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Friday, March 2nd, 2012

How to use Amaranth

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Soup for the Soul

Happy Friday every one!! I don’t know about you but this week has been a crazy one!! We are approaching Mercury Retrograde and it seems I am already starting to notice the effects!! Don’t know what Mercury Retrograde is? Check out this article for details and survival tips! Basically it’s a time when things go wrong – especially things relating to communication and technology. Mercury Retrograde is NOT a good time to sign contracts or make major biz/life/career decisions. It IS a good time to back up your work, your computer, and chill out. Be good to yourself and roll with the punches.

I’ve had my fair share of rolling with the punches this week. After coming home from an AMAZING weekend in Iowa for my Live Food Demo (video coming soon), I came home to this:

This is the inside of my water heater which caught fire while I was gone. Luckily, the fire retardant inside the water heater stopped the fire from spreading. The inside of this flap used to be a large white plastic piece with a large red button. As you can see, all that’s left is a mess of charred wires. THANK GOODNESS the fire did not spread. My whole condo could have burned down with my pets inside!!

The replacement process has been quite frustrating. I’ll spare you the details; all you need to know is that repairs started on Monday, today is Friday, and it is still not done…frustrating to say the least. The other inconvenience (aside from no hot water and workers at my condo 24-7) is that my water heater is built into the cabinetry of my kitchen so with all the mess and workers, I have barely been able to use my kitchen to cook! For someone with a food blog, that is a major problem!! So please accept my apologies for the lack of posting this week. Hopefully next week (fingers crossed) everything will be back to normal.

When in doubt, make soup. Since I knew I wasn’t going to have much access to my kitchen, I knew I needed to make a huge batch of something that would last all week. Soup sounded like an easy option so I went with it and started chopping. Lot’s and lots of veggies, and you know what?! It  actually ended up being a huge stress reliever. The methodical rythm and a little music actually helped to calm me down and remind me that, all things considered, it was not that bad. So, when in doubt, CHOP! I basically threw in whatever veggies I had in my fridge.

I used:

  • 6 carrots
  • 1 head celery
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 zucchini
  • a small wedge of cabbage
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 small head of cauliflower (greens and all) run through the food processor for texture
  • 1.5 cups Amaranth – or you could use 1 cup quinoa or polenta
  • 2-3 cups water – add more water for a brothy soup, less for a stew
  • sea salt to taste

Simply chop all your veggies, process your cauliflower in a food processor (if desired), and add to hot water with sea salt and amaranth. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 30mins or until veggies are soft. You could also do this in a crockpot.

That’s it! When times are tough/stressful/busy/hectic there is nothing better than bowl of nice warm soup! A large batch will last all week and provide some much needed minerals (from the veggies) and protein (from the Amaranth) into your daily routine. The taste of Amaranth is really mild and provides a nice thickness to your soup.

What is Amaranth?

Amaranth is actually a seed that has been consumed as a grain since ancient times; the tiny buff-colored amaranth spheres were important in both Aztec cuisine and culture. Amaranth grains are rich in high-quality protein and minerals, and are naturally gluten-free.

Health Benefits:

Even when just a little is included in a recipe, the benefit is worth it. For anyone cutting down on meat, amaranth offers a bonanza of near-complete protein. It’s not as low in the amino acid lysine, as many other grains are. It is also much richer in iron, magnesium, and calcium than most grains, so it can help keep anemia and osteoporosis at bay. It excels as a source of fiber, mostly insoluble, which is of help in reducing the risk of a variety of diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers and digestive-tract conditions. (source)

As always, If you can’t find Amaranth at your local health food store, you can purchase it online from iherb.comuse my discount code WAG472 to get $5 OFF your first order + free shipping on orders of $20 or more!! They ship internationally and to APO addresses too!

Have a great weekend everyone!! xo

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