Monday, March 21, 2016

Adzuki Beans with Meyer Lemon, Tomato and Olive Salad (No Added Fat)

I wanted to make a dish with adzuki beans; they are easily prepared pressure cooked for 20-25m if unsoaked and only 10-15m if soaked, cooked with enough water to just cover. I love Meyer lemons and recently a local cooperative store, Weaver Street Market, has had organic Meyers regularly in stock. I wondered what it would be like to cook with pieces of these sweet lemons. Here is what I did.

  • 1 cup dry Adzuki beans
  • Ample water to cover beans with and then to barely cover
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 2 medium carrots cut into 1/4" lengths and then quartered (about a cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • (optional) 2t chopped basil (I used frozen basil cubes)
  • 1t finely (1/8") chopped ginger root
  • 5 leaves kale, stems excepted (composted), and roughly hand torn into approximately 3/4" squares (I used both red and green varieties of kale)
  • 1/3 medium Meyer lemon, seeds removed, cut into 3/8" cubes, skin and fruit both (alternatively, one could use the juice of 1/3 medium lemon or lime and, optionally, a teaspoon of organic citrus zest)
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes (I actually used a medium shallot that ended up being about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt
  • (optional) 1/8 t turmeric
  1. I rinsed a cup of adzuki beans then put ample boiling water over them and let them sit for about 5 hours.
  2. I was out but had my wife rinse the beans and put them in the Instant Pot pressure cooker with just enough water to cover them and a bouillon cube, and cook for 12m.
  3. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure. It turns out that my wife added extra water, which I drained. The beans were good and done, though a bit firm. I added the carrot, garlic, basil, ginger, kale, and lemon, then cooked for 2 more minutes.
  4. When I was ready to serve, I opened the pot slowly, and added shallot, salt, and turmeric.
I had recently purchased a nice mix of "organic super grains" from Whole Foods Market, which consists of white quinoa, millet, red quinoa, and buckwheat (ingredients listed in that order of decreasing volume). It cooks in a 1 part grain to 2 part water ratio over a 16-20m simmer. I made that, as well as a fun salad of tomato chunks, olive, and Ume plum (other vinegars would do, too) vinegar, plus a bit of salt.


Dinner was very nice! I was so pleased with how nicely Meyer lemons cook in a dish like this. It's nice to have adzuki beans after a long time - they taste a little like black beans, but are less dense and cook faster and with less water.

The salad was excellent! I should make this salad reasonably regularly when good tomatoes are available, and the stores seem to just be ramping up with good tomatoes. I am quite happy with the texture, taste, and, of course, nutrition of the "super grains" mix and should either keep buying this combination or make this or other similar mixes.

Ideas for the future

I want to keep exploring Meyer lemons in cooking. The skin by itself is nice, as is the whole lemon. I should cook more adzuki bean dishes - they're easy and fast to cook.

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