I like to explore the use of some of the more unfamiliar grains in cooking — so this weekend decided it would be amaranth since I’ve had some in my cupboard for a couple weeks. Amaranth is a small, nutty type of grain and is considered a complete protein source. It was a staple in Aztec and Inca cultures and was even used in religious ceremonies.
I will occasionally make a pilaf with the grain for something different. Last weekend, I made the pilaf below which I found in my “Clean Eating” magazine, made a few changes and this is the result. This pilaf has a bit of a kick to it and thought it went well with the roast chicken and roasted asparagus.
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. each chili powder and paprika
2 cups chicken broth, preferably low sodium
2 plum tomatoes, finely diced
1 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. saffron threads (original recipe says this is optional – I like the yellow hue and subtle flavor)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Pinch of fresh ground pepper and cayenne pepper
1 cup amaranth
1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and sauté until translucent, 3-4 minutes
2. Add chili power and paprika. Stir to coat onion/garlic
3. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, thyme, saffron, salt and peppers. Bring to boil. Stir in amaranth, bringing back to a boil. Reduce head and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
4. Remove from heat and let rest a few minutes before serving.
Will post some recipes for quinoa, bulgur, and barley in the future as time and ambition permits.