While I was searching for a replacement for my lettuce, I completely overlooked all the amaranth growing in our garden. We planted it just because it looks interesting but the leaves, when they are small, have a really mild delicious taste similar to spinach. The baby leaves make for a great salad. It is drought and heat resistant and we grew about 10 just by my husband shaking out a seed head a few months ago against the back fence and forgetting about them.
You can also harvest the grains on top which are higher in protein than other similar grains. We have not tried this yet. When we are feeling daring maybe we will try this recipe I found from the website Chet's Day, Health and Beyond:
To cook amaranth boil 1 cup seeds in 2-1/2 cups liquid such as water or half water and half stock or apple juice until seeds are tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Adding some fresh herbs or gingerroot to the cooking liquid can add interesting flavors or mix with beans for a main dish. For a breakfast cereal increase the cooking liquid to 3 cups and sweeten with Stevia, honey or brown rice syrup and add raisins, dried fruit, allspice and some nuts.
Amaranth has a "sticky" texture that contrasts with the fluffier texture of most grains and care should be taken not to overcook it as it can become "gummy." Amaranth flavor is mild, sweet, nutty, and malt like, with a variance in flavor according to the variety being used.