GMO-Free Corn Millet Cakes with Basil Avocado Salsa
November 11, 2012 4 Comments
While there were so many awesome victories at the ballot box last Tuesday (go Maine, Maryland, and Washington!!), there is one loss that I’m absolutely heartbroken about. All week long my heart has been sinking in sadness, my pulse has been fired up in anger, and my brain has been struggling to sort out how Proposition 37 did not pass.
Prop 37 would have simply mandated the labeling of foods containing Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMO’s) in the exact same way that we all are able to currently enjoy the mandatory labeling of nutrition facts and allergen information on packaged goods. I don’t know about you, but I love being able to see exactly what is in the food I’m purchasing. It allows me, not only as a consumer, but more importantly as a person fueling my body, to make informed decisions. I just can’t wrap my head around why anyone would vote against a proposition where the outcome merely allows them to make more-informed choices. Why would anyone choose ignorance?
It’s particularly embarrassing knowing that 51 other countries all over the world—including Japan, all of the EU, Russia, and even China—require GMO labeling on packaged goods. Why does it always feel like the US is the last country to make smart, forward-thinking decisions?
And then I have to remember that Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, and many other chemical companies spent over 1 million dollars a day on misinformational advertising campaigns confusing the public. It really just confirms how much our country is run by media, advertising, and corporations because, prior to their huge ad push, the polls were showing a large majority voting in favor of Prop 37.
While I feel this sense of dread pulsing through my body in these moments following defeat, I know that I need to find ways to cultivate these uncomfortable feelings into something constructive. This makes me realize I need to do more of my part at educating the public on issues like this.
These GMO-free corn millet cakes are my salute to all of the hard work that went into getting Prop 37 on the ballot this year. I chose corn as my focus because up to 85% of all corn grown in the US is genetically engineered making it one of the most prevalent GMO crops in the country, and until companies start labeling GMO ingredients, the only way to be sure you’re not buying GMO corn is to buy organic corn.
When you see the ingredients above you realize just how easy these millet cakes are to put together.
First, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan and then add your diced onions. Sauté them for about 10 minutes or until translucent and just starting to brown. Meanwhile, bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot and then add the salt, a tablespoon of oil, and millet. Then, while stirring with a wire whisk, slowly add the corn grits. Simmer on medium-low heat uncovered for 25 minutes or until all water has been absorbed and the millet is sticky like the above-right photo.
Add the sautéed onions, corn kernels, and basil to the millet mixture and stir well.
Using a measuring cup, cookie scoop, or any other shape you want to make your cakes, form them and place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Tip: I always dip my measuring cup in an ice cold bowl of water between forming each cake. It helps to keep the cakes from sticking to the scoop.
After forming all of your cakes, place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until slightly crisp and golden on the outside.
Chop your red onion and slice the grape tomatoes.
Prep your avocados by running your knife down the inside lengthwise and then doing the same thing crosswise to create little squares in the avocado.
Add your sliced tomatoes to the bowl and then scoop the avocado out of it’s shell.
Squeeze the lime and press the garlic into the bowl.
GMO-Free Corn Millet Cakes with Basil Avocado Salsa
Corn Millet Cakes
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup millet, rinsed
- 1/4 cup organic corn grits (polenta)
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 cup frozen organic corn, thawed
- 2 heaping tablespoons basil, chopped
Basil Avocado Salsa
- 2 medium avocados, chopped
- 3/4 cup frozen organic corn kernels, thawed
- 1 heaping cup sliced grape tomatoes (about 40 grape tomatoes)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1 medium cucumber, deseeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sauté Onions: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan and then add your diced onions. Sauté them for about 10 minutes or until translucent and just starting to brown.
Cook Millet: Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the salt, a tablespoon of oil, and the millet. Then, while stirring with a wire whisk, slowly add the corn grits whisking out any lumps as they form. Whisk well then simmer on medium-low heat uncovered for 25 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the millet is sticky. Stir occassionally as the millet and corn grits cook to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. As the end of cooking time nears you’ll want to stir more frequently.
Form Cakes and Bake: Add the sautéed onions, corn kernels, and basil to the millet mixture and stir well. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (this is what I used), cookie scoop, or any other shape you want to make your cakes, form them and place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Keep a bowl of ice-cold water nearby and dip your measuring cup in it between forming each cake. I’ve found that this help to prevent the millet from sticking to the cup.
Mix Salsa: Place all ingredients (except salt) into a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt, to taste, and stir again.
Serve: Place the millet cakes on a plate with a heaping dollop of salsa on top and serve warm as an appetizer. Enjoy!