This last Saturday, on queue for Family Movie Night was Auntie Mame. This movie takes me back to my childhood, as it was always one of my Dad's favorites and I watched it several times as a child. I hadn't seen in it about 20 years, and Chris had only seen parts of it, so when we saw it available on Netflix, we had to go for it. Oddly (or perhaps it's not odd, and more just a sign of me getting older), I could barely remember anything about it. All I could remember was watching it with my dad and the sound of my dad's laughter as he enjoyed one of his favorite movies.
Getting ready for a night of laughing with my family on the couch put me in the mood for comfort food. Since it is summer after all, I was not in the mood for something heavy, but just something light, healthy, and full of "feel-goodedness." I turned to grains. Perhaps it is because I ate A LOT of pasta and rice growing up (so much so, that pasta has lost most of its appeal and rice only turns me on in ethnic restaurants), but eating a bowl, full of grains always makes me feel so "homey" and satisfied.
Enter millet and couscous. Millet is a starchier grain, but it is high in protein and B vitamins, as well as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. I love its texture but to add a little contrast, I added some whole wheat couscous. The rest of the salad came together with items I had received from our CSA (golden beets, cherry tomatoes, parsley), some lovely lemons from the farmer's market, and an excitement for a movie night full of laughs.
The salad, as well as Auntie Mame, did not fail to please. The millet/couscous mixture had a texture similar to risotto, but soaked in lemony goodness and combined with lemon-giner roasted beets, tartness from the cherry tomatoes, and the summery freshness of the parsley gave me a bowl full (and tummy full) of summer comfort. Auntie Mame filled our living room (and our hearts) with laughter and warmth. It was the same warmth I felt while sitting with my dad, my ears filled with his laughter, while eating the pasta he'd cooked for us. I highly recommend both the salad and the movie. They're even better when enjoyed together.
LEMON PARSLEY MILLET & COUSCOUS SALAD WITH LEMON GINGER BEETS
for the beets:
- 4 golden beets, peeled and cubed
- olive oil spray
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- several dashes of dried ginger
for the dressing:
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
- 1 T lemon zest
- 1 date, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 ½ T olive oil
- ½ T champagne vinegar
- ½ T Dijon mustard
- 2 T hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
for the salad:
- 1 ¼ cup millet
- 1/3 cup couscous
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 ½ cups fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Clean the millet and then add the millet and couscous to a bowl. Soak for about half an hour.
- Zest 1 lemon and then juice all of your lemons. You will need the juice of about 3-4 lemons. Set aside.
- In a 3 quart pot, heat the ½ tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Add the millet, couscous, water, and vegetable broth and mix to combine. Cover the pot, raise heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and recover. Let simmer for about 10-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until liquid is absorbed. It will have a sticky, risotto-like texture. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and let cool. You can refrigerate it to speed up the process.
- While the millet and couscous is cooking you can prepare your beets. Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your cubed beets out on the paper. Spray generously with olive oil spray. Top with lemon juice, lemon zest and ginger. Add salt to taste and toss to combine. Spread the cubes out evenly and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the pieces over, and bake for about 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- While the beets are in the oven, and the millet and couscous is cooking, you can make the dressing. Add all ingredients, minus the hemp hearts into a food processor or blender and blend until fully combined. Pour into a cup and add the hemp hearts. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Once the millet and couscous is cool, add the rest of the salad ingredients, the beets, and the dressing. Use a strong wooden spoon to mix it all together. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve. It will keep for 2-3 days and the flavors intensifies the longer you wait. Enjoy!
All Photos taken by Chris Miller
© Kristy Turner and Keepin' It Kind, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (content and images) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kristy Turner and Keepin' It Kind with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
This looks and sounds AMAZING, as do all the dishes you post! I have to confess though... in reading the line that says "eating a bowl full of grains always makes me feel so homey and satisfied," at first glance I totally thought it said "horny and satisfied" and I just about spit out my cereal. Especially since the line before said "rice only turns me on in ethnic restaurants." Ha! Perhaps a little perverted for 7am, but I got a chuckle out of it and just had to share!
Keep up the GREAT work with the blog!
Hahahahahaha! Oh, Randy! I would have loved to see you spit out your cereal- that is too funny!
