Fonio is a delicious small grain that is part of the millet family of grasses and is grown mainly in West Africa and Guinea. It is a lower glycemic index grain (GI is in the 60s compared to white rice in the 80s) and is rich in other nutrients, making it a great gluten-free option. I LOVE the taste and texture of this grain which reminds me of couscous. It can be included in any way other grains are but cooks much faster and rewarms well without becoming gooey and sticky like white rice does. We’ll include more recipes with this grain as the blog continues to grow but check out one of my favorites below!
1-2 cups Mixed greens for base, washed and dried
1/3 cup Tomato, chopped
3/4 cup crumble or 1 patty of your favorite mock meat or veggie patty
1/4-1/2 cup cooked Fonio
1/4-1/2 cup White quinoa
1 lemon (squeezed, seeds removed)
1 tsp gluten-free tamari
1 tsp honey
2 tsp tahini
- Cook your grains (set aside roughly 30-minutes for this portion; prepare other ingredients while they cook). Fonio makes in 10 minutes (follow bag instructions) and quinoa takes roughly 15 minutes (again, follow label instructions). For the best flavor, allow time to cool the grains after fluffing for 10 minutes before mixing into the bowl.
- Cook the veggie meat/patty and allow to cool with the grains. You want warm but not hot grains and veggie meat.
- Clean and chop your greens (if desired) and tomato.
- Mix sauce ingredients and taste. If need be, sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add a pinch of turmeric and paprika as well (do what tastes best to you but don’t go overboard as the lemon is the star here!).
- Layer the bowl: Greens at the base, top with cooled grains, pour sauce over this, layer on chopped tomatoes and chopped veggie meat/patty. Mix and enjoy!
Other Serving Ideas and Considerations
You can also wrap this up in your favorite gluten-free wraps for a heartier and/or more portable meal (it makes great weekday lunches). When serving to your little ones, hold the sauce on the side and serve a deconstructed option for picky eaters encouraging them to try yours for inspiration! Let them explore and try the flavors individually and ask them if they’d like it combined. It is best to give them time to adjust to new meals than to require they try something they have never before. Patience is key as is modeling healthy eating behaviors. In our household, we mix veggies and greens but hold sauces on the side until they are requested. Modeling healthy eating behaviors and having positive attitudes around our nourishment and body selfcare are key. It may not always seem like it in the moment, but our little ones are receiving messages all the time regarding our viewpoints towards health and well-being. Good luck!