Gluten-free amaranth risotto

Risotto is a wonderful side dish for chicken, porkchops, grilled fish or a pot of lentils. And amaranth is a tasty and nutritious grain, with higher protein and fiber than the traditionally used arborio rice. Thus, this is a great spicy and gluten free version that will hit the spot at your dinner table.

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Amaranth Risotto

Makes 6 servings
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Amaranth
  • 6 cups water or stock of choice
  • 4 cups packed baby spinach
  • 3 cups lightly steamed broccoli florets
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add a dash more or less, depending on your heat preference)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts*
Method:
  • In a large saucepan, bring liquid to a boil. Add the amaranth, spices and salt. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes. Be sure to stir at least twice during this time to make sure the amaranth does not stick to the bottom.
  • Toast the pine nuts, lightly. You can dry toast them on low heat in a pan or in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit .
  • Once the amaranth is done, add the spinach, cheese and broccoli. You’ll know it’s done because the liquid will be absorbed and the grains will be tender and chewy.
  • Serve hot  in a bowl and top with the pine nuts.
*Pine nuts are expensive, but don’t let that hold you back from adding a crunch to your risotto. Toasted walnuts or slivered almonds work wonders. Allergies? Croutons work, too. 
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