Wednesday, January 25, 2012

fun with a new grain...amaranth!

first of all, am i the only one who thinks amberlamps everytime i hear amaranth? probably. that's ok, moving on...

i've noticed that amaranth is popping up all over the place lately, i guess it's the new quinoa. high in protein and amino acids and all kinds of good things. when i saw a big container of it at the farmer's market for $2.51 i figured it was time to give it a go. and then a few weeks after buying it when i decided it was time to really give it a in actually cook it...i couldn't recall where exactly "everywhere" was that i had read about/seen amaranth recipes. so i decided to just use it like good ol' quinoa and make an amaranth bowl. i looked to the internet for cooking instructions and hoped for the best. i really couldn't go that wrong but having never eaten/cooked/seen cooked amaranth i really didn't know what i was going for when i kept checking it in the pot every few minutes. in the end it came out kind of like polenta but with a bit more texture, like polenta and (surprise!) quinoa. i thought it kinda sorta looked like caviar which made me kinda sorta want to do some sort of vegan caviar something or other (but that's as far as i got with that thought).

so how do you cook amaranth? well the internet told me to combine a cup with 2 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt in a pot, bring it to a boil then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. so i did. and it worked. and when it looks like polenta it's probably done but taste just to make sure and add more water if you need to keep cooking it longer.

kris grilled some eggplant and i made our new favorite greens (tahini chard from vegan soul kitchen) and we plopped them on top of a scoop of amaranth and sprinkled some toasted almonds on it and it was fantastic! one thing i especially liked is that i feel like the amaranth had a bit of a toasty flavor to it, kind of like quinoa does when you toast it before you cook it, except that i didn't toast this before i cooked it. same delicious result without the step that i always forget with quinoa. woohoo!