This savory miso millet breakfast bowl is so comforting. But, what makes a meal “comforting”? Usually our comfort meals are meals from our childhood — things that aren’t necessarily good for us. The meal is oftentimes warm and we have some kind of positive memory — or familiarity — tied to it. For me, comfort foods that come to mind are pasta and meatballs, mashed potatoes, beef stew and Shepherd’s Pie.
Healthy Comfort Foods
Comfort foods don’t have to be bad for us. To get all culinary nutritious on ya, we can look at foods from an energetic perspective — deciphering why the foods feel comforting and then make those meals healthier without losing the comfort-factor.
In holistic principles of comfort foods include grounding, warming and contractive qualities.
- Grounding: Foods that help make us feel grounded are root vegetables, protein-rich foods, and spices like paprika, chives, cayenne and pepper. These things all grow close to the ground and help us feel settled.
- Warming: Warming foods include cooked fruits and vegetables like squash, coconut, root veggies, lentils, oats, nuts and seeds. Warming spices include ginger, garlic, miso, salt, cumin, basil, thyme, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla (just to name a handful). These kind of ingredients make us feel warm from the inside out.
- Contractive: From an energy perspective, contractive foods help us hold heat and energy within the body. In Chinese and holistic medicine, contractive qualities are associated with Yang, while expansive foods are associated with Yin. I won’t bore you with this, feel free to read more on your own. Some contractive foods are bitter greens, sea veggies, squashes, nuts, beans, roots, miso, grains, salt and proteins.
Almost all of my comfort foods include a protein-rich ingredient and root vegetable ingredient (i.e. potatoes, because I’m Irish). But, since I started taking control of what I put in my body, I’ve noticed that I can feel the same “comfort” without turning to processed, starchy or meat-heavy foods. I can make Shepherd’s Pie with mushrooms, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. I can make “unmeat” balls with lentils or nuts.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to making healthy comfort foods.
Let’s get to the recipe. This Savory Miso Millet Bowl is very comforting since it includes ingredients like grains, miso and seeds. It’s a great breakfast, lunch or dinner to whip up when you’re suffering from a sore throat or other ailment.
Savory Miso Millet Bowl
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup millet, uncooked
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp miso paste
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped*
- Start by heating coconut oil in a small sauce pan. Add the garlic and millet and cook until fragrant.
- Add the water and bring the millet to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-25 minutes — or until the water is absorbed.
- Remove the millet from heat to stir in the miso. If needed, add 1-2 Tbsp of water (or dairy-free milk) to help improve the consistency.
- Split into two bowls and top with sunflower seeds and parsley. *Feel free to add additional greens, herbs or leftover veggies to make this even more filling.
Noticing a millet trend lately? I couldn’t find gluten-free oats in my first grocery shopping trip here in Berlin, so I went with millet. I have since found gluten-free oats… so oatmeal recipes will make their way back into my kitchen sooner than later.
Disclaimer: These are my recommendations for eating healthful, whole foods. I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist or a doctor and therefore cannot diagnose, cure or offer supplement advice — only advise and advocate for eating more plant-based, whole food diets.