Amaranth Flour Gravy

Not gravy, but Red Kuri Pasta Sauce.

My Seasonal Affective Disorder is creeping in, it happens every year and nothing lifts it. I’ll grab whatever sun appears, but other than that it’ll run it’s course. Combine that with my depression and I’ll be somewhat cranky for the foreseeable future, but fear not, dear reader, I’ll never aim it at you. These posts are part of my coping method, so expect plenty of nonsensical posts in the future. Par the course really, huh? There are two vital truths to this post, dear reader. The first is that gravy in my limited experiences before I started to just make it myself from scratch is a lumpy, thin, somewhat chicken flavoured concoction. Often made like tar to optimise the taste of delicious, delicious salt. The second is there are better gravy recipes on the blog, but this does two things: It uses Amaranth flour and it removes the bitter taste. So keeping that in mind, we’ll plod ahead. Seriously, I’m so groggy.

They’re a great squash. Plenty of flesh. Lots of vegetables to kick Winter colds.

A roux? Nah, the colour is mostly just the butter and this isn’t going to be velvety.

I’ve added my cubes from previous posts, linked below, to give this a kick of flavour. The taste is going to depend entirely on the stock you use or the juices. This is basic, it’s the Uggs of gravies. I can so make jokes like that! I’m still young…ish. This is just another recipe that actual tries rather than assumes. You’ll see a multitude of vague uses for amaranth flour, but actual practical, tested recipes can be much rarer. I think I was looking at baby food recipes, Indian ones if I’m not mistaken, when I came to think about this. What can I really add? The onion is delicious here, really sweet and fragrant, it’s honestly the highlight. Cooking the flour in the butter, roux style, does take away that dirty taste, I can’t even call it earthy, it’s just not appealing. Beetroot is earthy, carrots can be earthy, but this is just dirty without frying.

Did I just run my own recipe down? Yeah….maybe I shouldn’t do that so much…nah.

I’m still puzzled by the fact I thought I wanted this, why I bought it again will forever remain a mystery. Thankfully I have plenty of recipes to use it in and will try to create a few more before I’m done. I don’t know why I still have such a decent and loyal readership. Sometimes I look at these posts and wonder who would want them. I suppose the answer is I would’ve way back when I needed them so if it helps at all I’m glad and I’m really grateful for your support, dear reader. Until later.

Honesty is the best policy. Sometimes.

 

Ingredients

200ml Stock (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable etc) or Meat Juices
1 Tbsp Amaranth flour
1 Tbsp Butter
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Optional: Add cubes of Red Currant Sauce and Caramelized Red Onion Puree.

Method

1. Add the Flour, Salt, Pepper and Butter to a very hot pan and stir together as the Butter melts. Keep it stirred to prevent burning and cook for a few minutes until the mixture has turned a caramel golden brown.

2. Pour in the Stock and add the Extras if using then whisk everything together and bring to a boil, once the boil has been reached reduce to a simmer and cook until Gravy has thickened.

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Flaxseed, Amaranth and Rice Flour Scones

I will one day learn to take better late-night photos.

I’m a terrible food blogger at times, dear reader, I know that. I often run my own recipes down, because, well, they’re good enough to eat and consistent to make, but sometimes they’re just not that great and I couldn’t claim anything about them that isn’t the truth. That’s me, dear Jack, honest to a fault. Why put them at all I’m sure you wonder, quite simply as an emergency measure. I think of these as starvation recipes. I remember dark days when I had no idea what I’d be able to eat and stay in bodily health and happy in mind. I’ve faced so often the possibility that a staple of my diet may vanish into the ever uncaring void, unwanted by too many, even if desperately needed by a few. If I run out of a staple my whole diet takes a huge hit because its built on those staples, there’s no leeway, they’re all I can eat, I’m sure there are plenty of people thinking that of course they’ll be food, that’s a lovely luxury to have. I honestly hope they never come face to face with the idea of eating plain meat and rice, nothing else, for the rest of their lives. That was the position I found myself in and I pushed on, now, thankfully I’m much more equipped with the knowledge of what the ingredient I have can do, I’ve gone far beyond what many would have thought the limits. I’m ever near that edge, I’ll forever keep pulling away, so if ever you see me less than enthusiastic about a recipe, know that it’s born of a possible necessity, but it’s as good as recipe as I’ll share, maybe not the best taste or the most attractive, but it’ll work as well as any. Remember that food might be fuel, but excessive limits can be detrimental to he mental health of the one  facing those limits. No one should have to be miserable. Life is complex, dear reader, thankfully Jack is an idiot and has no idea how complex it really is!

