Sunday, September 14, 2008

Going with the grain

I'm fascinated by unusual and heirloom grains, and have been experimenting with some in my kitchen. I find their textures and flavors exciting and have had success using unexpected grains in everything from salads to pilafs.Here are two recent dishes I've cooked up using amaranth and quinoa.

Hot stuffed peppers

4 organic pablano peppers, cored (or regular green, if you can't take the heat)
3/4 cup organic quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup mixed rice (including red and wild, if possible)
1 cup water
1 organic red onion, diced
4 clove organic garlic, diced
4 organic carrots, diced
1 organic heirloom tomato, diced
1 organic sweet red pepper, diced
1/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Place peppers in a pan with 1/2 inch of water. Boil on cooktop until bright green and tender, about 5 minutes. Combine quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water and combine rice with 1 cup water in a pot and set over high heat. Bring both pots to boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until all water absorbed. Mix quinoa, rice and remaining ingredients. Stuff inside peppers and place in baking dish. Cook 30 minutes.

Market vegetable & amaranth soup

4 Tbsp. organic extra virgin olive oil
1 large organic onion, diced
1 bunch organic celery, diced (including leaves)
5 organic carrots, diced
8 cups water
1/2 cup amaranth
3 organic white potatoes, diced (with peels on)
4 cloves organic garlic, diced
1 cup fresh shelled organic beans
3 organic heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 organic jalapeno pepper, diced
1 organic sweet red pepper, diced
salt & pepper to taste

Add olive oil to soup pot over medium heat and add onions. Let cook while stirring frequently for five minutes. Add celery and carrots and cook another five minutes. Add water and remaining ingredients. Let simmer, covered for 45 minutes. Serve with a garnish of chopped celery leaves.


J said...

I love heirloom, well, anything really. The quality is something that can't even be compared to something you get from the grocery store.

I've never had amaranth, but have seen it at the store. Does it compare to any other grain in terms of taste or texture?

Janet said...

Y-U-M! Stuffed peppers and soup?! The ULTIMATE use of summer produce that I've seen this year. Ahh, I wish summer would never end...

Bianca said...

I still haven't tried amaranth. I keep meaning to pick up some from the Wild Oats bulk bins. Your soup sounds wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I love stuffed peppers so much! This is really similar to one of my favorite recipes so I know it must be EXCELLENT! I really like amaranth, so I am excited about trying that soup recipe!

Anonymous said...

Both dishes look really good! I've been craving stuffed peppers lately, though...