April 18, 2011

Amaranth and quinoa stuffed capsicums


You know that nagging feeling you get when you have an ingredient to use up, but you just can't seem to find a recipe to use it for? Whether it's a vegetable, a grain, a spice or anything else, you just can't stop thinking you should use up so you won't have to waste it. Well, to me this ingredient has been amaranth. A whole packet of it that I've tried using in a couple of different recipes, but that turned out no good. I know amaranth is superbly good for me - high in protein and all that, but I just wasn't convinced about the taste of it.


Last night I was going through my pantry and there it was - that packet of amaranth grain. I started browsing the web for ideas to use it for, you could use it like quinoa, but on its own I knew I wouldn't be satisfied with the taste and texture of it. I stumbled across this recipe by the ever so reliable Whole Foods Market and was immediately convinced - stuffed capsicums sounded like a perfect vegetarian dinner idea and I could finally use some of that amaranth I had been holding for so long!


I've tweaked the original recipe a bit, but love the idea of using the two super grains - amaranth and quinoa, instead the traditional couscous or rice you normally find with this recipe. I also love edamame and have a big bag in the freezer at all times. I was so happy with the outcome and I think this is a lovely "meatless Monday" recipe idea.


 Amaranth and quinoa stuffed capsicums
(Recipe adapted from the Whole Foods Market)
(serves 4)

4 capsicums (bell peppers) *
1/2 cup black quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup amaranth
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup edamame, thawed 
1 carrot, grated
2 shallots/green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

*I used 3 capsicums, but the filling makes enough for 4 medium sized ones. Any leftovers can be served as a salad the next day.

1. Place the quinoa and amaranth in a saucepan and cover with one and a half cups of water. Bring to boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 5 more minutes. Fluff with a fork. 

2. Preheat your oven to 180C. Cut the tops of the capsicums and remove the insides and the seeds. 

3. Combine the quinoa and amaranth mixture with the edamame, carrot, shallots and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl. Season with brown rice vinegar, pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Stuff the capsicums with the mixture and place in an oven proof dish. Cover with the 'lids' of the capsicums. Pour 1/4 cups of water into the baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until tender.


44 comments:

  1. This looks really delicious, I love stuffing veges!

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  2. Luckily I bought a small quantity of amaranth the other time if not I may face the same problem as you. Quinoa is relatively much easier to use, in my opinion :)

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  3. A great dish! So healthy and original.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. YES. Years and years and years ago I bought rolled amaranth because I loved using quinoa flakes as porridge, and it was AWFUL. Sour and gross. The packet is still in my parents' house, although I moved out 10 months ago :P I'm so happy to hear that in some forms, amaranth is good!

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  5. you found the perfect way to use it, this is great!

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  6. Kauniita kuvia! Quinoa-täytteisiä paprikoita olenkin tehnyt,mutta amaranttia en ole vielä kokeillut.

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  7. Great blog!
    I'm having the same nagging feeling, only with farro... I guess I'm going to make some farro-stuffed tomatoes tonight. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  8. Looks great and healty! :) Edamame is not very popular in Hungary, actually I've never seen it anywhere in stores or market. Can I use any kind of beans instead of edamame? What do you think?

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  9. That is so pretty and colourful Maria! :D

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  10. Hi Zita!

    You could easily substitute the edamame with other beans, even raw chickpeas that you've soaked overnight (they might need a little cooking too to get started). Just remember to use a bean that doesn't get too mushy.

    Maria
    x

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  11. OK, thanks Maria, for your reply! :)
    Have a nice evening!

    I'm still at work...

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  12. Just my kind of recipe! I'll have to bookmark this one!

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  13. What gorgeous colors and healthy looking capsicum! Love the nutritious food ingredients you added to make this recipe, Maria.

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  14. I agree that amaranth is best when paired. I love it with quinoa and chia seeds as a breakfast porridge. This looks like a fabulous entree, though! :)

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  15. Beautiful and vibrant! It's going on my dinner plan :)

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  16. I love anything stuffed especially mushrooms and bell peppers. How interesting to learnt that you call them capsicums. I have got to remember that for the future! So pretty and vibrant! I love all the ingredients

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  17. This looks delicious and wonderfully colorful. I will have to google amaranth because I am not familiar with this. I love that I am not familiar with this!! Also, I didn't know bell peppers are also called capsicums. Wonderful vibrant photos!

