Lemony Millet Salad

We did it!!!

Everyone always says your wedding day will feel like a blur and they are right. There was so much going on and so many people to see. Lots of laughter and maybe more tears than I have ever cried.  AMAZING speeches by friends and family. No shortage of dancing and celebrating. Definitely some unforeseen challenges with weather, traffic and lodging but who wants things to be perfect anyways? Reflecting back on it all, I don't think I would change a thing. Love, no matter what form it takes, is beautiful. We felt insanely blessed to have so many people who love us come to share in the weekend. The outpouring of support from all walks of our lives was humbling. Commitment to share in life with someone else is one of the most amazing unions there is. Knowing we have the encouragement of those who have loved us long before we loved each other makes that commitment even more sacred. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world to be embarking in life with a man who builds me up, fills in my gaps and brings me so much joy. We are both on cloud 9!

Ok, enough with the sappy love talk :) 

It wouldn't be a Zest wedding without delicious and nourishing food! I worked with the Chef at Black Butte Ranch to create a healthy, adventurous menu that guests would love. 

Dinner started with a Shredded Kale Salad, recipe courtesy of Oh She Glows, one of my favorite food bloggers, and baskets of multi-grain bread. The main course was a dual entree of Smoked Salmon and Filet Mignon served with Roasted Veggies and, keeping in the spirit of Whole Grains Month, a Lemony Millet Salad from Edible Perspective, another favorite food blogger of mine. Last, but certainly not least, plates of roasted sweet potato wedges were served for sharing at each table.

Having the sweet tooth that I do, my absolute favorite part of the whole food shebang was the 5-tier dream wedding cake! Each tier was a different flavor of vegan and gluten-free goodness, prepared by Petunias Pies and Pastries in Portland, Oregon. I'm still swooning over how gorgeous it was, which was rivaled only by how delicious it tasted.

One of the questions we hear all of the time from our clients is how to eat healthy in times of socializing and celebration. I enjoy my social life SO much more when I feel energized. Eating well helps me to enjoy fun times to the fullest! It was amazing to host an event where I could share that mentality with others. No one had to sacrifice enjoyment or flavor and the energy was apparent on the dance floor. 

If you have never tried millet before, now is your chance! It can be made fluffy, sticky, creamy or even popped like popcorn! In the U.S. it is the main ingredient in bird seed but don't let that sway you. This grain is satisfying, tasty and definitely worthy of more than just your bird feeder.

Lemony Millet Salad with Chickpeas, Corn and Spinach (courtesy of Edible Perspective)

  • 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
  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.