A millet "falafel"

The new year is always an opportunity to think about better eating habits.  For me that means I'm looking for ways to eat more veggies and whole grains, and less bread and pasta.  I also have the goal of finding ways to cook with new grains, seeds, and other ingredients I don't usually cook with to change things up a bit.

Last night I tried a recipe from It's All Good by Gwenyth Paltrow -- one of my go-to cookbooks for healthy inspiration.  I made the Millet "Falafel" with Avocado and Tomato Relish (page 203).  For me, falafel is usually wrapped in a pita, but this pita-less version is definitely a keeper.  Easy to make and full of protein and flavor, I think this will become part of the dinner time rotation -- especially if I'm feeding folks who don't do wheat.  Plus, this time of year I'm finding beautiful avocados in great supply, so it's a nice way to showcase them. 

The falafel is made of 1 part cooked millet, 1/2 part chickpeas with scallions, parsley and lemon zest mashed together with some olive oil and salt to taste.  I found that the key to helping the falafel patties stay together when frying them in a skillet (there is no real binder in them) is to minimize the amount of oil in the pan.  The finished result is lighter than traditional falafel, but still with a bit of crunch on the outside despite not being deep fried.  I opted to also make a yogurt-tahini dressing to drizzle over the patties (works well on pretty much anything else you can think to eat it on too). My five year old even ate one and pronounced it good.

The avocado-tomato relish is simply tomatoes and avocado dressed with some scallions and lemon juice.  And since I wanted a little something more for the meal, I tossed together a can of chickpeas, minced red onion, chopped bell pepper with salt, pepper, olive oil and champagne vinegar for second side salad.

I can hardly believe I'm posting a picture of the leftovers container from dinner last night, but that's all I've got since I'm out of the habit of actually photographing while I cook.  Despite the terrible pic, I hope it makes consider giving millet a try too.




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