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  18. Your stuffed capsicum look delicious and healthy. Pictures are gorgeous!
    I am in a similar situation than you regarding amaranth... There was a pack of 1kg of amaranth flour in my pantry and I was not so sure on what to do with it. I tried to use it in gluten free muffins, but the taste is pretty distinctive and I did not like the outcome... I will need to do some more experimentation!!

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  19. Hi Maria,

    Thanks for visiting Spice Garden ... what a nice post for me to come visit! These red peppers are just lovely and and the filling looks tasty as well as healthy! I have just discovered quinoa and we love edamame also! Great filling!

    I have just done a complete clean out of my fridge and have pledged to use up things as I buy them ... no more mystery food lurking in the back corners!

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  20. I love this healthy and original dish!

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  21. Believe it or not, but i have never heard of amaranth! nebertheless, i am glad you found good use for it. That sounds like a hearty, healthy dish!

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  22. great recipe as always, Maria, thanks! I love your healthy, tasty and colorful dishes.

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  23. Yes, yes, yes! I do know what that is like because that is the challenge I face daily! The one thing about having the csa is I need to find recipes to work around what I get rather than buy the ingredients for a recipe I want to try. I must say I don't mind the challenge though. What a learning experience. I am saving this one for my upcoming detox as I know we will be getting a lot of capsicums!

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  24. I don't think I've ever had amaranth but just based on your pictures and descriptions, I definitely want to try it soon!

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  25. This looks so healthy...! I always find stuffed bellpeppery very charming :-).

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  26. Yes I totally get you on using the last bit of some ingredients! That nagging guilt-driven feeling :P I may not be a fan of amaranth either but your stuffed capsicums are making me think twice! :)

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  27. This is looking absolutely delightful. Very nicely made and presented. Its always fun to see ur appetizing recipes. I wud love to give ur version a try..
    US Masala

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  28. So So beautiful.I love the last picture.Red bell pepper is one of my favs out of all the pepper varieties.

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  29. Maria, this is a beautiful post. I've done very little with amaranth and your post has convinced me to do better. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  30. What a lovely picture, now I will have to research a few of your ingredients but pretty sure I can find them. Thanks for a lovely looking recipe.

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  31. Oh! Your stuffed bell peppers look so tasty, love it with quinoa and all the veggies in it...so healthy. Perfect meal! Have a great week Maria :-)

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  32. That red, blue and white is so beautiful. Love these shots, again!

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  33. I'm the same way with wanting to use the last of an ingredient. I hate seeing anything going to waste.

    Your stuffed capsicums look amazingly delicious Maria! I love the combination of healthy grains and edamame (yum!).

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  34. I have never cooked with amaranth, but I do love quinoa stuffed capsicums. I second your endorsement of edamame. I feel it bridges the gap between beans, which can be too soft, and nuts, which can be too hard. I always have edamame in the freezer ready to add some green or protein to a dish (I often choose ingredients by color).

    Thanks for sharing this; the photos are beautiful.

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  35. great mind think alike ;) I just bought some bell peppers to make something on the similar line :) Yous looks delicious and such beautiful clicks !

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  36. Don't think I've heard of Amaranth before. It sure does look like a hearty meal though despite the grains =)

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  37. i know that feeling very well - I hate wasting ingredients! Nice work!

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  38. This is such a colourful dish. I have read about how good amaranth is for the body, but have not tried it yet. Looking at what you said about how amaranth tastes, I might think twice before buying it.

    I've been wanting to make stuffed bell peppers for the longest time, but have not got around doing it yet. This looks like a simple, yet delectable dish.

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  39. As per usual - stunning shots. Thanks for your recent comments over my way. Are you doing this for a living because if you aren't you should!!!!!

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  40. Somehow green capsicums would not quite do the visuals although I think yellow would be quite spectacular as well!

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  41. This is a great use of grains! The colors look lovely too. Speaking of amaranth, I recently learned you can pop it sort of like popcorn. It's tiny, but it does pop.

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  42. Thank you all for your comments!

    Lisa, that's a fantastic tip! Thank you!

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  43. A lovely recipe, with amarinth et quinoa..both aesthetically pleasing and healthy!
    ronelle

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