Print the recipe page! creamy millet and turkey salad
Cooking from your pantry using food storage ingredients doesn’t mean you‘re limited to rice and beans. Most people are familiar with rice pilaf, but millet is a refreshing change of pace and is gluten-free, unlike couscous and bulgur. If you aren’t familiar with millet, you’ve probably seen it a million times without even realizing… it’s those tiny buff-colored beads in birdseed. Fear not, its people food, too! Today’s recipe is for a creamy millet “pilaf” and turkey salad, served warm or cool, that is sure to tempt your taste buds.
Recipe makes 4-6 servings
Millet Pilaf Ingredients:
2 Tbsp butter
½ cup shelled millet, rinsed & drained
½ cup diced onion (2 Tbsp dehydrated)
¼ cup diced celery (1 Tbsp dehydrated)
¼ cup diced bell pepper (1 Tbsp dehydrated)
1-2 cloves minced garlic (1 tsp dehydrated)
About 2 cups of liquid (see notes)
2 Tbsp of sour cream (2 Tbsp sour cream powder)
1 medium diced tomato (15oz can diced tomatoes, drained, reserve liquid for millet)
2 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp dry parsley
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste
Millet Pilaf Instructions:
If using dehydrated peppers and celery, reconstitute with in enough warm water to cover them while you gather and prep your other ingredients. I’ve found most of the dehydrated veggies require a little extra soaking to come back to life properly. After a few minutes, drain and reserve liquid for use in the millet. If you’re using freeze-dried you can skip this step, just a little more water in the pan.
In a medium saucepan on low heat, melt the butter, and add the first five ingredients. Stirring gently, sauté the mixture until the onions are translucent and the millet has become slightly toasted (3-5 minutes). This step adds a rich nuttiness to the millet and helps blend the flavors.
Add enough liquid to cover the mixture, about 1 cup. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring periodically and adding more liquid as needed.
Stir in sour cream, tomatoes, seasonings, and enough liquid to cover the mixture, about 1 cup. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring periodically and adding more liquid as needed. (If using sour cream powder, you do NOT have to reconstitute it first).
When all the liquid has been absorbed and the millet is soft, remove from heat, set aside to cool and proceed to the turkey salad preparation.
Turkey Salad Ingredients:
1 can turkey breast (10 oz), drained
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
¼ c sweet pickle relish
¼ c diced onion (optional)
1-2 tsp prepared cream horseradish, to taste (optional, but highly recommended for zing)
Salt & pepper to taste
Turkey Salad Instructions:
In large mixing bowl, combine ingredients until thoroughly mixed and evenly moist. Cover and set aside to rest and blend flavors. (For safety, ideally, it should rest in the refrigerator; but a cool corner of the counter is fine for a little while since all the ingredients are cooked).
Once the millet pilaf has cooled to the touch, add it to the turkey salad and mix well. Serve warm or cool, over crisp greens with fresh tomato slices, or garnished with a few remaining canned tomatoes and a sprinkling of parmesan and parsley.
- This recipe is very forgiving, and you have nearly unlimited variations. You can substitute any other small grain for the millet, and any light meat for the turkey. It tolerates fresh, dry, canned or frozen substitutions; and can be made a day or two in advance since it just gets better in the fridge.
- When cooking grains, the liquid can be your favorite broth or plain water, but I typically use the liquid drained from reconstituted veggies and any canned ingredients, adding bouillon as needed. Not only does this pack a lot of flavor into every bite, it’s also a great way to conserve and make the most of your potable water. Waste not, want not.
- You can substitute vegetable oil or clarified butter (ghee) in this recipe, BUT nothing really compares to the creaminess real butter adds. I highly recommend the canned Red Feather Pure Creamery Butter from New Zealand, available from several long term storage food suppliers online. This is REAL butter with all its lovely fats and proteins intact, packaged in a shelf-stable CAN, just waiting to be deliciously slathered on your toast. Brilliant!
- Sour cream powder is the ace up my sleeve for luxurious creamy cooking. While it’s not quite up to eating plain in a dollop, it definitely makes for super-luscious mashed and au gratin potatoes, decadent sauces for grains and pasta, and delicious powdered egg scrambles and omelets (not just palatable, actually really tasty). I’m currently using Rainy Day Foods brand (a division of Walton Feed), but I’ve also tried Provident Pantry and Thrive brands and they work equally well and taste just as good. One big bonus with the powder is that don’t have to worry about it curdling or separating when you add it to a pan of hot liquid.
- The millet portion is adaptable for both wonder oven and solar oven. For wonder oven, after sautéing the millet and veggies, add everything into the pot with 1 pint of liquid all at once, cover and bring to a boil for 5 minutes then bundle it up tight overnight. For sun oven, you won’t get the sautéed nuttiness, but it still comes out nicely adding everything into one pot and letting it slow cook for a couple hours … just keep checking on it and adding liquid if it’s a really sunny because you can get a hard boil (instead of a simmer) in an sun oven in full sunlight.