This is a really quick and easy salad that is great on its own and packs well for lunches too. One of the reasons I like this salad is that is it is a great source of fiber and protein making it a rounded meal with all the veggies in it.
You might read the title and think “ancient grains? What the heck is that?”
Let me tell you my friend that the grain I am talking about here is millet! Now you might be thinking “millet? Nah, that sounds too weird! Pass!” but I encourage you to try this recipe out, or at least keep reading!
Millet is an ancient grain – it is estimated that it was used as far back as 8300 BC. A great feature about millet is that it is gluten free. That makes this a safe choice for a sharable dish as well as for anyone with a gluten allergy or intolerance.
One thing I’ve learnt through my own health battles with Lyme Disease is that my symptoms always seem to flare up when I splurge and eat more gluten-containing foods than I should. Recent tests that were done while I was in Switzerland for Lyme treatment actually showed that I do have a mild allergy to gluten so avoiding it is now even more important.
Millet is also a great choice for those who need to follow a low FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols”. For people with digestive health issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) FODMAPs are poorly absorbed in the bowel and can cause gas, bloating, and pain.
One cup of cooked millet has about 200 calories, 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. It contains about 20% of our daily requirement for magnesium and phosphorus. Magnesium plays a really important role in over 300 functions in our bodies ranging from supporting nerve and muscle function, regulating our heart beat, maintaining strong bones and a supporting a healthy immune system. Phosphorus also helps our bodies with nerve and muscle function as well as regulating our heart beats.
Millet is an ancient gluten-free, low FODMAP grain that is a source of protein, magnesium and phosphorus. Its appropriate for people with gluten allergies and sensitivities and can be eaten by those who suffer from digestive health issues without causing gas, bloating or pain.
One thing to note though is that if you do have a lot of issues with gas, bloating and pain this salad does contain chickpeas which is a food to eat with a bit of caution when it comes to following a low FODMAP diet. Eaten in small amounts it can be tolerated by many, but if they trigger symptoms you can substitute chickpeas for canned lentils.
This works well on its own or can be added to a bed of lettuce for a larger, meal size salad.
Spiced Chickpea & Carrot Salad with Ancient Grains
- 2/3 cup cooked millet
- ¾ cup cooked chickpeas
- ¾ cup mixed shredded cabbage
- 1 carrot cut into ribbons
- 1/3 cup chopped red pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp mint
Combine the olive oil, lime juice and spices in a large bowl and mix well
Add remaining ingredients and stir to evenly coat
Let stand for at least 30 minutes before serving
If your using canned chickpeas rinse them well under cool water first. For the cabbage mix I find it easiest to use the pre-chopped bags of mixed cabbage or even broccoli slaw will work. The carrot can be easily sliced into ribbons using a regular vegetable peeler – just peel the outer edges, discard them and continue to peel the carrot lengthwise into long ribbons.