They’re a bit messy if you work them to much.

So, these are of course adapted from here, thanks me. I knew that all amaranth wouldn’t be a success and I also knew rice flour with gum isn’t going to work here, so I naturally didn’t use gum. I’m a genius. Instead I relied in the strength of the flaxseed and egg. The end result isn’t very stable, these scones aren’t exactly immune from crumbling, but they could be cut in half carefully. I often just butter the base and don’t bother cutting them. What’s the point? It’s just affectation, you’re just eating them and the less crumbs that fall the less of a slob you’ll look, I worry about your slovenly ways, I am of course impeccable. No you can’t see me, just trust me. Inside they’re nice and soft thanks to both the flaxseed and the amaranth. The extra sugar is to help cut though the taste of the unroasted amaranth flour, it’s still very pungent. These are pretty rough, but they come together fast and have a decent mix of flours that at least give you a varied nutrition boost. I use these as a bread replacement, stick some cheese in these, smear on some unsweetened peanut butter, not together, well, if you want go for it, a quick, filling “sandwich” with plenty to make it worth eating. You can make so many foods gluten free these days, but often they contain so little in actual nutritional value, I’d rather eat a slightly crumbly, pig-weed lump and know that I was giving my body what it needs to stay in tip-top shape. It ain’t pretty, but it works. Face it, dear reader, if I was just like every other blogger you’d have no reason to come here. See you again soon, dear reader.

I have so many scone recipes.

Ingredients

35g Amaranth Flour
35g Ground Flaxseed/Golden Flaxseed
30g Rice Flour (White and Brown Blend)
1 Medium Egg (60g-65g)
25g Sugar
15ml Olive Oil
1 Tsp Baking Powder

Makes 3 Scones.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200c (Fan) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and then stir, with a fork in the Olive Oil Egg and until the dough starts to come together, adding a splash of water as needed. Dough should be airy and slightly sticky. Form into a ball and rest for 5 minutes.

3. After the 5 minutes are up, the dough should be firmer now and not too sticky, though it will be crumbly, split into three and roll each portion in a ball, wetting hands as needed, and press gently onto the prepared tray.

4. Bake for 17-20 minutes until scones are firm and a brown colour. Transfer to a wire-rack and let cool. Best eaten on day of baking.

Let them cool completely before cutting.

Rice and Amaranth Flour Waffles

This looks stuffed. I think it posed like that on purpose.

Dear reader, it’s been years, hmmm? Days? Really? Oh. It is of course me, bitter, jaded food blogger! No, not really, but I’m sure I’ll come across like that slightly today. I’d sigh deeply, dear reader, but you won’t hear me so it’d be pointless. What has brought this on, Jack? I hear you query, or rather I don’t. Whenever I tweak a recipe like this, just a slight change, but one that provides proof positive that it does work and is viable, it reminds me of the countless times I’ve come across recipes making claims that have no verification, no, not the Twitter blue tick, you can use any flour is all too often claimed and ultimately damaging and untrue, be it to the deterrent of trying further recipes or for the assumption it creates where you assume the failure is on your lack of skills or understanding. I’ve spoken about this before, but it bears repeating that gluten free is as varied a medium to create recipes in as any diet. Without fully knowing we shouldn’t share. A full flour amaranth waffle doesn’t work, I tried it and know, this because of the same reason: I tried it. But what’s to stop me claiming that any flour would work here? Nothing, the responsibility is enforced by myself on myself. For no the reason then I know the struggles many of us face and making further difficulties for people just learning is unforgivable. I don’t want views or shares based on lies. I should get on my high horse and ride away, but I’ve beaten it to death.

Where are the waffles? “What waffles?”

Okay, deep breath. I won’t apologise for feeling strongly, but I hope I don’t come off as trying to make myself look better by slandering others. I think people just make mistakes, but when those mistakes compound their lack of malicious or devious intent no longer matters. What do I know? I just bought amaranth flour and then realised I had no real use for it. Sure I have recipes, but I really had no need for it. I’m honestly puzzled by the fact I bought it. My brain is so preoccupied with healing it’s getting befuddled. As for the healing I’ve now hit the stage where the swelling reduces, I look good, dear reader, almost human, heh, but the pain is hitting as nerves awaken to their destiny, which is apparently to never be touched. I’m now able to wear just one binder. The world was not made for people of Jack’s height, dear reader. Ah, well, enough preambles, onto the waffles.

Here they are. Goodbye.

