Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vegetarian Beef Tip Casserole with Amaranth Recipe

As usual, I was at one of my favorite markets, Clark Nutrition store, when I eyed "homestyle beefless tips" by Gardein.  I immediately thought, hmmm...what I can I do with this?  So the following is what I came up with...something easy and quick to prepare. 

I also decided to pair up the veggie beef tips with a grain I personally have never tried before, which is amaranth. I discovered that's it's fun to pop amaranth! Amaranth does have a fair amount of protein; however, it does not contain all of the essential amino acids. On the other hand, individuals with celiac disease do appreciate amaranth even more, because it does not contain gluten.

1/4 cup of Amaranth
3/4 cups of panko bread crumbs (I always look for the one lowest in sodium)
1/2 of an onion sliced
1/2 bag of tator tots
9 oz vegetarian beef tips
1 can 10.75 oz of cream of mushroom soup with garlic
1/4 cup of almond milk
1 container 6 oz. of vanilla Greek yogurt
1 tsp of mushroom seasoning
1 tsp of ground black pepper
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees.

You will prepare the toppings first.  Heat a frying pan and make sure it is hot. You can test to see if it is hot by splattering a little bit of water on the pan. The water should immediately sizzle and disappear. When you are sure the pan is hot, place a small amount of the amaranth and not the whole 1/4 cup of amaranth. With a wooden spoon, move the amaranth around allowing the amaranth to go around in circles. The amaranth should start "popping". When the small amount is popped, place it in a bowl and pop the rest of the amaranth, but again, in small amounts. If you put all of the amaranth in the pan at one time, it will not pop. Once all of the amaranth is popped, mix it with the panko bread crumbs and lay it aside.

In a small rectangular casserole dish, place one layer of tater tots at the bottom of the casserole dish. Place the vegetarian beef tips on top of the tator tots. Place onions in between or on top of tator tots and veggie beef tips. Mix the almond milk with the cream of mushroom soup until the mixture is nice and smooth. Then place this mixture on top of the tator tots, vegetarian beef tips, and onions by spreading it out as best you can. Then spread all of the Greek yogurt on top of this mixture. Sprinkle the mushroom seasoning and black pepper all over on top of the mixtures. Place all of the mozzarella cheese on top of the mixtures. Once the cheese is evened out on top, the last layer you will place is the amaranth and panko bread toppings. Sprinkle this all over on top of the mozzarella cheese layer. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow the casserole to cool for about ten minutes or so and you are ready to eat! Enjoy!

In what ways do you enjoy amaranth?

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