Friday, July 29, 2011

Amaranth Breakfast Bowls... I Could be Addicted to Worse.

I'll keep this explanation short and savory. After discovering Dol Sot Bibim Bap (a Korean hot stone mixed rice dish) I came obsessed with the crispy, hot, toasted sesame rice, veggies, tofu and fried egg combo. However, heaps of white rice have yet to be classified as a super food, so until then, the dish will have to remain a treat. Then, I stumbled upon this Recipe of Inspiration, and something beautiful happened. Without fail, I have had a healthier, modified version of this breakfast bowl everyday of the week. It's served in a hot bowl, with veggies and a fried egg on top, just like my beloved Dol Sot Bibim Bap, but with a much more nutritionally dense, satisfying base: enter amaranth. 

Amaranth is awesome. 

This gluten-free pseudograin is 18% protein, and when combined with wheat, brown rice or corn, is a complete protein that offers the same value as... meat! Take that, meat industry propagandists. When compared to wheat, amaranth has triple the fiber and quintuple the iron. Amaranth is also more calcium-rich than... milk! Indeed, there are non-dairy products that are high in calcium, read it and weep National Dairy Council. (Oh, the things they don't want you to know...) Just to continue the amaranth-love rant, it's also a source of potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C and cholesterol-lowering tocotrienols found in Vitamin E. 

In combination with spinach (vitamin K, A, C, E and a wealth of minerals - including calcium), onions (chromium, vitamin C, fiber), walnuts (check the walnut section rant here), almond milk (magnesium, potassium, calcium) and egg (protein, vitamin A, choline)... this amaranth dish may be the secret to living forever. Maybe. The recipe below is my favorite of the various combinations I've tried this week, but feel free to experiment. Enjoy, become addicted, buy amaranth in bulk, dream of breakfast bowls, repeat.

Amaranth Breakfast Bowls:
½ C amaranth
1 C almond milk
¼ tsp salt
1 small onion
1 C baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp C Daiya shredded mozzarella
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ C toasted walnuts
2 eggs (vegan version: use mushrooms or soft tofu)
- Salt & pepper, to serve

Preheat oven to 375. Boil almond milk in a small saucepan, then add amaranth and salt and reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, until creamy. Meanwhile, chop the onion and cook in a sautee pan until translucent, then add in spinach until wilted and set aside. In a bowl, combine Daiya, nutmeg and walnuts, then add in spinach and onions and mix well. Divide amaranth between two oven safe bowls and top with spinach mixture, leaving a well in the center. Crack an egg (or mushrooms/soft tofu) in the middle of each bowl and bake for about 17 minutes. Stir it all up and serve hot. Serves two at about 320 calories each.

(Shown here with oats, amaranth, and flax)

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