As I said I tried all amaranth, not remembering it’s a sticky mess at the best of times, but even with just a little these ran the risk of sticking, but you’ll be fine if you don’t go beyond the amount in the recipe. These are sweetened, but not sweet. You need something to cut through the blandness of the rice four and the strong taste of the unroasted amaranth flour. They”re not super crispy, but they’re also not limp. They’re ideal s a sandwich bread replacement. The amaranth flour adds a lot more nutritional value than just the rice flour on its lonesome. Yeah, that’s all there is to say. A simple recipe, but useful. I see the same recipes recycled over and over, often by companies trying to sell you on their products and then by the other companies or people getting paid to advertise them. You can do so much more then most people will know on a free from diet, never forget that, dear reader, never give up and just accept. Fight, fight to be and do better.

Ingredients

80g Rice Flour (White and Brown Blend)
20g Amaranth Flour
2 Medium Eggs (60g-65g in Shell)
75ml Water
50ml Olive Oil
25g Sugar
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

Makes 4 Waffles. Can be frozen.

Method

1. Turn on Waffle Iron. Beat Eggs until frothy using a whisk, then mix in Milk, Olive Oil and Sugar beat until combined.

2. Add in Flours and Baking Powder whisk until a smooth, runny batter has been formed.

3. Add enough Batter to warmed Waffle Iron to fill the plates, close and cook for 7-10 minutes until waffles are golden brown and the bottom is crisp. Remove wih a rubber spatula and let cool for a few minutes, Waffles will crisp up slightly more as they cool. Repeat until batter is used up.

Amaranth, Buckwheat and Quinoa

 photo WP_20170409_002_e_zpsqdlclmsx.jpgA “Clearing Out The Freezer” Dinner.

Dear r-reader, is it r-really you? It’s been millennia since we last…what? You sure? It has felt like an eternity getting through these recipes. I wanted to show how easy it is to use these seeds and in trying to prove it I’ve driven myself sightly mad, but it’s finally finished. I hope that all of you out there struggling to find new ideas for weekly meals will look at these and at least consider adding one, or all, of these seeds to your diets. They’re really worthwhile. I complain because these recipes are really basic and I needed to space them out and try them properly. I made it and still have some in date buckwheat groats. The first two recipes had a texture very similar to just amaranth, but today’s triple combo has a texture split down the middle. A soft, thick porridge combines with individual seeds firmness. It’s unusual, strangely like a crumbly porridge. An odd description, but apt. I did go for a nut butter option, but you can do whatever you like with the basic version. If all else you’ll find unique, interesting recipes here, whether people will try them is uncertain, but I like the fact that I can make this diet work. Okay, that’s all for today. No garden post to pester you with today as the promised weekend sunshine has vanished. I’m off to read and complain about the lack of spinach being planted. I don’t even eat it, but I want to grow it! Until later.

Ingredients

170ml Water
20g Amaranth
20g White Quinoa
15g Raw Buckwheat Groats
Olive Oil

Method

1. Put the Quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water.

2. Add a little Olive Oil to the pot and heat. Add the Quinoa and cook until dried. Then add in the Amaranth, Buckwheat and Water. Bring to boil, reduce to a medium heat cover and cook for 15 minutes.

4. After the 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat. Let it stand for another 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lift the lid and take a fork and fluff.

Variations

Peanut Butter: Cook as normal. While cooking mix together 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter Butter, 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil, 2 Cloves Garlic, Grated, a Pinch Sea Salt and Black Pepper until a smooth Paste is formed. Stir Paste into Amaranth, Buckwheat and Quinoa just before serving.

Amaranth and Buckwheat

 photo WP_20170402_001_e_zpsfvarpwfk.jpgI’m trying baby corn for a while. It seems okay, like most vegetables it just tastes like nothing to me. Not bad nothing, so that’s okay.

Bah! Dear reader, you’re loyal enough to already have seen this preamble about the usefulness of basic, healthy recipes dealing with lesser known ingredients, numerous times no doubt, so I won’t repeat it and that’ll save you and me a headache. You know what I have been thinking of? The fact that health is a pretty abstract thing when we’re viewing ourselves in regards wellness and well-being. What is healthy for you, for me? How does it feel? I think too often our feelings are overridden. Bear with me, I can think back, back to the fat-days, but I can’t remember what the strain on my bones felt like, the pains and aches, the general feeling of bad health. I can recall it in vague ways, in general terms, but not with the clarity of my feelings now. So how can a check-list of benefits really tell me anything of how a food will affect me, even another persons experience with an ingredient isn’t going to mirror my own exactly. When we see a post on something like amaranth or buckwheat that’s a run down of it’s nutritional values and benefits that does have it’s uses, but isn’t it’s effect on an individual more useful? You’re talking with someone who’s eaten alternative seeds or pseudo-grains for as long as he’s been on a restricted diet. Isn’t the fact that I eat these regularly more informative than regurgitating the same tired information on them in an informal way? If it isn’t then that’s fine too. I just hope there’s worth in these words and these recipes.

