(Photo Credit – Green Kitchen Stories)
Sometimes cold lettuce sounds pretty drab to me this time of year, so I came up with a winter salad that will keep you filled with nutritious goodness all season.
Instead of reaching for those oh-so-tempting hot unhealthy comfort foods when the weather goes polar-vortex, try my interesting combo of a gluten-free grain, veggies and fruit.
One of my favorite salad bases is millet. This ancient, gluten free seed lends a nutty flavor and a texture that resembles a hybrid between quinoa and couscous. Formerly for the birds (literally, used as birdseed!), millet is now a go-to for those of us looking to avoid the digestive issues that can come along with grains. It’s also a good source of magnesium, B vitamins, fiber, and it’s a highly alkaline food – meaning it prevents deterioration of our cells and provides energy!
Pair millet with a rainbow of your favorite winter produce and finish with an herbacious dressing. There is a good degree of flexibility with the ingredients, so feel free to make this one your own.
Multi-Colored Millet Salad
1 cup raw millet
1 organic cup frozen butternut squash
½ cup raw hazelnuts
1 avocado, diced
1 cup organic heirloom cauliflower, cut in florets and roasted
1 cup leafy greens (arugula or watercress)
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
2 handfuls green or red grapes, cut in half
1 handful pomegranate, seeds
1 handful basil, finely chopped
1 handful parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
Add ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss butternut squash and cauliflower in a T of olive oil, then place on a lightly greased sheet pan and put in oven to cook al dente, approx.. 15 minutes. Toast the hazelnuts by placing on a baking sheet and toasting for the last 8-10 minutes of baking time (keep a close eye on these!).
Remove the butternut squash and cauliflower and let it cool slightly. Allow the hazelnuts to cool as well, when cool to touch, rub them between kitchen towel to remove the skin, then roughly chop and set aside.
While the vegetables and hazelnuts are in the oven, rinse the millet and pat dry, then place in a small saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let gently simmer for 10-15 minutes or until soft and the water has cooked off.
Prepare the avocados, cauliflower, grapes, leafy greens, cucumber, pomegranate, and Herb Dressing.
Place the cooked millet in a large bowl, and allow to cool to room temperature. Then add the herb dressing and stir well to make sure all millet is coated with dressing. Add all ingredients to the millet mixture and gently fold to combine. Serve!