Amaranth is a rich source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, and lysine, an essential amino acid not found in most other grains. For this dish, the amaranth is cooked separately and then used as a base for a harvest vegetable stew with peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes. Amaranth has a sticky, gelatinous texture and a rich, toasty flavor.
1 cup amaranth
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb.), chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 medium ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb.), cored and chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
Ground black pepper
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil or mint leaves
1. Bring 3 cups water, amaranth, and ½ tsp. salt to a boil I medium saucepan. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until grains are tender and have absorbed all the liquid, about 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large sauté pan. Ad onion, bell pepper, and zucchini and sauté over medium-high heat until vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add stock and salt and pepper to taste and simmer to blend flavors, about 2 minutes. Stir in basil or mint and adjust seasonings.
3. Divide amaranth among individual serving bowls. Ladle some stew over each portion and serve immediately.
Per serving: 314 calories, 10 g protein, 11g fat, 48 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 299 mg sodium.