Autumn Millet Bake

Categories: Kidney Qi Vacuity

Autumn Millet Bake
Serves 4 to 6.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for the dish
3/4 cup millet
1 medium butternut or other winter squash or 1 small pumpkin, peeled seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
¾ cup fresh mullberies
¼ cup goji berries
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
3 whole cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
1 cup vegetable stock or water, warmed
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a 2-quart casserole, a large gratin dish, or a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the millet and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden, about 3 minutes (note: don’t overdo it). Spread in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
3.Scatter the squash or pumpkin cubes and the mulberries and goji berries on top of the millet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the sage and drizzle with syrup.
4.Carefully pour the warmed stock over all.
5. Cover tightly with foil and bake without disturbing, for 45 minutes.
6. Carefully uncover and turn the oven to 400F. As discreetly as possible, sneak a taste and adjust the seasoning. If it looks too dry, add a spoonful or two of water or stock. (note: This is key! The millet should be close to being cooked through at this point, if not you need to add liquid and keep it moist and cooking).
7. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top, and return the dish to the oven. Bake until the mixture bubbles and the top is browned (note: and the millet is cooked through), another 10 minutes or so. Serve piping hot or at room temperature

TCM analysis:
Olive oil: neutral, sweet, sour, astringent, clears heat, detoxifies, promotes body fluids, quenches thirst, clears lungs, benefits the throat
Millet: Cool, slightly salty, sweet. SP, ST, KD. Harmonizes middle jiao, drains damp, moistens dryness, supplements KD.
Squash: Cool to neutral, sweet. Dispels damp, relieves pain, reduces fever, stabilizes hyperactive fetus, benefits diabetes.
Pumpkin seed: cold, sweet. Anti-parasitic, diuretic.
Mullberries: Slightly cold, sweet. Quenches thirst, nourishes blood, lubricates lung, calms spirit, detoxifies, tonifies KD, relieves constipation, promotes diuresis.
Goji Berries: Neutral, sweet. Lung, Liver, Kidney. Nourishes Liver and Kidney, improves vision, moistens lungs.
Cloves: Pungent, warm. ST, KD. Warms middle jiao, dispels internal cold, warms KD, stops pain.
Honey: Sweet, Neutral. SP, LU, LI. Nourishes and harmonizes middle jiao, moistens dryness,
Overall Function:
Supplements and tonifies the KD