Welcome to my crazy world of real food cooking ...

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. -- Michael Pollan

I wish I could take credit for that because I think it sums up how we should eat. Simply -- eat stuff that really is food, instead of stuff that is food like substance. The supermarket is almost entirely food-like-substances, and, my friends, you should probably never ever eat them.

Fortunately, there is a world of deliciousness out there, and it can all be had in a way that not only doesn't harm your health, but in a way that benefits you hugely.

I think it's important to eat stuff that satisfies you, that keeps your blood sugar stable, and that gives you stuff your body really needs to run optimally.

But baby, it's gotta taste good.

I really like getting experimental in the kitchen. I love cooking, I love layering flavours, and I love coming up with really super yummy food. I have very strong opinions about what constitutes food, and there are a lot of things I won't touch in the kitchen. Bottom line? Pretty much everything I make is ridiculously good for you even if it tastes decadent. Although there are occasional big fat cheats ... but even those stick to real food, my friends.

For food that is usual gluten free, usually free of cane sugar, usually super low on the glycemic index, full of protein, fiber, flavour, and excellent energy, join me and Alice down the rabbit hole.

Every recipe on this blog is my own original effort and idea, so please pass 'em on, giving credit where credit is due.

Many thanks, and come back often. I'm really glad you are here!


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Brown Rice and Adzuki Beans Make Friends -- Gluten free, vegan, and good for you

Rice and beans are a tummy comforting staple in many parts of the world. I thought it would be fun to use our fave short grain brown with the little cuties called adzuki beans, because the adzukis have a serendipitous habit of tinting the rice pink as they cook. Pretty! If I'd used a darker rice, such as our colasari red or wild rice, the pretty pinkness would have been entirely lost.

The mild and sweet flavour of adzukis is inoffensive to most, even those who are not big bean fans. Our favourite bean is probably the garbanzo or chickpea, however I wanted something that would cook without soaking in almost the same amount of time as our whole grain rice, so that I could do them the honour of cooking them together, allowing them to become friends.

I opted not to salt the cooking water until the end, just adding a dollop of coconut oil. Now, some cooks advocate never adding salt or acid (tomato) to the water when cooking beans as it makes their delicate skins toughen. I can't say I'm convinced, however I wanted this rice and bean dish to be a vehicle for the exciting seasoned sea salts we were gifted, so just a little coconut oil found its way into the water, although I did add a little salt just before the cooking was finished. FYI, oil in the cooking water will keep starchy boiling pots of pasta, rice, beans, etc from boiling over in my experience. I did add 1 tsp of salt at the very end, and stirred it through. Not enough to fully season it, but a start.

Rice and beans are one of the simplest and most satisfying meals, and can be flavoured however you like, cooked with some sauteed onion and carrot, spiked with herbs, teased with garlic and chili. Sided with some sauteed broccoli, and you have everything you could want in one simple meal. They work for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, can be used as a filling for flat breads, lettuce leaf rolls, and hollowed up peppers, tomatoes, or zuchinis. So versatile. So simple. The variations are limitless, bordered only by your imagination and your palate. Varieties of beans and rice, although finite, are more than I can name here. They can be cooked in a crockpot or on the stove top, or in the oven in a casserole. And what can I say, but I am a fan of the humble rice and bean.

If you are in the mood for simple, just some salt and pepper on your plate of rice and beans will make your rice and beans sing a folk song. For more complicated arias and operatic feats, you'll have to look to your imagination and your personal pleasures of palate. Salsa or chutney, seasoning or sauce, anything goes with rice and beans.


1 cup adzuki beans
1 cup short grain brown rice (eg calrose)
4 cups water
1 or 2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt


1. put rice and beans in a pot and add the water and coconut oil.
2. bring to a boil, and turn down to a simmer
3. set the timer for 1 hour
4. at one hour, add a little more water, add 1 tsp sea salt, and stir until well combined and creamy.
5. turn off the heat, and let the water absorb for a few minutes before serving
6. serve and season as befits your palate with sea salt, pepper, etc.

We enjoyed ours tonight topped with seaweed granules, freshly ground black pepper,  and seasoned sea salt. My three year old insisted the coffee accented salt was what he wanted, and figuring a few grains wouldn't over-burden him with caffein, I acquiesced. I then watched him tuck joyfully into his rice, beans, and sea weed, and pop sauteed cauliflower florets in his mouth with enjoyment. Who says little kids don't like veggies?? This week he ate plenty of his usual broccoli, but also lots of sauteed black kale, sauteed kolrabi, and a salad of boiled eggs, avocado, diced tomato, and carrot. When I see that I remind myself not to worry the next time all he wants to eat in a day is almond butter sandwich after almond butter sandwich after almond butter sandwich ...


Anonymous said...

mine does hummus sandwich, after hummus sandwich, after hummus... you get the drift!

stacey said...

Mine does that until the hummus is gone and then it's back to almond butter ... ;)

I get the drift!

Anonymous said...

i tried something (else) with adzuki beans the other day... i was so excited... and so let down... because they are so pretty and they look like they should taste good but... not so much. sort of like nothing. clearly, i should stick to your recipies!

stacey said...

I'd say beans in general are often bland unless livened up by the addition of party favours. That being said, sometimes something bland is appealing -- a la comfort food, perhaps.

Adzukis are really pretty to look at and they are terrifically bland.

I'll see what I can come up with that makes them jump up ... :)

When it comes to beans in generally, enough salt is absolutely essential to bring out flavour. Maybe the recipe you made just needed more salt?

Anonymous said...

mmm im pretty good with salt - actually i love salt, its m that isnt a big fan... dont know what it was.. perhaps just not enough party!

stacey said...

I sometimes have cooked entirely without salt. And, I think it can make you appreciate the innate flavours of food more. But at the same time, brings the flavours out more, so you can appreciate the flavours more if you use enough salt. But it's a balancing act, because I hate it when things taste salty. Salt makes things taste good, but doesn't taste good if that's what you can taste, in my opinion.

Some people disagree.

I watched my mom spreading a thick layer of salt on some slices of tomato when she was at my house for lunch a couple of years ago. It made such an impression on me that I can still see it in my mind and cringe to this day. At least it was sea salt.