If you only follow 2 pieces of advice when it comes to making changes in your diet, consider these helpful tips. First, fart or be fat. This means eat food that has lots of fiber, therefore keeping you regular and maybe a little tootie. For me that translates to eat more beans. Second, eat with your eyes. Think color, lots of color. Using these 2 concepts as often as I can, helps provide my body with foods that regulate my insulin levels and adds a variety of nutrients, minerals and anti oxidants. Using these 2 rules of thumb is how this salad came to be.
Open the fridge. Start grabbing. I’ve got something orange, something yellow, something purple, something blue…something is missing. Oh yeah, green. Now assemble.
I’ve been wanting to try making an Azuki bean salad for quite sometime, but have only just now gotten off my duff and made it happen. Maybe it was the bright blue sky or some semblance that summer had arrived that prompted the fresh flavors that make this salad shine.
Of course if you feel like making this salad, azuki beans aren’t mandatory, feel free to substitute any beans such as chickpeas.
Azuki Bean Salad with Blueberries and Heirloom Carrots
- 1/2 cup dry azuki beans
3 Heirloom carrots thinly sliced
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 cups spinach (or more if you like)
1/3 cup grated Grana Padano or Aged White Cheddar (Optional)
Soak the Azuki beans overnight in 4 cups of water or soak for 1 hour in boiling hot water. Drain the water. In a small pot, add 4 cups of water and the beans. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 35 to 50 minutes. The longer you allow the beans to soak before hand, the less cooking time they will need. I poured boiling water over the azuki beans in a large bowl and went to work for 3 hours, when I came back, I put them onto boil and they were done in 30 minutes. You’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Once the beans are cooked, drain and rinse them under cold water. Allow the beans to cool before continuing on with the salad or rinse them really well under cold water until they cool down. In a large bowl add the beans and all remaining ingredients. Toss the bean salad with half the dressing. Taste and add more if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If your cooking for 1 or 2 people, add the spinach and dressing right before serving.
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the oil, vinegar, honey and mustard together until honey and mustard are well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.