispy fried egg and drizzled in sweet soy sauce. It’s the tzar of down-home comfort food as far as I’m concerned, and it’s what I would choose for my last supper on earth.

BUT eating rice every day for 17 years will do you in, even when you switch out white rice for brown and red and wild. So when you head West to a big European city and chance upon the grains aisle at the eco-market around the corner, you may find yourself  squeaking like a chipmunk who’s tripped into a gorgeous cache of acorns.

I’ve been having SO much fun rooting through these new (to me) whole grains — barley, bulgur, amaranth, and quinoa (a past darling of the Muss, featured in my Tempeh Bolognese and Tabbouleh), to name a few. This recipe is an ode to my latest grain fling: millet.

It may be seen as bird food in the States, but millet is a staple in many African and Asian countries. And why not? It grows prolifically, is easily digested by the body and is rich in magnesium. Yay for healthy hearts! It’s also gluten-free.

Inspired by this recipe, I roasted cubes of sweet butternut squash and tossed them in a zippy, tangy tahini sauce along with some chickpeas. Spooned over a bed of millet, this vegan dish left us feeling sated and 110% nourished.

TANGY TAHINI BUTTERNUT & CHICKPEAS ATOP MILLET

adapted from the great Smitten Kitchen & Orangette

 

the body

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut in bite-sized cubes

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 big glug of olive oil

A pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper

1 medium-sized can of chickpeas, or about 1.5 cups/300g cooked and drained

1/2 courgette, chopped in small cubes

 

the tahini sauce

1 garlic clove, finely minced

Juice of two fat limes

3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 tablespoons water

A good glug of olive oil

Salt to taste

 

the millet 

1  1/2 cups  millet, cooked in 6 cups of water

 

Preheat your oven to 450 F/230 C. Toss the cubed butternut with the minced garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Slide it onto a shallow baking pan and into the fiery furnace for 20 minutes, or until soft.

Simmer the millet for about 30 minutes, turn off the heat, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the garlic, lime juice, tahini, water, olive oil and salt together. I actually added a squirt of fish sauce to add that umami POW! factor, but this is up to you. Taste the sauce to make sure the flavours are in balance to your liking, then pour it over the roasted butternut, chickpeas, and (uncooked) courgette.

Fluff the millet a bit and dish it up!

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