I have written before how much I love the rice cooker. It is similar to this one and makes perfect brown rice, delicious steamy quinoa (I got the idea of cooking quinoa in the rice cooker from Karina) and allows for quick steamed veggies when I can’t face another salad – and this morning it allowed me to make a perfect pot of adzuki beans effortlessly. As good as husband and I usually are about meal planning, it has kind of gone to hell the last couple of weeks. Some of it is that the market has so much lovely stuff, we just go and buy lots of goodies and make lots of salads, but some of it is that we are burnt out. Cooking almost every single meal while working the hours we work was turning into a recipe for “I have no idea what to plan” when we had the meal planning notebook out. On Sunday, I could barely wrap my mind around meal planning for two nights – we definitely had enough groceries for the week, so I figured I would think about it more mid-week.
Now we all know cooked beans are a great base for a quick dinner – but what you may not know is that I gave up on canned beans last fall. Dried beans are much lower glycemic, and I had gotten into a good groove of cooking a big pot every few weekends and freezing them beans into containers, measuring out the equivalent of a can of beans (that is about one and half to one and three quarters cup by the way). That groove? Also totally gone lately. It’s been a real fight to keep that momentum going. In fact, I was down to one container of chickpeas in the freezer, and I had had way too many chickpeas lately.
So last night I was thinking about how to remedy that ASAP, and I remembered an article where Mark Bittman advocated cooking a big pot of beans one morning. Of course, despite the google magic, I cannot find it right now, but I do remember what I thought at the time: yeah, it’s easy enough when you work from home, but cooking beans requires supervision and stirring and … I looked over at the rice cooker, and decided it was worth a shot to use the slow cooker function on it to cook beans this morning while I got ready for work.
I picked adzukis because they are one of the faster cooking kinds. Even though I have read you do not need to pre-soak them, I figured I might as well to speed up cooking time. So I soaked a cup of adzukis overnight last night, got up this morning, dumped the adzukis into the rice cooker with water, and 50 minutes later had three and a half cup cooked adzukis.
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