Sunday, December 13, 2009

Amaranth Casserole

I had some amaranth in my cabinets but didn't know what to do with it. I bought it about six months ago and cooked it once, but I didn't know what to expect - it cooks up a bit like polenta. So, feeling creative, I thought I'd attempt a layered casserole. I based a lot of the recipe on one for lasagna that I found at the Fat Free Vegan website. My recipe is pretty tasty (I think the soy sausage makes it), but made a mess out of my kitchen because I had to use so many pots, pans and bowls.

Amaranth Casserole
Layer #1
3 cups water
1 cup amaranth
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Bring water to a boil. Add all other Layer #1 ingredients. Cover; lower heat to medium low. Cook for 30 minutes. Stir thoroughly when done.

Layer #2
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. fresh sliced mushrooms
4 soy breakfast sausage links, sliced thin
1 jar pasta sauce
1 can sliced black olives, drained

Cook oil, mushrooms and soy sausage in frying pan. When mushrooms are beginning to soften, add pasta sauce and olives. Warm through.

Layer #3
10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 lb. firm tofu, drained
2 tbsp. plain soymilk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mash all Layer #3 ingredients together.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray and layer ingredients as follows: 1/3 of Layer #1, 1/2 of Layer #2, 1/2 of Layer #3. Repeat once again, then top with remaining 1/3 of Layer #1. Cover casserole dish with foil, bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil; bake an additional 15 minutes.

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