I'm so glad you're liking it the blog! I'm having a blast with it. We need to have an Artisan reunion the next time you're up in LA! 🙂
Don't you just love one bowl meals? They're somehow hearty and light all at once. Perfect for the laid-back days of summer! I don't think I've ever seen Auntie Mame. Clearly I'm missing out!
One bowl meals are the best, especially when they're in salad form. And yes, my friend, you do need to see Auntie Mame. 🙂
This meal looks like a contender to your sweet potato beet salad you made for the VVP. Auntie Mame going in the queue!
Thanks Somer! I hope you enjoy the salad and Auntie Mame (there are a few lines that might not be appropriate for really young kids, or they might go over their heads. The twins are almost 12, and some of it still went over their heads.) Take care! xoxo
what a beautiful salad! i want to make this, but maybe with a mixture of millet and quinoa 😉
i hold the same sentiment about pasta. i ate it alot growing up(it was my favorite dinner), and a TON when i first went vegetarian. needless to say, i haven't eaten a bowl of pasta(not even gf) in probably 5 years. i just can't do it. the most i'll do is taste-test gf pasta i'm making for dayv to make sure it's finished cooking.
Thanks, Caitlin! I almost did millet and quinoa but I realized I hadn't done couscous in awhile and went for that. I think the quinoa will be awesome!
The only time I have pasta is when I taste-test it for the twins! I'm part Italian, so I get some dirty looks for not eating wanting to eat pasta, even if it is vegan. Oh well. You can't please 'em all. 🙂
I always think of millet as a winter warm-up food, but putting it in a salad seems like a great idea. It looks like it works so beautifully as the base for your meal-in-a-bowl. I also just got some millet flour and am looking forward to adding its toasty flavor to cookies.
Thanks, Andrea! I just got some millet flour too and I'm looking forward to doing some experimenting. Can't wait to see how your cookies turn out! 🙂
Gabby @ the veggie nook
Gorgeous! I love the colours going on in this dish. I always turn to grains too for comfort. I always used to eat pasta shells with plain tomato sauce when I was sick so I still crave that when I need some comfort!
The beets sound especially delicious. I love the idea of lemon and ginger with the earth sweetness of the beets!
Oh Gabby, the beets were wonderful! You should totally give them a try!
What is it about grains that makes them so comforting? Pasta shells were always my favorite type of pasta, back when I was into eating it! 🙂
puurtty colors! i dont eat much pasta but did eat a good amount of riee and wheat while growing up. With the transition to a vegan diet came the opportunity to try so many new veggies and grains and i am loving it! i would have never eaten millet or sorghum or other whole grains otherwise:) love the flavors and the colors in this salad. so refreshing!
my friends have now officially started giving me the "i dont know what planet are you from" eye, when i asked for some cauli and chickpeas to give to chewie since he was hungry.
Isn't it wonderful how much more variety is introduced into your diet when you become vegan? It seems like you're eliminating a lot, but you bring in so much more. It's pretty fantastic!
My family thinks I'm absolutely crazy. Chris's family is totally cool with us being vegan, but my family thinks I've joined a cult (I was actually asked If I had joined one because of the fact that I was vegan and I wore long skirts for 2 days in a row!). I'm pretty used to the strange stares now. I love that Chewie loves vegan food too! Sam prefers baby carrots over any other treat. It's pretty cute. 🙂
Looks gorgeous Kristy! Nice grain combo and your CSA ingredients sound tailor made for salad! Yum!
Thanks, Shira! I do love my CSA- the seem to know exactly what I need! 🙂
Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy
That sounds so delicious! I love that you added millet! It's my favorite grain right now:) Gorgeous photos as always -- it's like there are little gems in there:)
I'm all about the millet, right now! It's wonderful. Thank you for stopping by, Caralyn! I always love your kind words. 🙂
Fantastic! I always love millet whenever I eat it, but I have yet to find a satisfying method of cooking it at home. I even have some on hand, waiting for proper inspiration. Thanks for providing it!
Anytime, Hannah! Consider payment for all the inspiration you send this way! 😉
I love cooking millet and quinoa together but haven't tried it with couscous - I love the idea!
And anything with lemon, I mean loads and loads of lemon is what I crave this time of year!
Me too- lemon anything is so good right now! Lemon and Summer go hand in hand. 🙂