Adzuki Bean Salad

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Fresh and tasty and packing a MASSIVE nutritional punch!
I have been wanting to find new and interesting ways to incorporate beans and chickpeas etc into out diet, and especially considering its summertime. It is easy as to cook up a nice chickpea curry, bean stew or lentil dhal in the winter but what about in summer? We want to eat cool, fresh and light foods. So this is what I have discovered is the best ( or the way I like them the best) way to prepare beans/pulses etc for salads.

1) Soak them overnight then drain them and give them a good rinse.

2) Rinse and drain them morning and night, and leave them in a warm place for a few days to grow tiny sprouts. A lot of the smaller beans like mung an adzuki can be sprouted to a couple of centimeters long and then eaten raw in salads and what not.

3) When the beans have just sprouted steam them for about 20-30 minutes, cool and use. Because the beans are much softer after sprouting they take much less time to cook, so steaming works well. Also because steaming is so much more gentle than boiling, they hold their shape, texture and color so much better, which is what you want for a nice looking salad.

Now all thats left is to use them, you can still make a bean stew or whatever with the beans or you can try a whole bunch of delicious salad combinations. Last week I tried the combo below and I am just sprouting some more beans now for later in the week. I have been sprouting a big jar of beans starting sunday or monday, meaning I have about two meals worth of beans ready for later in the week. How does homemade bean nachos for dinner with a nice fresh bean salad for lunch the next day sound.????

A couple of cups of steamed sprouted adzuki beans
1/2 red onion – diced
1 capsicum – diced
1 tomato – diced
1 cup cucumber – diced
A handful of fresh oregano (or whatever fresh herbs you have, but oregano is a hearty herb which goes well with tomato and the earthiness of the beans)

For the dressing:
juice of half a lemon
equal amount of olive oil
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1/2 tsp salt
few grinds of black pepper
1 tsp honey or sugar

Pour the dressing over the salad, give it a gentle toss and check the seasoning. Add salt or pepper if needed.

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On a little side note, I have realized I really don’t like the concept of “salad recipes”. I feel that salads should be more organic than that. They should just be ideas or suggestions of a few flavours which go well together, but that are open and flexible to any interpretation. This allows for whatever you have in your fridge or garden, and means you can never say, “oh I don’t have the ingredients to make that salad recipe.” Anyway, just a little after thought 🙂

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