The state of my kitchen is a pretty good indicator of my mental health. If I’m feeling good, I use stuff up and keep things pretty tidy. If I’m feeling low, a lot of fresh produce gets composted and my dishes pile up. One thing that really gives me a mood boost is pulling together a recipe from the ingredients we have on hand.
I had been meaning to make a millet salad to take in my work lunches. Lately I’ve really been loving a grain salad over spinach with a protein thrown on top. We had some millet in the pantry so I had planned to make a lemon chickpea millet salad I found online. But I procrastinated because last week we had a lot of lunch meetings and I managed my way through without preparing anything.
This past weekend my parents came into town and brought some garden-fresh produce. After they left, I was sitting on my couch thinking about how to use everything up before it went bad. Initially I was thinking about making a pasta salad, since I scored a couple boxes of pasta on sale for fifty-five cents. Then the idea to make a summer millet salad hit me. I hopped up and started pulling ingredients out of the pantry, fridge and freezer and started boiling some water for the millet. Here is a rough recipe for my easy summer millet salad.
1 cup millet
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped mixed herbs — I picked some thyme, basil, parsley and chives from my garden.
1 can chickpeas
1 cup frozen corn
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing (more or less to taste)
Bring water to a boil. Add millet and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed.
Cool millet slightly and mix in the remaining ingredients. (I used up some Wishbone brand basil dressing and then mixed together some balsamic, olive oil and Italian dressing mix.)
You could serve this as a side dish, but I am eating it as part of a bigger salad for lunch. My lunch mix includes about 2 cups of spinach, chopped cucumber, a generous scoop of millet salad, some black olives and either a couple canned sardines or some fresh mozzarella.