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Wednesday
Jun122013

lemony millet salad with chickpeas, corn, + spinach

Lately, our dinners have been last minute + pretty make-shift.  Tortilla pizzas for the win!  While sometimes those dinners are delicious and create little cleanup, they also don't offer leftovers that can be eaten for lunch the following day.  So, I'm on a mission to come up with a handful of new recipes that work as dinner, lunch, or leftovers.

I also want to focus on simplicity and fresh flavors.  This recipe is just that.

The dressing is literally 3 ingredients: olive oil + lemon juice + lemon zest

While you could get fancier adding a little sweetness, mustard, garlic, or the like, it's really not necessary at all.

A sprinkling of fresh herbs on top is really all you need as the finishing touch.

By the way...can I just say that I am loving my lemon thyme + oregano plants so very much!  I can't believe how lemony the lemon thyme actually is!

If you're new to millet it's a definite must try.  It's a bit thicker + chewier than quinoa with a less earthy flavor.  My favorite way to cook millet can be found in this post.  I typically cook it with no oil and only water, but adding a little oil in the pot before cooking and using half veggie stock-half water is also a great option for more flavor.

As the millet cooks you can work on the chickpea, corn, and spinach mixture.  I again went simple with the spices using only garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.  

I am loving the pairing of cumin + lemon!

I would definitely call this a 30 minute meal.  And after it's done cooking you can serve it up hot or let it chill in the fridge and serve cold.  

Or, for two other serving ideas you can:

  1. wrap this up in a tortilla or large collard leaf with fresh herbs + avocado
  2. scoop onto a bed of greens with fresh herbs, avocado, pepitas, and an extra squeeze of lemon

Print this!

Lemony Millet Salad with Chickpeas, Corn, + Spinach gluten-free, vegan // yields 3-4 meal-sized servings 

  • 3 cups cooked millet
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained + rinsed
  • 7-8 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest from 1/2 of a lemon
  • toppings: fresh thyme, oregano, avocado, pepitas, hot sauce, etc.
  1. Pour 1 tablespoon safflower oil [or other cooking oil] into a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add the chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add the corn and cook for another 7-10 minutes until the beans + corn are starting to turn golden brown.
  4. Add in the cumin, garlic, and a big pinch of salt + pepper.  
  5. Stir for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant then stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted [about 2 minutes].
  6. Remove from heat and toss with 3 cups of millet, then refrigerate uncovered until fully chilled.  Stir the mixture while chilling to speed up the process.
  7. Combine the olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a jar and shake vigorously to combine.
  8. Pour desired amount of dressing over the chilled millet mixture and toss to coat.  I used nearly all of it.  Or, leave undressed and portion out dressing to package up and take to work with you if desired.
  9. Taste and adjust salt + pepper and add more lemon juice if desired.  
  10. Finish each serving with a sprinkling of fresh herbs + avocado.
  11. Or, place in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat.  Keeps for about 2 days after dressing.  

notes/subs: Feel free to serve this hot if desired: After step 6, toss with the dressing and serve with fresh herbs + avocado.  I prefer this meal chilled.  If you don't have millet on hand quinoa would work perfectly.  [A non-gluten-free alternative would be couscous.] 

Fresh.  Simple.  Leftover-friendly.  Mission complete.

Ashley

Other leftover-friendly salad-type meals from the archives:

 

 

Reader Comments (29)

I prepared this for my family last night. Guess what? The kids loved it! You are heaven sent!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouise
Hey Ashley, in preparation for your breakfast Fridays....have you ever tried popping amaranth in a brown paper bag in the microwave like you can with popcorn?
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
I love quick, easy and simple meals in the summer. Food should be easy going, just like summer days! This sounds awesome!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
I love this simple meal! Using lemon for flavoring has recently found a special place in my heart. I would probably try it with quinoa since I have that on hand!
Damn that corn looks fine! I'm so happy sweet corn season is around the corner. I might just make this tonight since it looks super easy and I think I have all the ingredients on hand!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha
I love this! It's so nice to make something like this and then eat off of the leftovers for a few days. The simple dressing sounds just perfect!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie @ Little Kitchie
Leftovers are LIFE over here. Meeker says our fridge is "empty" if there aren't a couple of containers full. This looks like the perfect thing!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
This is exactly the kind of food I like to eat. During busy uni terms I'd often prep a grain/bean salad on a Sunday to last me for lunches throughout the week. I don't think I've ever had lemon thyme before..wonder how quickly it grows, maybe I should start a pot to add to my herb collection...
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
Looks perfect for a picnic! I've really been loving corn lately- looks like a great way to enjoy it!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne
I agree with you - it's so nice to have recipes for dinner that provide leftovers! I always feel lost in the morning when I'm packing lunch and there are not leftovers! This is definitely a perfect "make a lot" recipe that I can eat for lunch all week!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Tadic
Gorgeously simple! The flavour combination sounds lovely, and I love millet!
Another brilliantly colourful meal. I'd imagine getting cheerful just by looking at it (followed shortly by consumption)!
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIrina @ wandercrush
This salad sounds like the best dinner--especially because the leftovers would be so good cold the next day for lunch too! :)
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEileen
I am totally going to make this for lunches next week! Looks amazing.
I love how healthy and wholesome this looks. I haven't tried lemon with cumin but this recipe would be a great reason to start!
That looks delicious.. Really simple too...
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. & Mrs. P
Made this for dinner last night! It was exceptional. Added some gd sumac along with the cumin and some harissa to the dressing. Can't wait for leftovers today!
June 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlynn
@Emma - Ooh, no! I haven't tried that but it's a great idea!

@Lauren - Hope you + Scott love it!

@Lynn - So, so happy to hear! Love your additions!
June 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Ooooooooooohhhh, I want to eat this now. It looks. SO. good!!!
Wow - this looks like it would make such a perfect take-to-work lunch. YUM!
I made this tonight for dinner, and I packed the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I made it with quinoa instead of millet, and I just couldn't wait for it to cool. It was delicious, light, and satisfying. Thanks for the recipe!
@Lauren - Glad you liked it! I bet it was even lighter with the quinoa. Thanks for letting me know. :)
June 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Hey Ashley, I wanted you to know that I made this millet salad this weekend and I.AM.HOOKED. It is delicious. Fresh chunks of avocado really kicks it up a notch. I've been looking forward to lunches this week:)
June 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
LOVED this recipe! I made a double-batch last night for a crowd and wished I had tripled it so we'd have more leftovers! :) Love the simplicity of this recipe- perfect for summer. Thanks for sharing!
June 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErica
Ashley, this is a great potluck idea too. I'm making it for my extended family. However, chickpeas upset my digestion severely (so sad). They are a pretty unique bean, but what other type might make a nice substitute? I'm afraid to make it too mushy w the millet. Pinto and black are firmer, but will they complement the flavors?
June 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterallie
Delicious! Made it today for my Thursday & Friday work from home lunches. Followed your directions and topped with tons of fresh thyme, salted pepitas and half a diced avocado! Thinking i'll be adding some sriracha into the mix tomorrow...
June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennie
Hi,
Can I freeze cooked millet (and thaw on the counter top) like Quinoa? Thanks!
July 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
@Rachel - Hmmm, I've never frozen quinoa so I'm not sure! They're pretty similar so I would imagine if quinoa thaws well millet also would. Let me know if you try it!
July 23, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Just made this for dinner tonight. I served it warm and it was absolutely delicious. The only change I made was using chard instead of spinach because it was what I happened to have on hand. Thanks for the recipe!
July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTara

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