AMARANTH, CHICK PEA, BLACK BEAN, and SPINACH PIE Yes, it is a Vegan pie, except for the crust of course, and the cheese, which you can omit,what can I say I like butter in my crust, butter is what makes a pie crust flaky and I have not found anything that can take its place! But, as far as the filling is concerned this vegetarian pie center is loaded with ingredients that are good for you, have lots of nutritional value, and tastes delicious! I will start with Amaranth, an all natural , gluten-free grain, that has more protein than wheat and even oats. It is an excellent source of lysine, an important amino acid well absorbed in the intestinal tract,and calcium that is good for your bones. It also has more magnesium, fiber, and iron than other gluten-free grains, and lower in carbohydrates and a good source of poly unsaturated fatty acids, as well as containing vitamin E similar to olive oil. You can use amaranth as a thickener for roux, and for white sauces, soups and stews.
This filling also contains chick peas or garbanzo beans which are a good source of protein and nutrients and fiber that keep you energised throughout the course of your day and black beans that are loaded with fiber, helping your colon and digestive tract, and finally spinach, the wonder green, with vitamins, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. I also added some spices that are healthy for you such as Turmeric, an indian common spice that provides many benefits, and cinnamon, that lowers cholesterol and is high in nutrients.
Who said you couldn’t have a healthy pie? This is a nutritious superfood pie, with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals! If you could tell me how to make a healthy crust without using butter, maybe I would listen and learn, but the taste would not be there, or the flakiness, and a habit is hard to break, but I am trying to eat healthier, I really am, I just know what I love, and taste is the ultimate reason!
400 degree oven
1- 8-9 inch pie crust (top and bottom)
- 1 cup of cooked Amaranth – ( instructions to make 1 cup of cooked begins with rinsing 1/2 cup amaranth under cold water and adding to 2/3 cup of boiling water in sauce pan, cover and simmer 20 minutes) let cool, set on side
- 1 small onion (diced fine)
- 2 cloves of garlic (diced fine)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 lb chopped fresh or frozen spinach
- 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 – 14 ounce can of black beans (rinsed)
- 1- 14 ounce can of chick peas (rinsed)
- 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- Make pie crust and line pie plate with bottom shell
- Cook amaranth, place on side to cool, and measure out 1 cup
- In a fry pan or saute pan place olive oil over medium heat and saute onions and garlic till limp
- Add spinach, red pepper flakes, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to the pan and continue cooking until just beginning to cook
- Take off heat and place on side
- In a food processor add black beans and chick peas to bowl and pulse till smooth
- Add grated parmesan cheese and continue to pulse till blended together.
- In a large bowl place spinach mixture together with bean, chick pea and cheese mixture and blend together.
- Add cooked amaranth to bowl and continue to mix till well blended together
- Place mixture in bottom of pie crust
- Place top crust on top of bottom crust and flute edges
- Brush with egg wash (1 egg plus a little milk)over crust
- Bake in 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.