What else could I eat? That’s a question I ask myself often. Take away these seeds and what else is there for me? I could find alternatives, but I like these, they keep me in good health, keep me full and satisfied. I remember when I first pledged to be better or to, well, truthfully: Die. Don’t despair, dearest reader, I’m still here, Jack is tough and inventive. But as I was saying, when I first started I said to myself that I would eat plain rice and chicken to be better, every single day if needs be. Thankfully I was able to create a diet that has plenty of options, but that was my determination Sounds like a bad anime, right? “I’m going t get stronger! Even if I have to eat bland Chicken and Rice every day!”) and I would have stuck to it. It’s also why I share these simple recipes, combinations of seeds all properly cooked, no guessing, the experience I’ve accumulated bringing you worthwhile, healthy and useful dishes. So, today side is simplicity itself. It’s a more textured amaranth, thanks to he larger seeds of the buckwheat, deliciously combined with nut butter, but that’s optional. Simple fare, but also enduring fare. I could, probably will too, eat this for life. There’s no taste here but what you add, well, there’s a bit of earthy taste from the amaranth, flooded with nut butter it vanishes beneath the creamy richness, thankfully. So, I’ve tried Amaranth with quinoa and now buckwheat. So next is Quinoa and Buckwheat? If it doesn’t expire first. One thing I should mention at if this came out badly then that’s me stuck for a dinner, I have no alternative, no other dish to whip up to replace it while everything else cools, it’s the reason I don’t try these things too often. The fact that they succeed is half luck and half knowledge. Okay, see you in a few for a garden post. A more chipper one, I swear! Later.

Oh! Forgot t mention something. I’m not even going to try to cleverly work this in. The reason you toast the buckwheat is for flavour and the reason you let it cool it is to avoid heating the amaranth too much. I’m not sure if it’d affect that much, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Ingredients

30g Raw Amaranth
25g Raw Buckwheat
175ml Water

Method

1. Add the Buckwheat Groats to the pot with a drizzle of Olive Oil and then toast on a medium heat until fragrant, lightly golden and just starting to pop. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes then add the Amaranth and Water. Bring to boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

2. After the 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat. Let it stand for another 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lift the lid and take a fork and stir the Amaranth and Buckwheat and then serve.

Variations

Cashew Buckwheat: Cook as normal. While cooking mix together: 1 Tbsp Cashew Butter, 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil and a Pinch of Sea Salt and Black Pepper until a smooth Paste is formed. Stir Paste into to Amaranth and Buckwheat just before serving.

Quinoa and Amaranth

2017 Update: Due to a problem with Photobucket, see here, there will be a lot of recipes without photos. I will be slowly redoing the recipe pages, as best I can, but many other posts will be impossible to replace. I’m doing this in my own time, while continuing to update the blog with new recipes and posts. If you’d like to donate, any amount appreciated, you can do so here. The site will always be free, the recipes will never be locked behind a paywall, but this is a lot of additional work. I’m not demanding or begging, just putting it there so if you feel like repaying my hard work you have that option. I don’t make any money from the site, all that I do here is to help others, I couldn’t charge for that.

Not only a new recipe, but it already has variations!

I just realised that my Quinoa recipe was in dire need of editing. It’s been sorted now, sorry to anyone that tried it and had trouble. So, again, I’m back with a basic recipe, but you know what? I’ve found that often when these seeds, not grains, not pseudo-grains, are being sold they can often be listed with erroneous recipes on how best to prepare them, if they include a recipe at all. You’re flat out of luck if you’d like a little flair with your new side. That’s why I’m here, I was caught time and time again and one day decided I couldn’t do any worse. Think of these as the four Mother Seeds, like the sauces, you know?…Just Google it. You have Amaranth, Pigweed, The seed of the Aztecs, blah blah blah, you’ve heard it countless time and probably haven’t seen much use for it outside of porridge. I have you more than covered. No, no need to thank me. Wait, do, do thank me! I’m just wonderful, right? So humble, modest too. Then there’s Buckwheat, oh, you delight, seed of my heart. Perfection, to me at least. Then there’s Kaniwa…moving on. And finally Quinoa. You might be a bit dull, but you’ve stood me well in time, my old seed. I think no healthy free-from diet can be without a few of these seeds regularly. Just check the links and tags because if you think I’m linking to all those recipe you’re a sanguine lunkhead.

