November 14, 2011

Veggies & Amaranth

This weekend we tried some new foods.

I'm always looking for more ways to eat veggies & for grains with great nutritional value.

To start with, I made amaranth for the second time ever. The first time, I popped it to eat as cereal & stunk up the whole house by burning the first 3 batches. This time, I decided to go the safer route & boil it in water. It turned out with a similar consistency to polenta & without any overwhelming flavor, making it a nice blank slate for any flavoring I chose to add.

Amaranth is an ancient grain that has tons of health benefits. It's gluten-free, high in protein & is full of vitamins A & C, folate, thiamine, niacin, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, & more. It was also very filling. We worked in the garden all afternoon after our lunch & I didn't get hungry!

I'm usually a fresh veggie person, so this was something new for me. I remember as a teen I always wanted those single frozen packs of broccoli with cheese sauce. They weren't even good! Some of the broccoli would heat up to the point of mush and the rest would be ice cold. Not to mention all those weird ingredients.

Frozen veggies that you can cook in their package have come a long way since then. I tried Green Giant Steamers for the first time when the Foodbuzz Tastemaker progam offered me the opportunity. This was my first time trying anything similar to this, & I really didn't know what to expect. The ingredient list is just ok - it's mostly the veggies (mine had potatoes, sugar snap peas & red peppers) with 1% of a bunch of stuff including herbs. All of the veggies were heated completely through without being mushy, but the pepper did get slightly softer than I like them.

 It was a great mix for a quick & easy lunch, although I wouldn't rely on these for every day. I still prefer my fresh veggies & to season them myself.

The amaranth & veggie mixture went very well together & wound up being much more filling than I expected. Great for a quick lunch when you're short on time or just super hungry!

Veggies & Amaranth
Serves 2

This is a tasty & quick 20 minute lunch that is nutritious, filling, & requires minimal cleanup!

1 c amaranth
2 1/2 c water
1 package Green Giant Steamers or other frozen veggies in light sauce

In a medium pot, bring amaranth and water to a boil. Simmer for 18-20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare vegetables according to package directions. Spoon 3/4-1 cup of cooked amaranth into a bowl & top with half of the vegetable mixture. There will be leftover amaranth, which can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.*

*I ate leftover amaranth mixed with banana and apple chunks, a heavy sprinkling of cinnamon, and almond milk for breakfast the next day.


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