Creamy Millet Lettuce Wraps

September 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago my days were nutty – living in limbo, looking for housing and preparing for a workshop on the other side of the country.  Finally, I’m starting to settle.  I’m living a few-minute bike-ride up the road from campus, living out of a dresser (no suitcase!) and am no longer in “eat-down-the-fridge” mode.  This past week I’ve indoctrinated my little kitchen with experiments.  On the sweet-side: I’ve whisked black tea leaves and autumnal spices — my first attempt at homemade Chai tea.  I’ve made granola bites for pre-run snacks.  Last night I made an experimental pumpkin-spice simple syrup to stir into this morning’s coffee.  But while I undeniably have sweet teeth in the most plural sense, I’ve also been craving a home-cooked meal.  After two weeks of pre-packaged vegetarian sushi lunches and carrot & hummus snacks from pre-made hummus tubs, I’ve been looking forward to an evening when I can chop my own herbs and use up my late-season garden veggies.  Two nights ago I struck gold with a light wrap — perfect for a hot summer night.  Instead of using a tortilla shell, I used lettuce leaves to sandwich my black bean & millet salad.  Each bite was spiked with basil and parsley, hints of lemon, two types of mustard and sesame.  I’ve eaten this hot for dinner and cold for lunch and I can’t pick a favorite.

Millet is a killer grain — a creamy or fluffy alternative to rice, depending on how you cook it.  It’s packed with protein and B-vitamins to boot.  Here’s a nice Dr. Weil article with tips on how to cook millet.

Inside the Wrap:
1/2 cup millet, dry
4 medium carrots, chopped
pinch sea salt, black pepper

4 small early onions (or 1 large onion)
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups black beans, cooked
1/3 cup basil, loosely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, loosely chopped

For the Wrap:
2 large lettuce leaves per person

Sauce:
1/4 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
pinch sea salt, black pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Chop carrots.  Pick through dry millet and remove any debris or small stones.  Using a 3:1 ratio of water to dry millet, fill small pot with slightly more than 1.5 cups of water.  Add carrots and millet.  Bring to a boil; lower the heat to a simmer and cook, with a lid on, for approximately 20-25 minutes until tender.

2.  Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic.  Heat splash of olive oil on medium-heat.  When hot, add onion and saute until wilted and slightly brown (about 6 minutes).  Add garlic and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Remove from heat.

3.  Chop herbs and combine with beans in a large bowl.  Add onion & garlic mixture.  Whisk dressing together and set aside.

4.  When millet is cooked through, remove from heat and add to beans & herbs.  Pour dressing over the top and toss.  While hot (or at room temperature, or cold) scoop large spoonfuls of the millet mixture onto open lettuce leaves.  Roll and eat like a wrap.

Diet Notes: Gluten-free, nut-free

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