Not too little, not too much

Amaranth Salad stuffed Carnival Squash 11/02/2010

Filed under: Main dish,Salads,Seeds,Squash,Vegan,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 21:44
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Amaranth

Amaranth was one of the main food sources for the Aztecs, who also used it in religious rituals. Cultivation ended almost completely after Spanish conquistadors made growing the plant a punishable offense. Today, both farmers and anyone interested in nutrition are showing increasing interest in the plant because it has more protein (15 percent to 18 percent of calories) than most other grains (8 to 15 percent of calories). It also contains more lysine and methionine, amino acids not provided by many common grains. Combined with other grains, it can provide a complete balance of amino acids. Amaranth is also a source of calcium and magnesium and contains more iron than almost any other grain. The amaranth plant has long clusters of red flowers and grows to a height of 1 to 3 feet. It produces tiny seeds—up to 3 feet. It produces tiny seeds—up to 500,000 per plant. These seeds can be cooked and eaten as a grain or popped, sprouted, or ground into flour that has a strong, nutty flavor. Amaranth flour can range from a light yellow to dark violet, although most amaranth flour sold in stores is buff-colored. Pasta can be made from amaranth flour, and amaranth oil is obtained from the plant’s seeds. The green leaves and stalk of amaranth (also called pigweed) can be cooked and eaten. The leaves have a taste similar to that of spinach.

Preparation Tips
Amaranth flour does not contain gluten, which means baked goods containing it will not rise as desired and will be crumbly. It can be used in baked goods, but it should be combined with wheat flour (which contains gluten) in recipes for muffins, bread, cookies,or pastries. Because it has a nutty, assertive flavor, you may want to experiment somewhat with how much amaranth flour to add to recipes. Amaranth’s nutritional advantages, however, make adding it to baked
goods worthwhile. Amaranth seeds also can be cooked and eaten as a cereal. Or, they can be popped by adding them a tablespoon at a time to a hot, ungreased skillet. They take just a few minutes to pop.

Serving Suggestions
In addition to using amaranth in baked goods as described above, amaranth can be substituted for flour in pancake or waffle recipes. Cinnamon particularly complements its flavor in both of these breakfast favorites. Amaranth leaves can be substituted for spinach in salads or cooked dishes. Popped amaranth seeds can be used as a garnish or topping or in breading recipes.

 

Amaranth Salad stuffed Carnival Squash


Ingredients

3 carnival squashes

1 onion

few garlic cloves

parsley

1/2 to 2/3 cup of  amaranth

frozen corn

frozen peas

carrot

bell pepper

dried cranberries

 

 

Directions

Cut a small cap and clean the squashes

 

Put the cap back on. In a ovenproof casserole dish pout about 1/3 cup water and arrange the squashes.Cover well with aluminum foil.

 

Bake at 400 F for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the amaranth (1/2 cup amaranth in 1 cup water) simmering it in a covered pan until the water is absorbed.

 

In another pan, boil the corn and peas for 2-3 minutes.

 

In a bowl mix onion, garlic, bell pepper, cranberries, corn, peas, amaranth, parsley and carrot. Season to taste.

 

Remove the squashes from the oven, take off the cap and stuff them with the amaranth salad.

 

Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 30-40 more minutes, until the squash is cooked.

 

Serve hot.

 

inside view 😛

 

one more

 

Red Quinoa and Cauliflower Salad 10/17/2010

Filed under: Appetizers,Cheese,Fruits,Salads,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 22:14
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Quinoa (a name supposedly derived from the Spanish word for “fantastic”) is not really a grain. It is the fruit of a plant that belongs to the same botanical family as beets. The quinoa plant reaches a height of 3 to 10 feet and produces flat, pointed seeds that range from buff to russet to black. So why all the praise for quinoa? Quinoa is relatively easy to cultivate and withstands poor soil conditions and altitude. It also packs a nutritional punch in its tiny seeds. It contains more protein than most grains and offers a more evenly balanced array of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. It is higher in minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, and iron, than many grains. Quinoa seeds can be cooked or ground into flour. Several types of pasta are made from quinoa flour. The leaves of the plant also are edible, and the seeds can be sprouted and eaten.

Preparation Tips

Quinoa is cooked in the same way as rice, although it cooks in about half the time. Its flavor is delicate, and some describe it as hazelnut-like. Before cooking, it is important to rinse quinoa seeds until the water runs clear. They are covered with a bitter, powdery resin that can result in an unpleasant taste if it is not removed. Quinoa flour has a low gluten content. It cannot be used alone in baked goods because they will not rise properly.

Serving Suggestions

Quinoa is cooked like rice and makes an excellent substitute for it. “Toasting” the quinoa grains in a hot skillet before boiling gives it a roasted flavor. Adding cooked vegetables and fresh herbs also complements its delicate flavor. Quinoa flour can be used in many baked goods. Quinoa also makes an excellent hot cereal and can be added to soups and stews. Quinoa pasta is cooked and used like traditional types of pasta.

Encyclopedia of Foods

 

Red Quinoa and Cauliflower Salad

 

 

Ingredients

1 medium cauliflower

red quinoa

walnuts

dried apricots

feta cheese

green onion

parsley

 

Directions

 

Blanch the cauliflower and boil the quinoa.

 

Meanwhile, crumble the cheese and chop the rest of the ingredients.

 

Mix them all together, sprinkle with some extra virgin olive oil and season to taste.

 

 

Serve warm or cold.

 

 

 

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Barley Salad 10/09/2010

The other day when I was into town I bought 2 delicata squashes thinking what a flavorful soup I’m going to make out of them, but of course I changed my mind and today I decided and stuff them with some fall salad. So, browsing the internet I ran into some recipes more or less tempting. I picked something from each one and came up with my version with stuffed delicata, of course mostly based on what I already had in my pantry 😛

 

 

Ingredients

2 delicata squashes*

1/3 cup pearl barley

1 small apple

1 small carrot

2 green onions

parsley

pine nuts

dried cranberries

olive oil

salt and pepper

*my husband doesn’t like baked squash so I only baked one for me and Tiffany, my baby girl

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut the squashes lengthwise and seed them. Brush the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat a little olive oil and fry the barley for 2-3 minutes.
Add 2/3 cup water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat until all the water is absorbed and the grains are tender. Leave it to cool slightly in the pan.
Toast the pine nuts, dice the carrot and apple, chop and onion and parsley and mix them all. Add your favorite dressing (in my case lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil) and toss well.
Add the cooled barley to the salad and mix.
When the squashes are cooked fill them with barley salad.
Serve immediately.
 

 
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