Millet & Quinoa Patties with Curried Swiss Chard

I grew up with finches (the small gray birds with orange cheeks) and thought millet was just birdseed. I had no idea people all around the world ate it until just a few years ago! Millet has been cultivated in Eastern Asia for 10,000 and it is staple crop in parts of India and Africa. After reading about the numerous health benefits, not to mention the fact that it is gluten-free, I think it’s about time it became a part of our everyday diet.

This recipe was inspired by Hillary’s Eat Well veggie burgers which I found in the freezer section at Whole Foods. While I love their version, I thought I could come up with my own that wouldn’t take much time and allow me to add the ingredients and flavors I like. I started with this recipe but then made some changes based on a couple of trials. Add your own twists with different greens and spices. We hope you enjoy!

Millet & Quinoa Patties with Curried Swiss Chard
makes 10 patties

Recipe notes:  1) I stopped short of calling these “burgers” because I don’t think they are sturdy enough but I do think they would be good in a wrap with greens and a simple sauce; 2) I used Tant Hill’s rainbow Swiss chard but feel free to use most any green you have available; 3) psyllium husk is used a lot in gluten-free baking as it is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water and becomes sticky, thus holding the patties together. It can be online or in well stocked grocery stores (I found it at Whole Foods).

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) raw millet, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) raw quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 5 ounces Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves finely chopped (3 cups) and stems minced (see recipe note)
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk (see recipe note)
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  • To cook millet: add millet and 1-1/3 cup water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 13-18 minutes, or until the grains are tender and all of the water is absorbed. Remove lid and boil off excess water if needed. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • To cook quinoa: add quinoa and 1 cup water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 12-15 minutes, or until the grains are tender and the water is absorbed. Remove lid and boil off excess water if needed. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with millet and set aside.
  • For remaining ingredients: heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and Swiss chard stems and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and garam masala and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl with the millet and quinoa. Add the psyllium husk, brown rice flour, vinegar and salt to bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and using a biscuit cutter or your hands, form into 3-1/2″ wide by 1/2″ tall patties (about 1/3 cup of the mixture per patty). At this point, I would recommend you place the baking sheet directly into the freezer for a few hours until frozen through and then transfer frozen patties to a ziperlock bag.
  • To cook: heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook a few patties at a time until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 5 minutes and serve.


Peppermint Patty Herb? Wow!

There are a variety of popular herbal mints and Chocolate mint is a decadent one. Chocolate mint has shiny dark green leaves with brown veins. These leaves are smaller than other varieties of mint, and when you rub the leaves between your fingers, you get the heavenly scent of chocolate mint. This variety grows 12-18 inches tall and has violet or lavender flowers throughout the growing season. To keep the leaves from getting bitter, cut off the flowers before they bloom. If you want to attract bees and butterflies, let the flowers bloom. Chocolate mint has a peppermint patty flavor that is a nice addition to desserts, beverages, syrups and more. It may be used fresh or dried.

Preserving Mint

Hang mint in small bunches in a dark, airy place until crispy dry. Or you may dry your mint in a food dehydrator or microwave if you need to quickly dry it.

To freeze mint, dip it in boiling water for a few seconds and then plunge it into cold water. Shake off excess water and pack lightly in containers and freeze. Use mint immediately after thawing at room temperature.

Culinary Uses for Mint

The culinary uses for mint include refreshing hot or cold teas, mint sauces, mint vinegar, simple syrup, jelly and mint juleps. Add fresh mint leaves to new potatoes, peas, fruit salads, drinks and punches, summer cold soups, fish, yogurt dressing, mix with chocolate, bake in cookies, breads and cakes. A delicious Near East salad combines spearmint, lettuce, chicory and a sesame seed dressing.

Add minty flavor to steamed vegetables by adding mint leaves to the water. Freeze mint leaves in ice cubes and use to flavor tea or lemonade. Adding it to sweet juices is amazing…

Cantaloupe and choc mint = the taste of a peppermint patty. Watermelon and choc mint = amazing yummy goodness!!!

Try it with everything sweet… it enhances the flavours so beautifully.

Medicinal uses for Mint

Mint has been used for its medicinal properties for well over 3,000 years! Greek and Roman herbalists prescribed mint for everything from hiccups to leprosy. The English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper listed over 40 medical uses and wrote “Mint is very profitable for the stomach!”

The Pilgrims brought numerous herb and garden vegetable seeds to America, and among them were mint seeds and dried leaves. During their voyage to America, the Pilgrims often mixed mint with other herbs to calm seasickness.

During the Middle Ages, people used mint to ward off disease and carried mint leaves in their purses to attract wealth and love. They also thought burning dried mint leaves helped induce a peaceful sleep. Dried leaves were also used for strewing throughout the house to reduce odors and insects.

During World War I when traditional drugs were in short supply, a resurgence of herbal healing began and mint or garlic was often part of first aid kits. Today, herbal remedies continue to make a revival as many patients look to alternative medicines. Always talk to your doctor before trying herbal alternatives.

Peppermint tea helps digestion and is a common home remedy for cold and flu symptoms because drinking frequent cups will promote perspiration and reduce fever. For relief of abdominal pains and gas, drink a peppermint-milk infusion.

In Mexico and the Southwest, spearmint tea is preferred as a general remedy for diarrhea, neuralgia, gargled as a mouthwash and used as an antiseptic on wounds and sores. Macerate spearmint and peppermint leaves in a carrier oil and massage area for migraine, facial neuralgia or rheumatic and muscular aches. When added to lotions, peppermint may help reduce pain and sensitivity.

Have fun with your Chocolate Mint!