February 28, 2012

Adzuki Beans with Millet and Kale

You know those small things that make you realise you might just be doing too many things at once? Like when you accidentally leave a perishable item on the kitchen counter for 2 hours on a hot summer's day. Or when you cook quinoa, completely forget about it for about 40 minutes and end up with blackened mess and a house that smells like - well, burnt quinoa? Yes, I've had a few of those subtle hints in the past weeks reminding me to slow down and focus on one thing at a time.

Simple meals is where its at when life gets busy. I am loving bean and grain salads at the moment and there seems to be just endless flavour options available. This adzuki bean and millet salad with kale and carrot is one of them. I've made a similar dish with brown rice instead of millet and broccoli instead of carrot. Really, the choices are endless and no matter what, you'll end up with a healthy, fulfilling meal. One note about beans, however. I cannot recommend using raw beans enough. Sure, they are a little bit more work than canned beans but really have superior flavour and texture. I don't like beans that are too mushy and that's what canned beans tend to be. If you cook beans from raw you can regulate the tenderness and end up with a nicer texture.

 Adzuki Beans with Millet and Kale*
(serves 2-4)

200g raw adzuki beans, soaked in water overnight
100g millet, cooked
4-5 kale stems
1 large carrot, grated
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari or Bragg's all seasoning
freshly ground black pepper

* This is delicious served on its own or with some roasted pumpkin!

1. Drain the soaked beans and rinse well. Cook the beans in fresh water until tender, about 30-40 minutes. 

2. Combine the beans, millet, grated carrot, sesame seeds and kale in a large bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss into the salad. Season with freshly ground black pepper.