After fretting over a recipe to make for St. Patrick’s Day and then having a few gluten-free/vegan cakes crash and burn, Eric suggested that I switch things up and make pesto. It’s green, right? He was onto something, that clever man. I peered into the fridge and found zucchini, avocado, and spinach. Also green. They were also not growing fur which is always a miracle in this house. On the counter, green lentils and millet. I don’t really believe in fate, but this was the perfect combo for a healthy green dish!
I’ve had a few requests to show you some of the meals I’m eating while on the allergy elimination diet. It was rough at first and I had no idea what to eat for a while. It’s getting easier though and I’m determined not to let this challenge translate into boring, bland meals. Last week’s recipe was an example and so is this dish today. Let’s hope I can keep this enthusiasm going!
This isn’t actually “pesto” per say since it’s nut-free, but it’s close enough. I adapted my beloved creamy avocado dressing for this one. It’s a simple blend of avocado, basil, extra virgin olive oil, lemon, sea salt, and garlic. The dressing has a nice zip to it, kicking up the dish several notches which is always a good thing when cooking with millet. I like it in generous supply on my plate as you can probably see!
Green Powerhouse Pesto Plate
vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free
Email, text, or print this recipe
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup uncooked millet
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced (or vegetable of choice)
- 3 handfuls spinach
For the pesto:
- 1/2 large avocado (about 1/3-1/2 cup flesh)
- 2 small or 1 large garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- fine grain sea salt, to taste (I used just over 1/4 tsp)
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves (one entire 40-gram package)
1. Rinse and drain lentils in a fine mesh sieve. Add to a medium pot along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer uncovered for 25-40 minutes. When lentils are tender, remove from heat and drain water if necessary.
2. At the same time, cook the millet. Rinse and drain in a fine mesh sieve and add to a medium pot. Add 2 cups of water or vegetable broth, bring to a low boil, and reduce heat to low-medium. Cover with tight fitting lid and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and leave lid on to steam for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
3. Meanwhile, sauté the zucchini in a skillet with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper for about 5-10 minutes, or until much of the water has cooked off. Add a few handfuls of spinach into the skillet and cook until wilted.
4. To prepare the dressing: Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Adjust salt to taste.
5. To assemble: Toss the millet and lentils together in one pot and season with Herbamare and pepper. Portion onto plates followed by the zucchini and spinach mixture. Now spoon on a generous amount of dressing and serve!
For nutritional info, see here.
Three cheers for a gorgeous spring-like weekend, long walks, and an extra hour of
photography day light! I don’t know about you, but I have full blown spring fever.
PS- Keep those entries for the VVC giveaway coming in. I’m happy to see how many of you are in the area or within driving distance.
I made this last night, and it was delightful! I didn’t read the instructions too closely, and accidentally blended the spinach into the avocado dressing (I did that with a stick blender, since I only have a mini food processor – worked great!). I think it came out delicious! :D
This recipe looks amazing, as all your recipes do. Just wondering what I could substitute the avocado with, if anything? I love avocado, but unfortunately it gives me the worst stomach pains!
I dont know of anything off the top of my head, but if I think of anything I will let you know!
This is solid gold! I’m in love with millet from the beginning. Millet flour, teff pancakes, here I come!
what could we substitute the avocado with to make it creamier ?
we dont get great tasting avocados here in India..they are all imported..i want to use something local
What about soaked cashews?
Hi Angela, I’ve made this recipe twice in the last two days and I absolutely love it!!! Thanks for the gorgeous recipes and the inspiration! I just discovered your blog and I
I cant stop looking at the beautiful recipes and photography!! Keep up the awesome work :)
:) I am making this this week. We are trying to add more avocados to our diet. They are packed with nutrition and they are great for fertility. However, I lack creativity with avocados and they usually end up..mushy because I neglect to eat them. Thanks for a great recipe!
Just wanted to drop in and say thanks for posting such an amazing recipe! I have made this so many times, always to huge compliments from whoever tastes it! It has definitely become one of my go-to super green weekly dishes. Thanks for all the inspiration, your ideas really touch others, even as far as here in South Africa (where I stay and where there is little vegan inspiration).
Thank you so much Amy!
My daughter and I had this for dinner tonight. Oh my gosh, it was amazing. I didn’t have any millet in the house so I used barley. This is definitely one of my new favorites. The dressing is to die for. Thanks!
What a fantastic looking recipe. And way better for St. Patrick’s day than green dye in lo quality beer!
this was sooooooooo yummy! :) m m mmmmm
I made this dish last night; my boyfriend and I loved it. I was super excited to get leftovers for lunch. I think that the avocado pesto was phenomenal. Thanks for this recipe!
I really want to make this. But, everytime I try I’m missing an ingredient. Darn. I’ll succeed one day. I love your site! I reference it all the time for ideas.
Picked up squash and basil at the farmer’s market this morning and love how it all turned out! Added another clover of garlic, upped the spinach, cut the millet/lentil mixture down by 1/4, and we ended up with very full, happy stomachs. I think next time I’ll cut the millet/lentil mixture down to 1/2 and up the spinach even more (admittedly, we love spinach.)
We needed to get back on track after a week of beach vacation eating and this *exactly* what we needed.
I just made this and the taste is great! But I was wondering, the sauce is that yucky brown color and I only made it about 10 minutes ago. Is there anything I can do to avoid that in the future? Thanks so much!
I made this for St. Patrick’s Day instead if the ol’ traditional Corned Beef and cabbage. I have turned completely vegan for health reasons and am loving it 100%. Especially Angela’s recipes. This one was so easy and tasted so so so good! I used vegetable broth in the millet and I think I added to much because it was a bit mushy. So next time I am going to use water and less of it. It was still fine though. I think next time I want to add mushrooms to the zucchini and spinach. This recipe can totally be modified with whatever veggies you like. The pesto was my favorite part!! Super easy to make. I put a little more garlic because my fiancé and I love garlic. I will make this again and again. Thank you so much Angela!
This was amazing and simple to make! I added a sprig of fresh thyme and rosemary to the water for cooking the lentils. Then I used the liquid (2 T) from cooking the lentils to put in pesto. We also added some sauteed onions. Didn’t put any oil in pesto and just drizzled some over the top of lentil/rice/veg before adding pesto. We will be making this tasty meal again…thanks!
Oh my goodness! So in love with the few recipes I have been introduced to so far! I am asking for your cookbook for Christmas. In the meantime, could you suggest a substitute for the avocado in this pesto? I am anaphylactic to avocado, but also realise that sometimes it is the texture and fat in this fruit that makes the recipe. Thanks in advance!
Millet is difficult to find in NL – are there alternatives? Would quinoa work? Thanks
Yes, I think quinoa would be lovely!
This was delicious! My first time cooking with millet and the sauce is addicting. Will be a repeat.
I just recently discovered Angela’s blog thanks to a mommy Facebook group I’m in. My husband and I have been slowly transitioning to vegan, especially having an 18 month old, and another on the way. This dish was absolutely divine and loved by my husband and toddler as well! I will definitely be making this again. Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes, Angela. :)