Amaranth "Polenta" Cakes (Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo, Dairy Free)

What are they like?

-Browned on the outside

-Rich and creamy on the inside

-Flavored with caramelized onions, paprika, and cumin

The Amaranth Cakes look slightly different than the photo above, but equally satisfying :)

The Amaranth Cakes look slightly different than the photo above, but equally satisfying :)

 

Recipe

This recipes is gluten free, vegan and can be made Paleo. They taste like real polenta cakes, but unlike polenta which is corn-based, these savory pancakes are packed with nutrients, whole grains, and fiber. If you like (like I do) you can also soak/sprout your amaranth prior to cooking.

Makes 9-12 cakes, prep 12 min, cook time 20 min

3 cups amaranth, cooked
1 cup chick peas (omit if paleo)
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs* (or for Paleo, substitute 1/3 cup coconut flour or two eggs)
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt or to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the onion and bell pepper with 2 tsp olive oil until tender, about ten minutes. Stir occasionally and turn the burner down if necessary to prevent burning. (SEE NOTE)

  2. While the vegetables sauté, combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the peppers and onions when they are done and allow the mixture to rest for about 5 minutes.

  3. Heat the pan over medium heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil and then scoop pancake-sized spoonfuls of mixture into the pan and flatten into round pancakes with the back of a spoon. I usually cook three at a time in a 10” cast iron pan. You can even cook with two pans simultaneously to make cooking faster. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, just until they brown on each side. Repeat with the rest of the mixture and serve immediately.

I love these pancakes with my homemade hummus recipe. They are also excellent with whole milk yogurt, sriracha sauce, or just on their own! I often make a yogurt sauce (dairy or vegan) by adding lime, salt, and an herb like cilantro or dill to the yogurt. It’s delightful with these savory cakes!

Notes:
Cooked amaranth is porridge-like, so breadcrumbs helps absorb liquid. You can try substituting 1/3 cup coconut flour for the oat flour, although I have not tested this substitution. Alternatively you can substitute two eggs for the oat flour and make slightly thinner pancakes. I have tested this recipe with eggs and it is delicious but not vegan!

*I tested this recipe substituting oat flour for the breadcrumbs. My porridge was fairly goopy and not dry enough so I added a lot of oat flour, 3/4 cup, and cooked them right away using two pans. However, using too much oat flour can make the texture sticky and you don’t want that! I recommend bread crumbs unless you don’t have any on hand!