Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Amaranth failure = recipe success + article published

Happy Wednesday everyone,

How is everyone doing this humpday? Well, depending on your job, it might only be one more day until the weekend. To be honest I don't even know which day I get off LOL, I guess I should ask hey? That's what happens when you work from are out of the loop!

Moving on to more exciting article on aloe vera got published in Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo's newsletter! Wahoo, I'm so excited that I could contribute to her newsletter. I'm very passionate about health issues and so sharing my article with her and her audience really is an honor. I hope to write more for her newsletter in the stay tuned. I talked about the article in an earlier post. Have your ever had an article or recipe published on a site? Congrats if you have:)

Now onto some food stuffs! I have been receiving videos and articles from Vega for their Thrive in 30 program. All of the 12 segments were awesome and I learned a lot. Especially about what to eat before and after working out to maximize results. This was always a blurry area for me so I'm glad I have some ideas to work with. I highly suggest you check it matter if you eat a plant-based diet or not. I bet you will learn something:) Anywho, during one of the episodes (episode 6 in fact) Brendan talked about pseudograins. Pseudograins are actually not grains, they are seeds and therefore gluten free. These alkaline-forming superfoods include buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice, and amaranth. I had tried all of these seeds except for amaranth. So on my grocery trip this week I picked up some and the coop even had a little blurb about it on a card that I could take home. Why I was interested in trying amaranth was due to its micronutrient content and because it has 3 times the calcium of milk. Also it is very rich in the amino acid lysine which is often hard to get on a plant-based diet. Lysine helps calcium absorption in the gut. Isn't it cool that it contains all the necessary components for it to be highly absorbed? Cool stuff I must say.

So off I go to the kitchen to get this amaranth a cookin' and I'm ready at the stove and without even thinking I poured the amaranth into the cold water. Mistake #1- you are supposed to add it to boiling water and then simmer it for 20 minutes. I'm so used to making quinoa that my brain took over and thought it was doing me a favor! I didn't think to strain it out so I basically cooked it like you would do quinoa (brain taking over again). Mistake #2- I cooked it for way too long and as my little handy dandy info card said it will turn to mush. Yes, yes it did. I really wanted to try it and so I was no happy that I had to throw it away. Or would I? I hate wasting food so I hunkered down and searched the net to see if I could salvage some of my mistake into a recipe. I had quite a bit of the amaranth so I decided to use two recipes that sounded yummy. You know I love my lentil loaf ! So when I found a recipe for amaranth load that used lentils AND amaranth, I knew I had to try it! The recipe is really simple and easy to whip up. I used onions, zucch, celery, and carrots in my version but this recipe is versatile and would be great for a pantry dinner, wouldn't you say? I found that it wasn't as solid as my other lentil loaf go-to recipe so it was shockingly similar to regular meat loaf. I think when I make this again I will add in a bit more almond meal. All in all, an awesome, flavorful recipe that used up 1 cup of my 2.5 cup mistake. Give it a try if you want an easy meal even your meat-lover family members will love:) Take a look at my dinner that featured a big, dirty salad and a piece of the amaranth loaf. Yum!

I used a very basic Olive-oil balsamic vinaigrette for the salad which contained zucch, romaine lettuce, collards, parsley, sunflower seed sprouts, and lentil sprouts.

Here's a little cross section of the amaranth loaf. See all the celery in there? good!

After I made the amaranth loaf I opted for a muffin recipe that sounded soo good. I know that regular flour and sugar is just awful stuff and it literally puts me to sleep after I eat it. Who wants that? Not me, sister! So, I went to the co-op and picked up some quinoa flour. I love cooked quinoa and it is a staple in our house. As it is one of the most nutritious and least allergenic pseudograins, I thought I would try it for my baked goodies. I learned after the fact that the flour has a higher fat content than wheat flours so it will make your baked goodies moister. Just remember that if you go ahead and use it in a recipe:) I went with a blueberry-amaranth muffin recipe that I veganized. I used an egg replacer for the eggs from Kingsmill Foods and for the first time I used coconut oil for the fat. On the Omega Nutrition website they suggested that you use 3/4 of whatever the amount of fat is in the recipe. I also used frozen blueberries from my mix-berry stash even though they asked for fresh berries. They turned out AWESOME! The flour and the coconut oil worked out perfectly. I was a little scared because sometimes when you start subbing ingredients the end product suffers. I even love the slight crunch that all that amaranth adds...yumm!

Here's the mix ready to be put in muffin tins! Blueberries, walnuts, amaranth, oh my!

Here they are right out of the oven! mmmm..Love the big pieces of blueberry!

So that used up all but a couple of tablespoons of the amaranth, not bad hey? So, my mistake was actually awesome because I got to try out a few new recipes!

PS Marisa is having a chia seed giveaway! So head on over to her great blog and enter before April 2nd at Midnight!

Have a great rest of your Wednesday and stay tuned to hear about my foraging adventures!


HiHoRosie said...

You certainly have been a busy girl! I haven't tried amaranth yet. Glad your experiment turned out good though! those muffins look super!

HiHoRosie said...

I'm sorry, I meant to congratulate you on your article! Very cool! You should be proud. :)

Melissa said...

Hey Heidi- For the amaranth I've seen a lot of recipe use the popped version. You stick it on a skillet and apparently it pops like popcorn:) I will be making those muffins again for sure..the hubby and I can't stop raving about them:) And thank you so much about your kind words about the article being published:)