So, you know that feeling when you know a food is healthy but you just can’t bring yourself to eat it? For a fruit, veg and grain-loving creature like me – that’s not usually an issue. There’s a few things I can take or leave but I actually enjoy most things – especially when I can create recipes that bring out the best in that ingredient.
I met my nemesis in amaranth, however. I’d read about it online and people positively raved about the health benefits and it wasn’t too pricey either, so it wasn’t a hard decision to throw a bag into my wholefoods order. After receiving it, I thought I’d try it out instead of quinoa in a side dish recipe. I followed the cooking instructions, adding in my own flavours, then served it up with loads of veggies in a buddha bowl.
What a disappointment. It was nothing like the fluffy grains of quinoa or the sticky ones of rice. In fact, the best way that I could describe the texture was…wet sand. Heavy, flavourless. That was about a year ago. I kept thinking I should try it again, but, well, you know…I just didn’t want to.
Then one day, I ran out of quinoa when making bean burgers. Being too lazy to head to the shops, I decided to use my cupboard-lingering amaranth. And what a surprise – they were…good, great even! I’d finally found a use for my nemesis ingredient. I liked my burger recipe so much, I ordered amaranth again. And again. And thought maybe you’d like a peek at the recipe too!
- 1 tin/400g cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup/110g amaranth, cooked with 1½ cups/375ml water and half a vegetable stock cube (optional) and cooled
- ½ cup/60g oats
- 2 Tbsp tomato puree
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (I use gluten free bread ground down in a food processor)
- Set the oven to preheat to 180C.
- Meanwhile, put the oats in a food processor and grind down to a rough flour.
- Add the salt and spices and blend again briefly.
- Add the beans, cooked amaranth, tomato puree and maple syrup. Process to a thick mixture. Don’t worry if there are still chunks of the beans in it.
- Form the mixture into 6-8 patties. If it is a bit too soft, you can stir in a couple more tablespoons of oat flour (or other GF flour).
- Coat each one generously in breadcrumbs (pressing them in with your hands if necessary) before cooking in the oven on a greased baking sheet for 20-25 minutes until firm and golden.
- Serve in a bun with lettuce, avocado and ketchup. I also indulged with a scoop of vegan ‘pulled pork’ (you can make/buy this made from soya or jackfruit).