Adzuki Bean Stew
When I found this recipe in one of Gillian McKeith's cookbooks, I decided to try it even though I wasn't thinking it would be a family favorite.
Japanese adzuki beans, butternut squash, leeks, and kale. What do you think?
Surprisingly, it was a hit. David has mentioned a couple of times that he liked it a lot.
Even Brennan ate a bowl, and asked for more.
In the cookbook, the opening line for this recipe is, "If you want to lose weight, this is the dish for you." Well, OK!
The author is from the UK, and I believe some of their vegetables may be different from ours in terms of size. So, I am modifying this recipe so that it is truly more of a stew than a vegetable side dish. In addition, I was out of kale so we didn't include it. David said it's good without it. I think you could probably go either way.
This recipe cooks in 40 minutes or so, but the chopping takes quite awhile. I find butternut squash peeling and chopping a chore in itself. So, plan ahead.
The adzuki bean dates back to 4000 BC. In Eastern Asian cultures it is usually boiled and sweetened with sugar to make a red bean paste and used in many different ways. This was my first time working with this bean. Following the recipe directions, I soaked the beans overnight in cold water before making my dish.
I rinsed my soaked beans well and placed them in a large saucepan with water and boiled them for 15 minutes. The author states that it's necessary to boil the beans hard for those 15 minutes to remove any toxins.
Back up, what???
A quick search online and I see that many dried beans have toxins that can be removed by boiling them. OK, just to be safe - don't skip this step!
While my beans were boiling, I cut up a small butternut squash, 3 carrots, and the white and light green parts of a well-washed leek.
I rinsed and drained the boiled beans and returned them to the pot with fresh water and vegetable bouillon, and allowed it to boil again.
Then I added my vegetables and some spices and cooked the soup for another 15 minutes. If you were going to add kale, you would do so at the end of this time and let it cook for just a few more minutes until it was tender.
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(Bon Appetit in Japanese!)