Adzuki beans (a.k.a. "azuki" beans) are a staple of the macrobiotic diet, which calls for the consumption of plenty of fibrous, protein-packed legumes. Macrobiotics considers adzukis to be the most "yang" of all beans, good for imparting strength, and they help people keep warm in cool weather. Known for their healing properties in Traditional Chinese Medicine, adzukis are said to support kidney, bladder and reproductive functions. Cooking dried adzuki beans is tricky, lest they cook unevenly and remain tough on the inside. When correctly done, however, they are delicious, will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge, and enhance any meal. The key is steady, slow and gentle heat (and never boiling), applied for the correct minimum times. This recipe requires being near the stove on and off for several hours, but the results are well worth it when you can manage it. Optionally, you can add chopped onion and/or winter squash in second half of cooking, and maybe reduce the liquid near the end to make more of a stew, but the beans are delicious all by themselves.Lastly, if you don't have kelp ("kombu" in Japanese), and don't want to order any, this dish can be done without it (see notes below), but it will take even a little longer to cook.
Grains & Legumes
This recipe is from Suppers Shalom, which shares healthy recipes for the Jewish holidays.
There are many good ways to cook brown rice, and attention to detail can make a huge difference in the final result. In her macrobiotic practice, Pat Palmer has found this way of cooking brown rice to produce moist rice grains that do not glom together, that have a nice taste and are highly digestible.
We served this with the Miso-Glazed Vegetables from Coriander Chicken Thighs with Miso-Glazed Root Vegetables.
The ingredients for this hearty stew are added in stages so that the ones with shorter cooking times don't become mushy. You can take advantage of this by dicing the beet after the black-eyed peas have begun simmering and chopping the cilantro and chard leaves after adding the farro. Overall cooking time is about an hour and a half.