the amaranth and quinoa are gluten-free grains known and appreciated since the time of the aztecs. these ancient grains were used both in human nutrition, as well as for religious rituals because it is said they have magical powers.
quinoa is a grain rich in protein and vitamins, easily assimilated by the body and the amaranth helps lower the cholesterol and helps in preventing heart disease and boosts immunity.
their preparation is very easy, you wash it in several waters (like the rice) and then use the same way as any other grain: in soups, garnishes, creams, puddings, fillings in various compositions (cabbage, stuffed peppers, etc. ).
high protein content of quinoa makes it very useful in vegetarian diets, for athletes and children. with no gluten, the grain shows a very low risk of developing allergies, are tolerated even by those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, etc...
to make acquaintance with these delicious ancient grains, today we will prepare a quinoa side dish with vegetables of amaranth and organic dried shiitake mushrooms. the combination has an asian note, due to fungi and the sesame, so it was served in bowls with bamboo sticks, of course. serving with sticks facilitates the taste experiment because they can be enjoyed in small amounts and the sensory qualities of each grain are felt distinctively.
if you do not have a bio mix ready-made, i recommend that you prepare it yourself, using the above cereals, millet, crushed wheat and a mixture of vegetables (optional, dehydrated).
i had everything ready prepared. the mixture contained: amaranth, millet, crushed wheat, carrots, leeks, mushrooms, quinoa, and sesame. the sesame gives the rice a special taste.
grains are washed in water and then boiled together with vegetables.
if you have a ready-mix, then rinse with water and put to boil in 2 cups of water. add salt (preferably sea salt, without iodine).
meanwhile rehydrate the shiitake mushrooms with hot or warm water.
during boiling, add hot water if needed. sprinkle granulated garlic, if desired.
towards the end of boiling, add the moist mushrooms.
stir, turn off the heat and put a lid for steaming rice to be perfected. you can add a tablespoon of oil in the end. the suitable oils would be: olive, sesame, peanut (beware of allergies), grape seeds, argan oils. choose any oil that you like, because its subtle flavor will refine the preparation.
the grains will absorb all the water and will have a firm, distinct consistency. when properly boiled (follow the directions on the package, approx. 15-20 minutes), grains are soft, easily chewable without disintegrating. do not boil too much and do not put too much water at first, otherwise you will lose the final appearance, in which all ingredients are combined easily without sticking.
serve hot, but it's good also cold.
enjoy your meal!