Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gluten-Free Fall Specials: Masala-Spiced Adzuki Beans and Brown Rice from Tasty Eats At Home

I can't remember how I first found Tasty Eats At Home, a gluten-free recipe blog written by the lovely Alta Mansch. But I do know that I quickly became an avid follower of her blog, anticipating her monthly Daring Bakers posts and Kids in the Kitchen series. I was delighted when she decided to join in with a guest post for this month's Gluten-Free Fall Specials. Alta's recipes are always healthy and delicious, but more than that, she thinks outside the box. I've noticed that Alta brings a unique blend of ingredients to classic recipes, like her Vegetarian Bean and Pumpkin Chili, which uses a cinnamon stick to tweak the traditional flavor of chili. Likewise, here she brings us a recipe for Masala-Spiced Adzuki Beans and Brown Rice. It's a fresh take on an old favorite!

I was honored when Iris asked me to guest blog on The Daily Dietribe. I love her blog – her recipes are always tasty and healthy, and she regularly discusses topics that are honest, down-to-earth, and very real. She’s true to herself. It’s what truly makes The Daily Dietribe special. It took me a while to decide what to write about that would feel at home. Since we’re ushering in fall recipes right now, I finally decided on this simple, vegan meal that’s not only healthy, it’s delicious.
Yes, the recipe is for beans and rice. That’s about as humble as it gets. But the flavors are unique, and are still comforting and delicious. You could use a variety of beans for this recipe (although you might have to alter soaking and cooking times), but I like adzuki beans because they cook up relatively quickly and are very easy to digest. They’re slightly sweet (and so are often used in sweet treats in Asian cuisine), which pairs well with the garam masala and cayenne. And of course, this dish packs a good amount of fiber and protein. It just also happens to be vegan, gluten, and corn-free. Most of all, for a cooler autumn day, this is a comforting dish that won’t weigh you down. 
A quick word about kombu. Kombu is a variety of dried seaweed often used to make dashi, and can be found in the Asian section of groceries, at a specialty store, or online. What I love about kombu is that when simmered with beans, it improves their digestibility and lessens the (ahem) side effects. It also works as a flavor enhancer, adding a bit of umami to the dish. If you haven’t had the chance to cook with it, give it a try. Same with this twist on the good ‘ol standby – beans and rice. You might be pleasantly surprised at how delicious healthy can taste! 

Masala-Spiced Adzuki Beans and Brown Rice 
Recipe by Alta of Tasty Eats At Home 

1 t garam masala
1 t cumin seeds
1/8 t cayenne
2 T olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ t fresh turmeric, minced (can substitute dried)
2 c butternut squash, cubed
1 c adzuki beans, soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
1 piece kombu
3 c water
Salt to taste
¼ c cilantro, chopped
1 c brown rice, rinsed and steamed


  1. Place garam masala, cumin seeds, and cayenne in dry skillet and toast over medium heat until fragrant. (Be careful not to burn!) Remove and crush/grind with a mortar and pestle. 
  2. Add olive oil to a large saucepan or dutch oven and bring to medium heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add toasted spices, ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute. 
  4. Add squash, beans, kombu, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, and cook for 1 hour or until beans are tender. 
  5. Season with salt generously to taste. Serve with brown rice and garnish with cilantro.
Serves 3-4

Alta Mantsch started Tasty Eats At Home simply as a way to share recipes with family and friends. But after dealing with worsening health issues, and understanding the ill effects gluten caused on her other family members (her father, sister, and brother were all gluten-intolerant), in June 2009 she decided to remove gluten from her diet in an effort to find wellness once again. Soon after, she was on the road to healing, and now focuses her efforts at Tasty Eats At Home on sharing nourishing, delicious, gluten-free food that will bring your heart joy and that the family will actually EAT!

Thank you, Alta! For more traditional recipes with a twist, visit Tasty Eats At Home. Then come back here on Sunday for a new Fall recipe from Shirley of Gluten Free Easily, the famous creator of my favorite chocolate chip cookies!


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats said...

This looks delicious. Alta has such lovely recipes :)

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Iris, thanks so much for having me!

Chelsey said...

I'm on a bean kick! And so glad to find a remedy for those pesky side effects...Hooray for kombu.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

You always introduce me to something new, Alta. I know you've shared this recipe before, but this time I must really purchase the ingredients and make this one. ;-) I think everyone needs kombu. LOL I take it that it's related to kombucha somehow?


Simply...Gluten-free said...

This looks amazing and reading the ingredients is literally making my mouth water! I had never heard of kombu before, good to know! Great pair you two, awesome guest post on a fab blog!

Maggie said...

Sounds like a great recipe! I'll be giving this a try. I don't seem to have to side effect problem, though I think it's because we eat a lot of beans around here. It's a great tip though and I think I'll buy some kombu to give it a try. Great post and great intro Iris!

GF Gidget said...

I tried to make Aduki Beans once. They were utterly tasteless! I'LL have to try this version. said...

Yum! I will have to pick some of the beans up - and the kombu! Thanks for that hint. We eat a lot of beans over here and although our bodies seem to be okay with them, sometimes they aren't! :-)

Aubree Cherie said...

Hey Alta and Iris!

I wanted to let both of you know I put this in My Favorite Recipes from Last Week post. It looks too simple and delicious to pass up trying :)

~Aubree Cherie said...

I cooked up a batch of adzukis today and went looking for a new recipe to try. Yours looks so good! I hope it will taste almost as good without the kombu because I don't have any on hand. The ginger and garam masala ought to make it delicious, though.

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