This Mediterranean millet salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course filled with delicious Greek flavours! Gluten free with a vegan option.
I have been on a huge Mediterranean kick this past month!
It might have something to do with the fact that I spent some time recently planning a Mediterranean themed class that I’m teaching a few times this month. Browsing through recipes of tabbouleh, fresh salads, and hummus gave me a huge craving for the fresh and salty flavours of Mediterranean cuisine!
And it doesn’t hurt that Mediterranean foods often boost huge health benefits. All of those healthy fats like nuts, olive oil, and fish and the fibre-rich fruits, vegetables, and legumes make the Mediterranean style of eating an extremely healthy one. It has been associated with lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, improved markers of inflammation in metabolic syndrome, and possibly even reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s and Parkison’s disease. All good reasons to eat more Mediterranean foods!
But I like to consider Mediterranean eating as less of a diet and more of an inspiration. I think we all know diets don’t work – plus who wants to feel like they have to adhere rigidly to a food plan? Instead I like to encourage clients to draw inspiration from the Mediterranean diet and incorporate meals centred around whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, seafood, nuts and seeds, and olive oil into their lifestyle.
This Mediterranean millet salad is a fantastic dish with many of the hallmarks of Mediterranean cuisine: whole grain millet, plant protein from the chickpeas, fresh herbs for flavour, sun dried tomatoes and olives, and of course olive oil to bring it all together. It makes a wonderful addition to any summer meal and the leftovers are great for lunches. It’s also a bit hit at barbecues – alongside the traditional burgers and potato salad, of course. Because it’s not about dieting, it’s about adding in healthy Mediterranean inspired foods where you can!
- ⅔ cup dry millet
- 1 (19-oz) can chickpeas, drained
- ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
- ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
- 1.5 cups fresh chopped Italian parsley
- ⅓ cup crumbled soft goat cheese
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring 1-1/3 cups water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Once it is boiling, add the dry millet, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool, then place in fridge for 1 to 24 hours.
- In a large bowl combine the cooled millet, chickpeas, olives, sun dried tomatoes, parsley, and goat cheese. Mix all together.
- Then whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small dish and pour over the salad. Stir until it is mixed in.
- Serve immediately or cover with seran wrap and store in the fridge for 4-5 days.
What are your favourite Mediterranean foods/dishes?
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