Amaranth leaves (red spinach) with Bulgar


I regard this as a precious endangered culinary specie. To my greatest dismay, I’m not sure whether this dish is popular in many areas of the Levantine region, as we tend to see it as “Grandma’s food”, tucked away somewhere in an ancient, aromatic kitchen in a countryside village. We don’t find it on many kitchen tables, never on any restaurant menus, and sadly, barely anyone from the new generation has ever tasted–or even heard about it.

And I find absolutely no reason why not to popularize it again.

I just don’t get it: It takes minutes to prepare. It tastes great. And it has innumerable health benefits.


And probably the only reason why amaranth leaves (aka, red spinach), hasn’t made it yet onto the list of superfoods is because it hasn’t been discovered by the right people yet (the superfood hunters)!


Known to us as “Etayfeh”, we see it almost everyday in our grandma’s kitchen (and I can’t help but think of the strong connection between Etayfeh-like foods and my grandmother’s longevity). When at last we were able to discover the scientific name of “Etayfeh”, we could finally access the nutritional content of that peculiar ingredient: so our beloved Etayfeh was actually amaranthus…


What strikes you the most in the nutrition fact labeling below?

Red spinach with bulgur NFL

Yep, you saw it. That’s right, 1070% percent daily value of Vitamin K in just 1 serving! That does wonders to your blood cholesterol levels…

60% daily value of vitamin C…45% daily value of vitamin A…45% daily value of manganese…20% folate…15% calcium and magnesium. And not to mention the other high amounts of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, iron, selenium, riboflavin, zinc, phosphorus, and copper!

Wow, who needs a multivitamin, anyway? It’s just so unfair how this treasure box of a dish had gotten out of fashion!

We’ve modified the old  preparation method, which uses alot more oil. We use more water when stir-frying, and add some raw olive oil later on–a healthier alternative to frying with olive oil. And it tastes the same as the good old way 🙂

All you need is the following (serves 6, each serving is 2 heaped tablespoons):

300 grams amaranth leaves (or “red spinach”)

2 medium onions

2 tbsp bulgar (soaked for at least an hour or overnight–you may replace with cooked quinoa)

1 tbsp chili flakes or 1 tsp cayenne powder (optional)

2 tbsp rapeseed oil for stir-frying

2 tbsp olive oil

salt, to taste


1. Saute the onions until translucent.

2. Add the leaves and stir-fry until they shrink. Add some water drops to keep moistened while stir-frying (usually, they use much more oil, but this is a healthier, less-oily recipe). After about 5 minutes, add the bulgar and keep stir-frying (occasionally adding water drops) for another 5 minutes.

3. Add the salt and chili flakes, turn off the heat, and drizzle the olive oil.

Serve with some pita bread or as a side dish with fish (or just about anything you like!).

Enjoy! 🙂


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Categories: Recipes, Vegan

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