What’s the worth in listing a recipe this simple? Because chances are you don’t know how to cook these seeds singularly never mind together. I can only guess at this, perhaps you’re all, everyone one of you, well informed, but secretive, but I don’t often see them used, never to the absurd extent I’ve tried them. I’ve been on a restricted diet so long that it no longer feels that way. It takes so much effort, graft and willingness to get to here and that’s why I’m sharing the fruits of my labours. Quinoa and Amaranth go together really easily because they share a cooking time The water and weight was different for each, but they cooked perfectly. The basic side is very bland, hence the addition of a variation below. What you end up with here is a slightly differently textured amaranth. This is more on the side of homogeneity rather than the individual  distinct grains of quinoa. I like this. Mix it up with some nut or seed butter, some additional flavours and you’ve got a side that you can enjoy in place of mashed vegetables. I’ll just say that you should give these seeds a chance, they might be just what your diet needs. Oh, about the peanut butter and cranberry: You’d eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich right? That’s what this is, just savoury. So good with sweet potato and broccoli. Okay, dear reader, I’ll leave you now, to go and lament my lack of compost on this fine day, but to also marvel at my started seeds. Until later.

Ingredients

160ml Water
25g White Quinoa
30g Amaranth
Olive Oil

Method

1. Put the Quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water.

2. Add a little Olive Oil to the pot and heat. Add the Quinoa and cook until dried. Then add in the Amaranth and Water. Bring to boil, reduce to a medium heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

4. After the 15 minutes is up, remove from the heat. Let it stand for another 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lift the lid and take a fork and fluff.

Variations

Peanut Butter and Cranberry: Cook as normal. While cooking mix together: 1 Tbsp Cranberry Sauce, 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter, 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil, a Pinch Sea Salt and Black Pepper until a smooth Paste is formed. Stir Paste into Quinoa and Amaranth just before serving.

Quinoa and Amaranth Flour Bread

 photo WP_20170318_007_zpsjbu2jsb3.jpgFresh out of the oven.

Hmm? You again? Dear reader, you are a jewel of the ocean, the acme of blog readers, etc etc, but you can’t expect me to stay with you forever and ever, can you? Okay, fine one more recipe and that’s it. I mean that. I had wanted to test out quinoa flour and amaranth flour, but there was no quinoa flour that wasn’t absurdly expensive, so I gave up, no, sorry, made my own, again. It’s tedious, but at least you avoid the nasty taste so many store bought flours possess. I’m going to cut this short, it worked, but it’s nearly identical to the all Quinoa Flour Bread. That’s not a disparagement, that bread is really great. I’d praise it more if it weren’t my own recipe, but modesty prevails and I quietly mumble its praises. The one thing I love about this is that one minute out of the oven it was cut without any crumbs. I do think the texture is slightly firmer, but that might be the lessened water. Go to the quinoa flour bread page and you’ll get all the information you’ll ever need. This is just here because it worked. It’s never a bad thing to know additional flours work and because it was too different to list as a variation. I used two small tins, I think they’re four and a half inches each, because you get a better crust to, ummm, not crust? ratio, but you could use a normal sized loaf tin and it should be fine. I just prefer to list what I used so you’ll hopefully avoid any failures due to me. Your failures are yours to accept. I’m perfect! Heh. Okay, until later.

 photo WP_20170318_006_zpszlo5spcs.jpgLook! It’s tulip time. More tulip time…

 photo WP_20170318_005_zpsmfygdwv5.jpgPotato time too. I’ll have to cover them with more compost and feed soon.

Ingredients

170g Toasted Quinoa Flour
30g Raw Amaranth Flour
25g Ground Flaxseed
150ml Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Large Eggs (70g to 75g in Shell)
1/3 Tbsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt

Makes two small loaves.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175c (No Fan).

2. Grease (With Butter or Olive Oil) and line a 6×3 inch loaf pan.

3. In a large bowl mix together the Egg, Olive Oil and Salt. Add the Quinoa Flour, Amaranth Flour, Flaxseed and Baking Soda and stir until combined, then add the Water and stir together until smooth. Rest for 5 minutes until batter has thickened. It will be lumpy.

4. Pour batter into prepared tins and bake for 40-50 minutes, turning halfway if needed, until brown, the tops firm when pressed, and a skewer comes out clean.

5. Remove from he tin and let cool completely on a wire-rack.