Most people have never heard of this grain which is popular in Guatemala and Mexico; amaranth.
It is gluten free, very high in protein , low in fat and very high fiber; in short it is very good for you! A quick trip to the health food store or maybe even the health food aisle in your regular supermarket and you can buy a box if this tiny but powerful grain (look next to the quinoa) . In Guatemala and Mexico amaranth is prepared in many ways from a side dish, to a breakfast cereal to a candy (called alegria which is delicious).
For this recipe we are going to keep it healthy with an easy to prepare summer salad featuring amaranth as the protein. You are substituting chicken or beef with this grain and this salad becomes a complete meal that is gluten free, vegan and low calorie. So as the weather warms up try making amaranth part of your summer menu and incorporate it into many different dishes not only because it is healthy but delicious as well.
Summer Salad with Amaranth
- 1/2 cup cooked via package instructions amaranth and 1/4 cup toasted Amaranth
- 2 cups diced cucumber seeds removed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup toasted amaranth
- 2 tablespoons canola blend salad oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 can Garbanzo beans chickpeas
Prepare the 1/2 cup of amaranth via package instructions.
After Amaranth is cooked and drained spread out on a baking sheet to cook without forming lumps
Take the 1/4 cup amaranth for toasting and place in a dry frying pan. Toast over medium heat stirring constantly until most all Amaranth grains are popped.
Chop Cucumber, red onion and place in a large bowl with Garbanzo beans
Add chopped mint and parsley
Pour Lemon juice, oil , salt and Red pepper flakes on top
Toss your salad and refrigerate 1/2 an hour before serving to let flavors marry a bit
When ready to serve sprinkle toasted Amaranth on top