Small, red and eaten extensively in China and Japan,  azuki beans are often eaten as a good luck or celebratory dish in Japan being cooked with sticky rice to form the red rice dish sekihan. Boiled with sugar they form the red bean paste commonly used in Chinese and Japanese desserts and are used to make teas, ice cream and soups.

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Their use in sweet treats got me thinking about the almond milk in the fridge and how a sweet and salty rice bowl would be pretty good for the red beans waiting on the shelf. The wild rice and quinoa give a great nutty base and absorb the almond milk and coconut to give a fluffy bowl with great texture and flavour. I also had them in mind to replace the black beans in Heidi’s infamous black bean brownies that have taken the food blogs by storm but that’s for the next post.

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Like all legumes and beans, they are very good for you, full of minerals such as zinc, magnesium and folate and unlike most dried beans you can get away without soaking overnight before cooking them.  They are also easier to digest then other beans. If you do find the time to soak them in cold water for a few hours, rinse them well before cooking.  They also  retain their shape during cooking which makes them prettier to serve.  This recipe would also work easily with black beans, plain rice or other grains.

Ingredients

1 cup red azuki beans (cooked)
2 cups quinoa
1 cup wild rice
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic diced
2 tablespoons strong tamari
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
11/2 tablespoon dessicated coconut
1 cup almond milk (or more depending on how “liquidy” you like it)
1 cup water

Making

The beans will take at least an hour so keep this in mind or have them cooked the day before. To cook them put 1 cup of beans with 2 cups or more of water and bring to the boil. Let simmer at a relatively high heat for about an hour or maybe more until you can easily mash them with a fork.

The rice and quinoa mix will take only about 25 minutes. In a pan melt a little butter and add the chopped onions stirring until translucent. Add the diced garlic and the grated coconut mixing well, lowering the heat to keep it from sticking. Pour in the quinoa and rice stirring so that they absorb the buttery onion mix.  Slowly add a little of the almond milk ensuring the quinoa and rice are coated. Then add the water bringing the rice and quinoa to the boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. At this point add more almond milk stirring well. Add one tablespoon of tamari. When all the liquid is absorbed add more almond milk and tamari and take off the heat. Set aside until the beans are ready. When the beans are done, drain them in wold water to rinse off any excess starch or cooking liquid then return them to their pan adding 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Toss around on the heat then serve over the fluffy  rice and quinoa. Serve immediately.

Retain a little almond milk to pour over as you finish cooking and are about to serve.

Add the beans and drizzle with tamari and a little maple (or agave) syrup.