Since getting an Amazon Alexa in our apartment, each morning I find myself asking, “Alexa, what’s the weather?” with no prediction of what it will be. In these transitional months, it could really be anything- from 50 degrees and windy, to 100 degrees and humid like mid July. I was in Canada with family last weekend and ended up wearing the one warm sweater I packed for the entire 4 days of my trip. I was in disbelief how cold it was, unable to wear any of the dresses or skirts I had packed.
As we’re transitioning from Summer to Fall, I’m getting ready to transition to new seasonal foods as well. My favorite peaches and cherries are no longer as available, but I’m eager for apple season and excited to see the stores stocking up on the winter squashes again.
I made this millet casserole for the first time when packing a lunch for a pool day towards the end of August. My cousins were all ordering sandwiches for lunch, so I wanted to bring something for myself that was easily transportable, filling, and easy to eat.
Mid-summer, I was gifted a pressure cooker. A little apprehensive at first, it’s now proving to be one of my favorite kitchen tools. After a couple of uses I started getting more used to it and am feeling more comfortable “experimenting.” It was perfect in the summer since I could cook things quickly, without heating up my small apartment., and I’m excited to use it even more now going into fall and winter. I have found myself using it every day to make grains, legumes, vegetables, and soup. I haven’t tried chicken yet, but it’s next! You can definitely make this recipe on the stove top, but with the pressure cooker it comes out just a little bit “richer.” One of my favorite parts of cooking grains in the pressure cooker is that they come out more dense and sticky. I love cooking vegetables with grains as well since it builds up the dish, nutritionally and with flavor, and it can either be eaten on its own or added to a salad.
This casserole felt like my first step into fall because I used both summer and winter squashes. I also added a little cinnamon, which immediately made the dish more savory, giving the warm feeling I often associate with the cooler seasons.
2 tsp olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow summer squash, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup butternut, peeled and chopped
1 cup millet, washed
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup raw pepitas
Turn your pressure cooker onto the brown setting and add the millet. Dry roast until it turns a rich golden brown, careful not to let it burn. Then add the oil, onion, carrot, summer squash, sweet potato, and butternut. Gently stir until slightly softened.
Add the water, cinnamon, and salt, and stir to combine. Lock the lid of the pressure cooker, and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Release the pressure using the natural release method.
While the millet is cooking, toast the pepitas on on the stove top until slightly brown and fragrant, stirring to prevent them from burning.
Fluff the millet before serving and sprinkle with pepitas.
* You can also make this easily on the stove stop! Toast the millet over a medium heat, add in the vegetables, then the water and seasoning. Bring the millet and water to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Allow the millet to sit, covered, for about 10 minutes before fluffing, add the seeds, and serving.