As we’ve been blessed with some good weather lately, there’s no better time to indulge in some healthy salads! This week, I’m sharing this delicious millet salad recipe from Escapada Health co-founder, Emilia Herting.
Emilia is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as well as being a director of the Escapada Health Clinic in Hamburg. Not only is her recipe mouth-watering and refreshing, but it’s also packed with ingredients that help to promote digestion, and strengthen connective tissue, hair, and nails.
Why Warm salads are Good for Us
Both the girls from Escapada Health love warm salads. Normally, the big difference between warm salads and common salads is warm salads are cooked. Most salads are usually made only from raw ingredients. Adding a vegetable grain to salads in the warm summer months helps keep us naturally cool. Plus they are just as beneficial on cool winter days when we want to eat something refreshing but not too cold.
Cooking not only benefits our middle, our digestive, and absorption tract but also relieves our digestive Qi (vital energy.) This, therefore, saves our strength and energy for all the challenges of everyday life. Make food your medicine!
Warm Millet Salad
Let’s look at the 2 main ingredients, millet, and beetroot. First up, millet strengthens your Qi (vital energy) and has a sweet taste. It is slightly drying when roasted prior to cooking and is assigned to the Earth element in TCM. Not only does it strengthen the middle (the digestive function of Stomach and Spleen), as its temperature characteristics are neutral, it can be eaten at any meal to compensate for any temperature patterns in our body.
From the TCM point of view, the health and strength of our middle play a pivotal role in our overall health. Therefore we should eat middle friendly foods and include plenty of yellow-golden grains (the colour of the earth) such as millet, quinoa, or barley. These help to strengthen the connective tissue that is especially beneficial for cellulite and during pregnancy. Along with strengthening muscles, tendons, and brittle nails, helping hair loss, the energy of the kidneys, and to clear accumulation of moisture in the body. Normally these can all be related to weight gain, bloating, and low energy.
Beetroot is packed with essential nutrients
Like millet, beetroot is also packed with health-boosting properties and in particular, it strengthens your body fluids (blood). In TCM, red beets are assigned to the earth element and are considered thermally refreshing. This makes them so wonderfully precious for our blood and body fluids.
In taste, red beets are sweet to slightly bitter and are often perceived as ‘earthy’. In particular, they have a supporting effect on our digestive system with stomach, spleen, and intestines, as well as on the liver and our heart. From the TCM point of view, blood as a precious body fluid belongs to the Yin aspect.
Think of these important body fluids for example like the engine oil in your car. Engine oil prevents your car from running hot and suffering engine damage. This metaphor can also be applied to our bodies because this is exactly what happens to us.
When our ‘engine’ runs hot, we run ‘out of balance’. Too little restful sleep and too much stress, time pressure, responsibility, anger, annoyance and frustration, all promote heat in your body which consumes body fluids.
The Benefits of Pink Millet Salad with Feta
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the prevention of disease is the highest principle. Through a holistic approach, which encompasses body and mind equally and also includes external circumstances such as environment, climate, season, and our current life situation. In other words, a person is understood in their entirety and can thus be treated individually. Without a doubt, a very essential part of this is nutrition.
In addition to acupuncture and herbal therapy, the appropriate diet, the so-called 5 elements diet, is one of the cornerstones of TCM.
The 5 elements;
fire, earth, metal, water and wood
correspond to the 5 colours;
red, yellow, green, white and black
and the 5 tastes;
bitter, sweet, pungent, salty and sour.
Each has a very specific effect on our organs and all processes in the body. It is exactly this effect that we want to make use of by cooking according to the 5 elements.
This beautiful pink dish is full of superfoods that will definitely warm, strengthen, and activate the entire body!
Not only is it easy to make and super-versatile, but you can also use any grain from millet, quinoa to barley or rice as the base.
How to make a delicious plant-based warm Pink Millet SaladCourse: mainCuisine: international, saladDifficulty: easy
1 cup of millet
3 beetroots (plus 3 tbs of juice)
1/4 celery root
1 organic lemon
1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
Fresh herbs such as mint, coriander or basil
Sheep or goat cheese or vegan alternative
Pine nuts or Walnuts
- First, wash the millet thoroughly in a sieve with warm water and drain. Put in a pot and roast millet briefly (no oil). Add double the amount of water and simmer for 7-10 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
- Cut off the stalk of the beetroot and cook/steam with the skin, either in a pot or in a steamer for 40 – 60 minutes until they are done.
- In the meantime, wash and roughly grate the apples and the celery.
- Wash the carrots, dice them finely and stew them with the bay leaf, fennel and caraway seeds in a little water until soft (3-5 Min). Once the carrots are soft, strain the cooking water. The cooking water can be drunk as a tea to aid digestion.
- As soon as the beetroot is soft, let it cool down, peel and dice it.
- In a bowl, mix the millet, diced beetroot and its juice with the grated apples, celery and steamed carrots.
- Season with lemon juice, walnut oil, pink pepper and salt.
- Arrange on plates and sprinkle with goat or sheep cheese and chopped walnuts and herbs.
- Tip: If there are any leftovers from the salad, you can use it to make small cakes.
- Simply stir in 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 egg and fry in a pan with a little fat. Delicious!
Of course, if you are vegan and want to try this recipe, you may want to swap the feta and there are many amazing substitutes on the market now!
Finally, you can see more from Emilia and Maeve O’Sullivan, co-founders of Escapada Health here: How to Balance your hormones using ingredients from your pantry with tips.
Make sure to check out 5 Ayurvedic Health Tips for Holistic Wellbeing.
|Natalie Shirlaw is passionate about healthy living and writes posts about wellbeing. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to pin it or share it!|