Black Bean & Vegetable Grain Bowl

I am a sandwich person.  I willingly strive to eat a sandwich every day for lunch.  Every single day.  Mind you, I never make the same sandwich twice.  I enjoy making my own bread, experimenting with different toppings, mixing unusual ingredients.  But I’ve decided to try something new.  Just for a few weeks, mind.

I’ve decided to take the 28-day Whole Living Challenge.  I like the idea of detoxing the body after the holidays, forgoing the things we’ve had until we’re sick of them (sweets) but not sick enough to actively stop eating on our own.  And to try new recipes that we otherwise wouldn’t.  I’m even planning to try things I formally didn’t like.  Such as avocado.  We’ll see how it goes.

For now (at least for a week) I’m giving up sandwiches.  I’m removing wheat, dairy, eggs, coffee, and processed ingredients from my diet.  I feel like I’m in a culinary heaven of vegetables that not only taste delicious, but are good for me.

Which brings me to today’s recipe.  It’s an amazing concoction of grains, beans, vegetables, spices, and flavors.  I was surprised that I gobbled up every bit of it, and was craving more.  It seemed like a simple enough meal.  But let me tell you, it was better than anything I can remember having in grain and bean form.  Try it.  You’ll like it.

This recipe features millet, which I’ve never used outside of baking.  Millet has a mild taste, and reminded me of quinoa in texture, and couscous in flavor.  Feel free to substitute either or any form of rice, if you have no millet on hand.

Black Bean & Vegetable Grain Bowl (adapted from Whole Living)
1/4 cup millet
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
pinch of salt
1 cup water
2 oz. mushrooms, sliced thickly
1/4 large onion
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 small bunch broccoli
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. toasted sunflower seeds
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. rice vinegar
Place millet, black beans, and ginger in a small saucepan.  Add 1/2 tsp. salt to water. Bring to a boil, stir once, then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 25 minutes.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes, and then fluff with a fork.
Steam mushrooms, covered for 3 minutes.  Add carrots, onions, and broccoli, and steam for 4 minutes more.  Remove steamer from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer millet and beans to bowl, spoon vegetables over grain, and garnish with remaining vegetables and seeds.  Toss with dressing.

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