Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Savory Asian Millet Cakes

Millet is a very nutritious grain, with over 80 nutrients.  It is especially high in protein, manganese, tryptophan, magnesium and phosphorus.  Developing a repertoire of grain-based dishes will help you reduce your need for meat in your diet, which will in turn help preserve the Earth and our environment.  

I like to buy millet in the bulk section of the health food store.  To be extra kind to the environment, I take a clean jar with me to the store, have a cashier weigh the jar as I enter, then I fill it with millet and have them subtract the weight of the jar from the total weight.  If you find a store that sells bulk foods, and it does not have a clear system established for weighing containers before filling them, you should ask.  As more and more people indicate their environmentally conscious preferences for systems that reduce waste, businesses will respond with solutions that demonstrate their desire for sustainability.

A number of years ago, I had millet cakes from the prepared foods section of a supermarket in Baltimore.  I absolutely loved them, but never saw them again in that supermarket or anywhere else.  I tried to duplicate them more than once, with disappointing results.  I posted a quinoa recipe awhile ago that was adequate but not delicious.  This one is delicious.  It probably doesn't taste exactly like the millet cakes I ate so long ago, but I am pleased with the results of my experimentation and will definitely make it again.  Simmering the vegetables with the millet imparts a slightly sweet flavor, and the Asian seasoning is subtle but good.  I chopped the zucchini and carrots in a food processor, because that was the appliance I had on hand.  I might have tried shredding the zucchini and carrots if I had had a shredding attachment available.  Feel free to try that--and let me know in the comments how it affects it!  As an alternate method of preparing these, you could use leftover millet from another dish, and add sauteed carrots, zucchini, and celery along with the other additions to make the patties.

These cakes make a nice supper, with a green vegetable or salad on the side.  Leftovers are great warmed up for lunch.  

1 cup millet
2 1/3 cups water
½ tsp salt
1 carrot
½ large yellow onion
1 medium zucchini
1 stalk celery
½ red pepper, chopped finely
2 scallions, sliced horizontally
2 eggs
2 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
grapeseed oil

Toast millet in skillet for a few minutes, stirring, until it starts to pop and brown a little.  Chop carrot, celery, onion and zucchini to a fine consistency in food processor.  Saute vegetables in oil in a saucepan for a few minutes, until they begin to become tender.  Add water and salt.  Bring to a boil, then add millet and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Cool.  Mix eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar.  Add to millet mixture.  Add sliced scallions and chopped red peppers.  Mix with your hands, then form patties.  Fry patties over medium low heat in grapeseed oil until golden brown on both sides.  Press patties with spatula while cooking to flatten.  Makes about 12 patties, about 6 servings.

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