As the days get warmer, I find that my cooking becomes lighter and cleaner. I crave fresh, nourishing and wholesome foods. Foods that make me feel glowing, inside out! Luckily for me, nobody in the family complains. In fact, the kids are more than happy to help out to put together the meals (sometimes!). The younger one is super excited as he’s learning to chop vegetables for salads and assemble them as well. I’m happy with all the free labor I get! 😉
So here’s how this salad came into being. My organic grocery supplier got some bags of mixed millet grains and called me. Oh yes please! I enjoy the challenge of using alternative whole grains in my recipes. Combined with our favorite masoor chilka/ red lentils, to lend it some body, this made a simple, nutritious and a rather satisfying meal.
Millets are alkaline and easily digestible. Gluten free, high in fiber, high in protein, help in lowering cholesterol and are a rich source of magnesium. They are also very versatile; you can use them for making porridge, upma, pulao, pilafs, as stuffing for vegetables and also in in your muffins/cakes. Lentils are rich in protein, iron and also folate and magnesium which promotes heart health. Due to their high dietary fiber content and complex carbohydrates, they increase steady, slow burning energy. and improve digestive health. All in all this is a power packed bowl of salad that tastes absolutely brilliant!
Masoor chilka/ red lentils – 125 gms
Millet – 125 gms
Cucumber, finely diced – 2, small
Carrot, finely diced – 2, small
Green onion, finely diced – 1
Beetroot, boiled and finely diced – 1
Lemon juice – 2 lemons
Apple cider vinegar – 1 Tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil – 2 Tbsp
Salt & pepper to taste
Alfalfa sprouts, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Feta cheese (optional) for sprinkling on top
Rinse and soak the lentils for 10/15 mins. Boil them in plenty of water with salt to taste in a deep pan. These should be done in about 15/20 mins. You want the lentils cooked, but not mushy. Rinse in cold water and drain well. Cook the rinsed millet the same way as lentils. These should be done in about 15 mins. Rinse this also in cold water, drain them well and let cool.
In the meanwhile, put all the dressing ingredients in a little bowl and whisk them well. In a large bowl, combine the dressing with the salad ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let the salad rest in the refrigerator for an hour or so, for the flavors to develop.
Top with alfalfa sprouts, seeds and feta cheese. Serve cold.
Serves 4 generously.