Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lentils & Millet w/ Mint Sunflower-seed Dressing

Staple Grains & Globalization

Unfortunately, for a person with candida, the staple grains of North America (wheat, corn, oats, rye and even barley) cause reactions. They are glutinous (except corn) and stick to the GI track, and in so doing, feed the candida bacteria that have fastened themselves there, and so avoiding glutinous grains is a must for people with candida and autoimmune diseases. In Korea with rice as a staple, one would think that eating out would be easy and enjoying noodles wouldn't be a problem. However, white rice is served in restaurants but it is high starch, highly glycemic and therefore highly inflammatory on both counts. Although not served in restaurants, the expensive brown rice can easily be purchased in large supermarkets, but the nuttiness of the grain is well-worth the extra expense. As for noodles, whether they are rice or buckwheat noodles, the affects of western expansionism and globalization in apparent in the first ingredient on the package -- "wheat" -- and usually to the amount of 60-70%, and yet, they can still be labeled as 'rice noodles' and 'buckwheat noodles' because they were traditionally labeled so and people just go on expecting those ingredients to be central to the product. Ahhhh, the deceptions of marketing on the psyche of people ... and the expectations of people reinforcing that mis-marketing.

Cereal grains that I can get here in Korea and that are considered non-glutinous (although glycemic count does fluctuate quite a bit) are: brown rice, millet, buckwheat (in the Russian market), sorghum, and 율무 job's tears.

Tonight millet felt like the happy option. I don't eat millet much as it has a higher glycemic count than other grains, but in many parts of Asia and Africa it is an essential part of the meal. Even in the US among health circles it is "marketed" as a woman's grain, as it somehow is supposed to nurture the woman's fluctuating hormones or something like that.

Anyway, I made millet to be topped by a rich North African spiced lentil gravy with a huge tossed salad and a complementary sunflower-seed dressing with hints of mint. The dressing actually reminded me of sour cream once the dressing and lentil gravy started mixing with one another.

For making the lentil gravy, just substitute lentils for the millet in the October 26 posting on "North African Millet Stew". Also, the only vegies I added to the lentils were a large onion sliced long and 5-6 pieces of home-dried tomato slices for adding just a bit of extra flavor. I dropped the vegies in the last 10-15 minutes because I didn't want them to overcook and lose all their vitamins.

Mint Sunflower-seed Dressing

3/4 cup sunflower seeds (soaked 1 hour and soak water tossed)
1/2 cup cooked millet
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 lemon juiced (some zest would be good, I think)
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons basil
1-2 teaspoons marjoram

Whizz all ingredients in the blender to make a thick but pourable sauce/dressing. This recipe works really well as a sour cream substitute. Serve with green onion rings.

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