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

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


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


Sweet Potato + Black Bean Burrito

September 7, 2008 § 4 Comments

1 sweet potato
2 cups black beans, pre-cooked
2 cups corn, raw or pre-cooked
1 onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
sea salt, pepper
1-2 teaspoons chili powder (to taste)
cilantro, avocado, tomato, cheese (optional)
tortillas (whole grain or brown rice)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub sweet potato and chop into bite-size cubes.  Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until crispy around the edges and soft in the center.

2. Meanwhile, chop all other ingredients, save the avocado, and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, saute onions in olive oil until they start to carmaelize (about eight minutes).  Add garlic, cooked beans, corn and cook until heated-through.  Add chili powder and taste; season with additional spice, salt or pepper.

4. When sweet potatoes are fully cooked, remove from oven and add to skillet.  Remove skillet from heat.

5.  While oven is hot, place tortillas on a baking sheet and, if using, top with cheese.  Warm in oven for a few minutes.

6. Remove tortillas from oven and spoon bean & corn mixture on top of the tortilla.  Add toppings and serve warm.

Diet Notes: Vegan (with cheese modification), nut-free, gluten-free (use brown rice tortillas).

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