Millet With Root Vegetables Bake

With root vegetables abundant during winter, I regularly bake ‘em and serve with a side of grains. Needless to say, this recipe is very easy and rustic. Cut the vegetables into big chunks, mix with seasoning and herbs, and slide into the oven. While the vegetables are baking, take care of the carb. Serve as a quick, but filling, lunch or supper, on weekdays. There are umpteen recipes for root vegetables bake. But there are few things I want to discuss about this combination.

Millet With Root Vegetables Bake

In addition to eating right, I monitor our sodium intake very seriously. According to American Heart Association, our daily sodium intake should be 2300 mg, which translates to a tsp of salt. While I am no where near the perfect number, I reduce sodium sensibly in my day-to-day cooking. To achieve this, I use a combination of salt substitute and salt free seasonings.

Salt free seasonings are pre-mixed herbs, that add flavour without sodium to the dish, hence no compromise in taste. There are many herb blends offered by different brands. Choose what appeals to you. My favourite choice is Mrs.Dash – Original Blend.

Another option is using salt substitute. Salt substitutes are essentially potassium chloride, as against to sodium chloride in table salt. It is particularly helpful for people with high blood pressure, who need to keep their sodium intake under control. But, I strongly recommend consulting your physician before including salt substitute in your diets. If your body cannot handle potassium, then this may prove to be fatal. I also find that salt substitutes have a slight after-taste, hence I use this in conjuction with table salt. The brand I use Morton salt substitute.

Ingredients

Potato – 1, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
Sweet Potato – 1, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
Carrot – 1, cut into 1 inch rings
Red onion – 1, small, sliced into thin rings
Tomato – 2, sliced into thin rings
Bread crumbs (preferably flavoured) – ¼ cup
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Fresh herb (like Sage, rosemary or oregano) – 1 tbsp, chopped
Salt free seasoning (Mrs.Dash) – 1 tbsp
Pepper

Root Vegetables Bake

Clockwise from top left: Sweet potato, Red onions, Carrot, Potato, Tomato, Sage, Breadcrumbs. I used fresh breadcrumbs made from garlic and sun-dried tomato bread.

Method

Take potato, sweet potato and carrot in a bowl. Toss the vegetables with half of the oil, chopped herb, Mrs.Dash and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix breadcrumbs with the rest of the oil.

In a loaf pan, transfer the seasoned vegetables. Top it with a layer of onion, followed by a layer of tomato. Finally, spread breadcrumbs evenly, which provides texture and crunch. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. Serve hot with your choice of carbohydrate like rice, quinoa, millet or couscous.

Millet

To make this a balanced meal, I include a side of carbohydrate, but this is optional. With any vegetable bake, quinoa was always my first choice, followed by brown rice. When I am short on time, I also make whole wheat couscous. But, after seeing this post of Indira’s, I was quite intrigued with what millet is. I was surprised with what found.

Foxtail Millet

Foxtail millet is one of those forgotten grains that were a part of our ancient Tamilian culture. Foxtail millet, called ‘Thinai’ in Tamil, is offered to Lord Muruga, the patron deity of Tamil Nadu. Millet flour was usually sold outside Murugan temples and I remember how I used to love eating this as a kid. The flour itself is slightly sweet and is normally eaten with honey. Farmers in ancient India, ate a handful of this flour for breakfast before a long day in the fields. Packing a mighty power punch, no glucose powder can come near this. I was delighted to rediscover this childhood favourite of mine. Our beloved Mathy of Virundhu has left a comment on Indira’s post, which explains the story behind millet and Lord Muruga. Leave it to her for story-telling :)

Cooking Millet

Millet – 1 cup
Water – 2 cups

Pressure cook millet with water for 2 whistles. Once the pressure is released, let the grains cool for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve warm. If cooking on stove-top, bring water to a boil and add millet. Cook covered for about 25-30 minutes, without stirring in between. The grains will turn translucent and soft once cooked. Fluff and serve.

Millet With Root Vegetables Bake

Millet is slightly chewy and nutty, and is available in bulk bins at Whole Foods. Check out foxtail millet upma at Vindu.

33 comments:

Nags said...

wow! that is one healthy meal. love the pic of the millets!

Rachel said...

That was an enlightening post.....Have never had millet in this form...

eatme_delicious said...

Mmm I love roasted vegetables and this looks so good! I tried millet once and didn't like it too much. I should give it another chance though. Your photos are beautiful.

Padmaja said...

Sug!! what can i say? feel like grabbing that plate and eat!!Its fantastic!!!

Vanamala said...

colorfull recipe ... interesting

Happy cook said...

Inforative about the salt.
Here my hubby always complains that i eat too much salt.

Asha said...

WOW!! I love the photos. Never tried the whole millets bit worth trying!:)
Just sent you my entry too.

Pooja V said...

Wow...looks fab Su. I loved the root veggie bake.

sunita said...

Love your bake...I have always wondered how to use millet...now I know better ...thanks...lovely plate of food :-)

Uma said...

