Millet Marries Chickpeas, Comfort Food In Loaf Form

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Sometimes you just want something hearty and substantial to bite into, and this loaf is that. Yes, it takes a bit of time to put together, but it truly is a meal in loaf form. Loaded with protein and minerals from the chickpeas, vitamins from the millet and vegetables, amino acids from the sunflower seeds and fiber from everything, this recipe is a nutritional powerhouse. And I like that it stars millet, a mild, sweet-tasting grain which doesn’t get the love it deserves. This recipe serves 8-10, so take it to a potluck or slice and freeze in zip lock bags. Served with a favorite gravy or sauce, I think this loaf’s subtle goodness will sneak up on you.  Full recipe after the jump.

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Pearl millet growing in a field. Millet has been cultivated in East Asia for thousands of years, and while India is the largest single producer of millet today, Africa is the world's leading millet growing region. (USDA photo)

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Winter Veggies: Dino Kale w/ Shiitake Mushrooms and Garlic

Until I grew it myself and picked it young, I didn’t much like kale. My complaint was that by the time you’d cooked it until tender,  much of the color and flavor had disappeared. The answer, I discovered, is to grow your own or be very choosy about what you buy at the farmer’s market or store.

More recently, I’ve come to like this ancient and widely-eaten member of the cabbage family quite a lot. Dino kale, aka lacinto kale or, in Italian, cavalo nero, has the advantage of being cold hardy and  standing up well to shipping and storage.  If you trim out the firm stems and cut the leaves finely, you can cook it until tender while preserving most of the great color and flavor.  Here’s a quick and tasty way to cook dino, or any other kale for that matter: Continue reading

Winter Veggies: You’re Going to Love Broccolini

Broccolini, quickly stir fried with garlic and ginger

What’s not to like about broccolini? In the milder parts of California, it grows  year round, it’s quick and easy to cook, great nutritionally, and it tastes so good. I bought a bunch of organic broccolini at the Vallejo farmer’s market this morning, and literally within minutes after arriving at home was eating  the dish you see above. And although it was meant to be two servings, I confess that I quickly polished off the whole lot. Here’s how I did it: Continue reading