I have always wanted to be the kind of person who cooks dried beans. Dried beans are cheaper, I’ve been told that any fool can do it (cook them, that is), and they are meant to taste infinitely better (or so the story goes).
Now, I realize how ridiculous that sounds: I’d like to be the kind of person who cooks dried beans. I mean, it’s not like saying “I’ve always wanted to be 5’11” ” or “I always wanted to have an older brother”; those things are completely outside of my control. But cooking dried beans, well, that’s easy to do something about: I actually could be “that kind of person”. I’m just too lazy.
But for some reason, while in the bulk section of the Co Op last week, a little voice spoke to me. “What are you waiting for?” it said. “Just do it already.” So I bought a cup. And when I got home, full of enthusiasm (this recipe in mind for my perfectly cooked dried chickpeas), I set them soaking overnight in a bowl of water, drained them the following morning before going to work, covered the bowl, and put them in the fridge.
Then I proceeded to forget about them for three days. (The fact that I decided to pick this week, of all weeks – the week that we are closing on a new house, finalizing the selling of our current house, have movers coming to pack our house on Monday, have 18 gazillion things on my To Do list at work, have a child who’s teething, have experienced the loss of a family member, and am still trying to get a job in our new location – should be indication enough that I’m not serious about this “becoming the kind of person who cooks dried beans” thing. But I digress…)
Okay. So. Plan B.
Staring at the beans, I recalled a recent salad post I saw over at 101 Cookbooks. In my head it was a sprouted mung bean and lentil salad of some kind. I remembered it had diced avocados and maybe a toasted nut or two. (In reality it was this– which has absolutely nothing to do with sprouted beans or lentils, although there were avocados and toasted nuts, so my brain has not completely failed me. Yet.)
Too lazy to actually turn on the computer (is there a theme emerging?), navigate to the webpage, and follow the recipe I decided to improvise. I soaked some mung beans (which I actually happened to have in the cupboard), and left them to sprout as well.
Once sprouted, I tossed them with the asparagus and cooked quinoa I had sitting in the fridge and a tangy, spicy mustard dressing and made this salad. And it wasn’t half bad. (Actually, I made it again with the remaining sprouts.)
Sprouted Mung Bean, Quinoa, and Asparagus Salad
NB: First, if you’re a little uncertain about eating sprouted beans, I was too. But they taste great, almost like corn kernels. Second, the amounts listed here are completely (well, almost completely) arbitrary. You can make this salad in any quantity you please. Or choose to omit and add ingredients at will. Some shaved fennel, or thinly sliced radishes might be nice. Or toss in some fresh cherry or sungold tomatoes. Toasted nuts are, of course, always a good addition.Also, I made my dressing a little on the tangier side – by including slightly more vinegar. Feel free to adjust to suit your tastes.
|2 cups cooked quinoa|
|1 cup soaked sprouted mung beans|
|1/2 bunch steamed asparagus, chopped|
|1/2 large red onion, diced|
|1/2 avocado diced|
|2 tsp deli style or whole grain mustard|
|4 Tbs white wine vinegar|
|5 (to 6) Tbs Olive Oil|
|Toss together first five ingredients.|
|Whisk mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper until creamy.|
|Pour over salad and toss again to combine.|
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.