Quinoa * and aduki beans* are two star performers in my kitchen. In Jonny Bowden’s book, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, which I reviewed last summer, he makes quinoa one of his stars, as well. (*Also listed in my Glossary. )
Bowden explains how the Incas revered quinoa as “the mother of grains.” (Actually, it is a seed and enjoyed by people on a gluten-free diet.) Bowden goes on to say that…”The protein quality and quantity in quinoa seed is often superior to those of more common grain cereal grains…” It is also higher in the amino acid lysine, which is not plentiful in the vegetable kingdom. Bowden also notes that quinoa is higher in calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper,manganese and zinc and lower in sodium than wheat, corn or barley. Finally, this mother grain is higher in iron than any other cereal grain with a hefty dose of fiber.
Beans also receives a star in Bowden’s book, but for specific information on aduki (also spelled adzuki) beans, I Googled this food and came up with a statement next to a photo of Arrowhead Mills’ organic aduki beans: “Adzuki Beans are a Japanese favorite (also known as aduki) and have a similar flavor to red beans. A good source of protein and fiber, they are delicious in soups and can be substituted for red and pinto beans in other tasty recipes. Excellent source of Folate / Good Source of Fiber, Protein, Potassium and Phosphorus.”
Putting these two ingredients together, the tiny yellow seed and the small red beans, creates a powerhouse pilaf*, posted below: (From my Glossary: *Pilaf - Also spelled pilau, perloo, perlau, plaw, pilaw, and pilaff, is a Middle Eastern and Central and South Asian dish in which a grain, such as rice or cracked wheat, is generally first browned in oil, and then cooked in a seasoned broth. Depending on the local cuisine it may also contain a variety of meat and vegetables. Source: www.wikipedia.com)
Utensils: Cutting board & knife, strainer, large (shallow) saucepan, one deeper saucepan
Prep. Time: about 15 minutes with cooked beans+
Cooking Time: About 15 minutes
Categories: Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free,Low Sodium
+I used dried aduki beans that I had soaked and sprouted and then put in the freezer until needed. You can use canned or dried ones that you cook for 45 minutes before adding them to the dish. By sprouting and freezing them, I needed only 15 minutes to cook them.
one cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
2 cups water or stock
1 T. coconut oil
one cup aduki beans, sprouted & frozen, or canned, or dried
1/4 c. diced onion
one garlic clove, minced
one grated carrot
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. (or more) curry powder
1. Place 2 cups of water or stock in the deeper saucepan and bring to a boil. (If you are cooking adukis from scratch or using sprouted ones from the freezer, put up another 2 cups of water and cook the beans separately in another pot while preparing everything else.)
2. Place quinoa in a strainer (not colander because the grains may slip through) and rinse thoroughly. Allow to drain.
Put one tablespoon of coconut oil+ in shallow saucepan and add the grains. Sauté the quinoa in the oil until they are separated, maybe 5 minutes, since quinoa is a small grain and cooks quickly. (You may also use olive oil so long as the heat is not too high. Using coconut oil with its high smoke point makes this step more acceptable to me, because I generally don’t like to fry foods.)
3. Add onion, garlic, and carrot and mix with pilaf. By this time the stock should be boiling or almost boiling, so you can add it to the shallow sauce pan. Add curry powder and cooked beans (drained). Make sure everything is moistened, turn heat to low-medium, cover and cook about 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Be careful not to burn the quinoa, since it cooks quickly.
4. When all the water is absorbed, allow to sit, covered, a couple of minutes, fluff with a fork, toss with parsley and serve. (I garnished the dish with a radish.)
Yield: About 5 cups
Variations: Feel free to add bell peppers, hot peppers, mushrooms, celery, kale, etc. Also, feel free to use the quinoa pilaf to stuff peppers, squash, eggplant, or zucchini and top with cheese, put in over for 2 minutes & allow the cheese to melt.
A few words about the quinoas that I used. I mixed the light yellow quinoa that is already sprouted from tru-Roots and the multi-colored quinoa from Alter Eco Fair Trade. Now if I could only buy a multi-colored quinoa that is also sprouted, I would be in sprout technicolor heaven!