Curried Quinoa and Adzuki Bean Salad

A light, refreshing summer meal!

(Please excuse the picture background – taken on my apartment deep freeze)

Feeling creative in the kitchen, I created this recipe for a change to my standard stews and salads. I love Adzuki beans, which are small red beans used most often in Asian dishes. From their dried state they take marginally longer to cook than lentils, but if you prep your veggies while the beans are simmering they’ll be ready before you know it. Adzuki beans when cooked are little gems of creamy goodness – they are slightly sweeter than black beans, and are the perfect texture for stir-frys and salads. They both hold their shape and become creamy with slight pressure with the back of a spoon. The result is an added dimension to the sauce of your choice, but without compromising the joy of eating whole beans!

This salad is one potential combination of many for the classic Big Bowl. Grain + Bean + Greens = infinitely adaptable meals that could provide variation in your diet for months. The recipe below results in an interesting taste sensation – the Adzuki beans add an Asian flair to the traditional Indian curry spices. The quinoa adds a nutty flavour, and when served over spinach a whole meal salad that is light, filling, and delicious results. A perfect weekday meal for when you don’t really feel like cooking but can’t stand to eat another container of leftovers!

Curried Quinoa and Adzuki Bean Salad

Dressing:
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1½ tsp. dried oregano
1½ tsp. curry powder
½ tsp. mustard seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1) In glass jar or small cup whisk together all ingredients. Set aside.

Salad:
¾ cups quinoa
½ cup dry adzuki beans (1½ cups cooked)
3 tbsp. green onions, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
⅓ cup carrot, diced
⅓ cup cucumber, diced
⅓ cup zucchini, diced
¾ cup tomato, diced
⅓ cup green pepper, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:
1) In medium saucepan, cook quinoa in 1½ cups water (~20min). Set aside.
2) If required, cook adzuki beans. Drain and set aside.
3) In large bowl, toss together cooked quinoa, beans, and all remaining ingredients.
4) Gradually pour in dressing, tossing to coat.
5) Serve over bed of spinach, kale, or other greens.

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