Being a flexitarian is ultimately a journey of discovery of vegan and vegetarian foods. What I love about the concept of being a flexitarian is that it can be defined any way you chose. Each person has their own deeply personal relationship with food and everyone has to do what they feel is best for their body. Unfortunately what many people think is good for their body may have many hidden preservatives and chemicals that the modern food industry has disguised at “healthy”.
Food labeling standards are a blessing and I strongly encourage you to take the time to read what is in the products you purchase. Not all food labeling is clear and understandable but if you can’t understand what something means would you really want to put it in your body?
Every few months there seems to be a new documentary or book released discussing food. If you are interested in any of my favorite picks check out The Salty Tomato Bookstore. I also describe my journey to becoming a flexitarian in my Flexitarian page.
Ancient grains are an excellent way to incorporated plant-based proteins into a flexitarian diet. Quinoa is one of my favorites and I love the way the grains pop in my mouth. This was my first attempt at cooking amaranth and it paired very nicely with quinoa.
Amaranth is a very tiny grain that doesn’t fluff up like quinoa but blends with it well.
Do you have any favorite dishes with amaranth?
Rice cookers are fantastic for cooking quinoa. I use a 1:1 ratio of liquid to quinoa and it always comes out perfect.
- 1 cup quinoa
- ½ cup amaranth
- 1¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons chopped pimento stuffed green olives
- 2 tablespoon sherry vinaigrette (recipe below)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place quinoa, amaranth and water in rice cooker and cook according to directions.
- While quinoa and amaranth are cooking prepare sun dried tomatoes and olives.
- Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl until emulsified. This will make more than you need for the salad. It will keep well in your refrigerator and is great on green salad.
- Place cooked, warm quinoa and amaranth into a medium sized bowl with chopped olives and sun dried tomatoes. Mix until well incorporated.
- Add 2 tablespoons sherry vinaigrette and mix well. Taste and add more vinaigrette to taste if desired.