Love, Gratitude and Pumpkin-Millet Croquettes!

It’s been a wild, heartbreaking week around the world. The sadness of the attacks in Paris, Beirut and Mali, remind us that despite the widespread good in the world, (indeed there’s far more love than hate), there are those for whom love and compassion hold no sway.

In reading about the Paris attack, I was struck by the story of a young woman who hid behind furniture to protect herself and imagined the face of every person she’d ever loved, holding tight to those images as she cowered in fear. She survived, as though the love she generated in her mind and heart engulfed her in a protective bubble. Focusing on love, she got through.

It’s easy to react to these sickening attacks in fear and hatred. What’s harder is to disconnect from the feelings you may hold for the terrorists and focus instead on love. Whether it’s for your family and friends, your work, hobbies, your state and country, or for humanity as a whole, focusing on love crowds out hate.

While it’s important to stay informed, it’s quite another thing to steep yourself in violent news stories. They are designed to keep you hooked on negative information, fomenting your fear, anger and feelings of retribution, generating more discord around the world. And although something clearly needs to be done to stop this madness, you are not the person in charge to make that decision. All you can do is stay present to your life, give gratitude for all that you are and love your journey.

As we head into Thanksgiving, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday, surrounded by people you love and love you. This year, as in all years, I am grateful for my parents and Fozzy, Robert and Eva, my many friends and clients and for every single one of you! Thank you for participating in my vision of a nutritious world, encouraging me to do the things I love most which are write, cook, eat and share. You make my life better. More than ever, I’m focused on the love I hold for all my people and every single facet of my life. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’ve also got a new video for you today! In it you’ll learn about the delicious and nutritious grain, Millet. More flavorful than rice and on par with Quinoa for its protein content, you’ll want to learn how to include this tasty grain in your diet.

Also, I’m including a couple of delicious recipes so you can begin experimenting with Millet straight away.

Have the most amazing Thanksgiving ever! Stay present to love and gratitude. Shut off the TV, close the newspaper and focus on the people you love instead.

My love to every single one of you!

Morning Millet Breakfast Bowl

This is a nice alternative to oatmeal. You can also make a savory version of this using cooked leftover vegetables, olive oil and some chopped nuts.


  • ½ to ¾ cup cooked millet
  • 5-6 chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 small chopped apple (or apple compote). You can also use dried fruit instead
  • 1 teaspoon grade B maple syrup


Combine ingredients and enjoy for a hearty, warming breakfast.

Saffron-Scented Pumpkin and Millet Croquettes


Oh my goodness, these are amazing! Growing up, my Cuban grandmother made croquettes from leftover chicken or ham, blended with white flour and milk. These are far healthier but remind me so much of my abuela and her creativity in the kitchen. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


  • 1 small pumpkin cut in half. Remove seeds and pulp
  • 1½ cups cooked millet (cook according to package instructions)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½-3/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt, depending on taste preference
  • Olive oil for baking pumpkin and frying croquettes


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cook millet according to package instructions. You’ll need approximately ¾ – 1-cup dry uncooked millet to yield 1½ cups cooked.
  • Coat the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil and place pumpkins flesh side down, skin side up. Rub some olive oil on skin before baking. Bake approximately 30 to 40 minutes until fork tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Remove pumpkin flesh from its shell and into a mixing bowl. Using a fork, mash well.
  • Sauté shallot in a little olive oil until translucent. Add nutmeg, saffron and salt and continue to cook until slightly browned.
  • Add cooked shallot to mashed pumpkin and stir well. Add cooked millet and stir until well combined.
  • Add the beaten egg to the mixture and continue to blend well. The egg is optional if you’re a vegan, although it does allow the croquette to set better.
  • Using a tablespoon, scoop out some batter into your hand and shape into a patty. Repeat until all the batter is used.
  • Add olive oil to skillet and heat. Fry croquettes on each side until browned.
  • Serve and enjoy!





Share Your Thoughts...

14 comments on “Love, Gratitude and Pumpkin-Millet Croquettes!

  1. AvatarMilton

    Hi, Barbara. I’m eager to try your millet recipes, but I wanted to say that following your recent (re)recommendation I tried your recipe for granola porridge ( I was at first a little skeptical (although you’d think I would have learned better by now!) since I’m such a huge fan of traditional – i.e. high carb – granola, but this was delicious!! I can’t thank you enough for introducing this low-carb creation into my daily breakfast choices!!

  2. AvatarEileen

    Hi Barbara,
    The croquettes sound delicious and perfect to bring for Thanksgiving for my cousin who has Celiac Disease.
    Question, if I use organic canned pumpkin, how much should I use?
    Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Best to your folks!

  3. AvatarEllie

    Yum to pumpkin-millet croquettes, hooray for your abuela, and amen to your point about refraining from obsessive news-watching. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your parents and loved ones.

  4. AvatarIraida Mendez

    Wise words. The pumpkin and millet croquets were “delicious”. You can have us over anytime. We had a great your apartment.

    Your loving and proud parents,

  5. AvatarShalreh Ali

    Dear Barbra thanks for sharing such positive thoughts. Sometimes we feel deeply but don’t have the means to express.
    Life is precious n should be respected at all cost.
    I wish you n your beloved ones a happy n peaceful Thanksgiving.

  6. AvatarMarianne Vitale

    Dear Barbara, couldn’t have said it better myself. Such beautiful and enlightening words. May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving. All my love, Marianne

    1. AvatarMARIA

      Dear Barbara, your words are inspiring. I do not follow the news. But instead I send love to both the victims en the attackers. Maybe if we all globally send love to these people that one day their harts will be filled with love instead of anger. We all origin from the same source. Lets hope and pray for a better world. Your work certainly contributes. From the Netherlands with love, God bless you.

      1. AvatarBarbara Mendez RPh MS Post author

        Thank you Maria for sending love across the world to those that need it, which is all of us. And for sharing your thoughts here. I appreciate your comment and love knowing that you enjoy my work. Keep spreading happiness and peace…


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