Looks Yum!!

sra said...

As usual, your pix take my breath away! A slightly difficult, but surefire way to reduce salt intake, is to have just fruit for one meal or two - and plain yoghurt - I dunno about any inherent salt these may contain, tho'.

bee said...

the british government has given companies 3 years to reduce salt in processed goods by 1/3rd, methinks. salt finds its way excessively into everything. lovely dish.

Mythreyee said...

I just love this healthy dish. Good info about sodium and its alternatives. Want to grab this for lunch today.

TheCooker said...

Millet or Bajri, as we call it in Marathi is usually used to make bhakri.
Never tried bajri (millet) in any other form. Thanks for the idea.

Mishmash ! said...

Quite an informative post. Admire your way of eating healthy :)

evolvingtastes said...

I thought Millet was bajri, and then saw thecooker's comment which confirmed it. The bajri flour available in Indian stores is usually old and smelly, didn't know Whole Foods stocked it, thanks.

Ashwini said...

Suganya thats such a hearty dish. Loved the combination of millet with root veges.
I switched to sea salt & kosher salt a few months back. I find that this has really reduced our salt intake. It adds a lot of flavor so you are literally forced to use less. Most people would probably find our dinners low on salt but by now our palates have gotten used to the flavor of salt rather than salt itself.

Suganya said...

Thank you Nags, Rachel.

Eat Me, I don't know what type of millet you had. Foxtail millet is more like quinoa, with a delicate taste.

Go ahead, Padmaja :)

Vanamala, Thank you.

HC, Too much salt is not good for you. I was surprised to find that we are only allowed one tsp of salt for a whole day...hmmm..

Asha, Thank you for your colourful entry.

Pooja, Sunita, Uma, Thank you. Do try cooking millet. It was fun rediscovering old grains.

Sra, I do take a tall glass of fruit smoothie everyday before lunch. Helps curb appetite and temptations to eat dessert :D

Bee, Its high time they do. I cannot stand certain food served in some eateries here in my city. They too very salty for my taste.

Mythreyee, Thanks.

TC, Bhajri is pearl millet. The one you see here is foxtail millet. There are different types, but they all are healthy.

Thanks Shn :)

Suganya said...

ET, I have answered to TC's comment. Bhajri is pearl millet.

Ashwini, You are right about our palate getting used to low salt. After a while, eating out becomes difficult. Everything tastes salty. But reducing sodium is the first step toward weight loss :). Also, I have noticed eating lot of fruits curbs temptations to eat dessert :)

musical said...

Now that's a super-food! Very hearty and healthy combo, Suganya! Love the pictures of millet and you captured the sage leaves so well! i am mesmerized!

Dhivya said...

wow!nice pic...i am drooling here..can u parcel this to me now:))))))

bittersweetblog said...

I've only eaten millet once or twice before, but I remember loving it... Now I can't think of a good reason not to stock up! Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful grain!

Kalai said...

Never tried millet before. Love the pics (as usual!). Roasted veg are my fave! Thanks for another great one. :)

Revathi said...

Talk about millet and muruga. I always thought thinai to be a sweet dish. I think thinai maavu is a sweet dish..

Thanks for reinstating on a timeless grain !!

Jayashree said...

Suganya, your pics always leave me drooling. Did you say just 1 tsp of salt a day??? Gosh!!! Iam way over that limit then.

Sia said...

informative post sug. i have reduced the salt content by half since i started cooking and we find outside food bit salty now for our taste. less the salt, u can really taste the flavours of other ingredients.

indosungod said...

I found foxtail millet at Whole Foods and was delighted, also glad to know the Tamil name as thinai.
Sodium is overlooked ingredient that is fatal than fat but never gets the scrutiny that fat seems to get :(

Lovely Root Vegetable Bake and stunning visuals as usual

Maya said...

That looks like a fantastic combination..Specially if it comes to health, must try this option. Have never made anything with millet, now I know :)...

Miri said...

Thanks for this delicious recipe - I love roasted veggies. The info is helpful too - I use cumin and amchur as well as garlic powder since we don't get the Dash kind of seasonings here, to cut down on our salt intake. Another thing I do, is to add the salt at the end, since it then remains at the top of the flavours, whereas if added in the beginning, you tend to increase the amount of salt as the flavour reduces after being cooked.

Meeta said...

Roasted veggies are the best. With my weekly CSA we are always roasting different veggies in different styles. I do like the flavors you have going on here!

Lucy said...

Always happy to find another use for millet - your photo of the grain itself is stunning, Suganya.

Kribha said...

Never cooked millet before. Your pictures are gorgeous as usual. Thanks for all that info too.

Srivalli said...

Suganya..thats such an informative post...and the pictures sure look lovely..never knew this is eaten in tamil nadu too...I searched the net nothing came up...maybe I searched with wrong keywords...yes I had seen this in indira's...forgot to link it..she had a good tutorial on this right..will update my post with these links...so useful!..

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