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Millet and Black Bean Gratin

Posted Aug 03 2010 3:16pm

I can’t imagine being a chef and getting an oil burn or anything worse than a little “whoopsie.”

Made with 1/4 c. each: chia seeds, mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, 2 T: sesame seeds, garlic salt

I gave myself a baby burn while I was removing my crackers from the toaster oven (…and being stupid and twisting my arm around with the pan to put it on the far side of the cutting board, so yes, it was my fault.) and it’s still screaming at me. Matter of fact, it’s right on the area of my arm that also rests right on the edge of the keyboard as I type. Smooth moove.

The worst part of this story is that it didn’t even leave enough of a mark to make anybody believe it hurts. Le sigh.

What’s the worst you’ve hurt yourself in the kitchen?

Anyways. The main reason I had to contort myself into strange shapes with the pan was because I was taking up so much room with veggies to broil for a Veg Gratin. I saw a lovely-looking one on Nicole’s blog this morning, and I had to have one. First I thought of making hers, except with bulgur instead of brown rice, and broccoli too. But then I started surfing, and found this one on Epicurious.

I can’t really say this is like either one, but since I never would have arrived at this point had it not been for that initial influence, we wouldn’t be having this discussion now, would we?

Millet and Black Bean Gratin

Serves one really hungry person, or two as a “mostly dinner.” Because that makes a lot of sense.

  • 1/8 c. millet
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • ~1/2 c. sugar snap peas
  • ~1/4 c. diced carrots
  • ~3/4 c. broccoli
  • 1/2 T. milled flax mixed with 1 1/2 T. water
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. dijon mustard
  • 1 small tomato, sliced thin
  • 1/8 t. garlic salt
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Begin by preparing your millet. To be honest, I’m not really sure how millet is supposed to be prepared (I thought it was 3:1 water to grain) because I followed the directions I found and kept having to add more water. But! I did toast it first, just so we’re on the same page.

While that’s simmering, prepare your veggies by seasoning with salt and pepper and roasting them for 15-20 minutes in a 400* oven. (for more crunch, don’t pre-cook your veggies.)

In a medium-sized bowl, mash up the majority of the black beans, some left for texture.

Add in the nutritional yeast, dijon, broccoli and carrots, and mix. You’ll want to make sure the veggies are relatively finely chopped. Once it’s combined, add in your cooked millet and then the flax egg. This helps to bind it a bit.

Spread the mixture out into a casserole pan, and top with the sugar snap peas and tomato slices. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes in a 400* oven.

Note: This was made in a toaster oven.

Observations: While I would have loved being able to do this with garbanzos or, even better – butter beans – I’m still in a bean crisis. Alas, the black beans in this weren’t so bad afterall! As I was making it, I thought I’d missed the mark just based on what I like. But I love the creaminess the beans and millet combined gives it. I was waffling about what to do for seasonings, but in the end, as you can see – kept it simple. Garlic salt was really enough! I find veggies, beans, nutritional yeast, and dijon don’t really need any crazy kind of “pumping up.”

Dinner: Naturally, I enjoyed mine over a bed of greens with some Ragu and feta.

Additionally, I think I’d probably like this with tomatoes and garlic and basil only (in the beans layer, beans being a white bean of some sort) but I have  broccoli and sugar snap pea overload. It’s okay, though – I do love them!

And last but not least – this was my first time trying millet! I know, I know – I realized at the co-op yesterday that I have so many grains I’ve yet to try. I was just going to restock on quinoa, but then amaranth, millet, and wheatberries had me change my mind. Didn’t get amaranth, but it’s in the line-up.

What’s your favorite grain?

But, back to something that didn’t require too much debate – breakfast!

I opted for gingerbread waffles today. To my typical waffle recipe, I added:

  • 1/2 T (?) molasses
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1/8 t. ground ginger
  • 1 t (?) light brown sugar

and to add to the ginger lovin’ I topped them with about 3/4s of a large banana sliced and nuked with chopped dried figs, slow roasted pecans, crystallized ginger, ginger-peach preserves, and a sprinkle of light brown sugar. Next time I would definitely add more ginger! And maybe a touch more molasses, too. I am always weary of over seasoning something. I mean – you can always add more, but once there’s too much, you’re done for!

These were a little bit “gooier” than the usual ones I make. Not a bad thing – I liked the moistness the molasses added – but just a forewarning if anyone has had trouble with these sticking in the past.

This proved to be the best fuel for dealing with the little monster today! He was quite full of himself. It was actually a lot of fun, heh. It’s also a little bit comical, because I think had a non-horse person watched us, they would have felt bad for me – but in the end, I felt very accomplished. Actually, I take that back – someone who couldn’t read a horse’s body language probably would have thought we looked good! There was a lot of “new stuff” to deal with. First, we rode while A was. Now, we’ve ridden with another pony in the ring before, and while A was finishing up – but never while she was cantering around, jumping, etc. So being in the same ring as another horse who moved faster than a slow jog was something he took surprisingly well. Didn’t care much at all until Jewel came in – the pony he (should be) used to, and doesn’t usually care about.

However, I think she may have been in heat, and Mr. Teddie here thinks he’s…ahem…more of a man than he really is. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he was gelded very late and has little baby Teddies roaming around. So, with her – he was fixated. I was actually about to cool him out – long reins and all – when he decided he would bee-line across the ring to get to her. Luckily I put the kibosh on that, and took advantage of his renewed energy to make. him. work. And would you believe it, that little stinker was bending, flexing, using his behind, and moving out like the best of them! I had a lot of fun :D We got a quick canter in, although as I was saying to A – “we don’t canter, we take strides of consecutive buck and then sort of canter.” haha. But it will come. He’s already caught on that I don’t want a really fast trot when I ask, I want a canter – he gave me (some bucks and) a canter within a couple seconds!

My other thought was that maybe he was nervous that “his” mare was in the ring with him and another gelding – who A was on. Anyways.

All of that hard work was rewarded with some of the best sludge I’ve made yet.

Yes, this was probably the grossest colored green monster I’ve made thus far – but definitely the tastiest! I took the cue from Amanda and added coconut water instead of almond milk today. I, too, have been feeling insanely thirsty lately. I always drink a lot – but yesterday I swear I was thirsty every five minutes. I didn’t have a problem today, so I’m wondering if it was maybe just from not drinking much over the weekend.

But it was all about the blueberry-coconut relationship today! In the blender went (approximately):

I topped the pond sludge with:

  • more fresh blueberries
  • quick oats
  • marcona almonds
  • shredded sweetened coconut
  • chopped date
  • drizzle of (local) blackberry honey creme

Oh. my. heavens. Why won’t coconut water just come out my faucet, already? So good. I enjoyed the rest with my smoothie – I think the whole bottle would have left it far too runny. I was happy to drink some plain, though :)

Wondering about the bennies of coconut water? I touched up just the basics here :)

Have you ever had coconut water? What did you think of it?

P.S. Alisa wrote a great article here about the findings linking calcium to potential heart problems. Well – that’s not as true as implied initially! Definitely give it a read :)


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