I Took the Alternative Appetites Cooking Challenge. Will You?
How many times have you watched a cooking video and didn’t try the recipe? Guilty. I’ve been known to watch my share of The Food Network, “Lidia’s Italy” and YouTube cooking shows only to admire, sigh, and move on to the next episode.
Time to change that.
When we premiered the latest videos in our Alternative Appetites series, I was determined to make one of the gluten-free recipes at home. I’ve made several recipes from the show before (Eggplant Casserole, anyone?). This time, the Amaranth and Black Bean Salad, a recipe sponsored by The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., caught my eye.
Let me start off by saying, this recipe makes a big batch. So big that is nearly overflowed my largest mixing bowl. If you’re sharing with a friend, it’s a good amount to last you a few days. If you’re single, I’d recommend halving the recipe.
The trick to this recipe was cooking the amaranth properly. Like many of you, I’ve just discovered the grain, so I’m still finding that point where it goes from undercooked to just right. Once the amaranth was done, I popped it into the fridge for a quick chill.
While the amaranth was cooling, I prepped the vegetables. It took some time, but shortcuts like using canned black beans and corn helped. I also took the lazy route and used a jar of roasted red peppers, but I highly recommend roasting your own (I learned a snappy way to do it from this Alternative Appetites video).
Then it was on to the vinaigrette, which was done in a matter of seconds. I forgot to pick up mint (it’s always something), so I threw in a bit of tarragon and chives just to freshen it up.
Finally, it was time to assemble – all of which I completed within the length of a commercial break. Then, the first bite.
You ever get that feeling when you eat something that’s filling, yet light and refreshing at the same time? Well, that’s what I got when I ate this. I consider it my mouth’s way of patting me on the back for doing my body good. The beans, tomatoes, walnuts and grains offer different textures, while the peppers and onions lend strong flavors. In fact, if you’re not a fan of red onion, I’d suggest using only ¼ of an onion. The vinaigrette and corn layer in sweetness, though I could have done with a little less dressing.
The best thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. You could easily add crumbled feta cheese or swap in sliced almonds for the walnuts. I added sliced beets when I scooped some out for work the next day.
So, now that you’ve read my experience, I want you to share yours. Try one of the recipes from the videos posted at www.celiaccentral.org/cookingvideos, then make sure to click through the video and leave a comment on the video on YouTube.
If you have a blog, share your experience just like I did and we’ll enter you in the Alternative Appetites Cooking Challenge. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the link to your post. (Cooking wins and fails welcome!)
- Alternative Appetites Gluten-Free Cooking Series
- Alternative Appetites: Amaranth and Black Bean Salad
- Alternative Appetites Cooking Challenge