Happy Earth Day! I thought it was important to create a vegetarian or vegan meal recipe today, to exemplify how deliciously easy it is to cut down on consumption of meat and dairy a few days a week. I am not a vegetarian or vegan by any means, but I do appreciate how important it is to lessen our carbon footprint. Beans have always been a way to get a good helping of protein, while still enjoying something tasty and satisfying. As for me, I think I could eat beans almost everyday and be overjoyed with all the incredible recipes you can create with just a small simple bag, and the Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker has made it that much easier, cutting out the need to pre-soak legumes.
Red beans come in so many varieties and choosing a bean that absorbs surrounding flavors while cooking, is the key to a delicious dish. Adzuki beans are a small red bean, originating from Asia. It’s what they use to make red bean paste, and if you’ve ever made or enjoyed any type of Asian inspired desserts, like Mooncakes, you know what I’m talking about. Adzuki beans are different than kidney beans, or classic red beans you would use to create red beans & rice from Louisiana, these beans are more delicate and cook up faster, and have a slightly thinner skin. Most Adzuki’s have a hairline white stripe down the center, one that disappears after cooking, but easy to identify while shopping online. I bought my beans from Nuts.com because they have a whole array of beans, grains, nuts and pantry items, plus their shipping is the fastest thing I’ve ever experienced. I also think their marketing song, while on hold is hysterical, if you’re looking for a little amusement.
I use canned tomatoes and tomato paste to create the base of the sauce in this recipe. The spice comes from some pickled jalapenos, which are easy enough to find. The entire pot of beans is done in less than an hour, and you can keep them warm all day until mealtime, in the Instant Pot. I think these beans are great served in a bowl, like chili, but you could spoon them into tortillas, or alongside other protein, and have a fabulous meal as well.
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, or 1/2 fresh jalapeno – sliced
14 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
3 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
fresh cilantro leaves for topping, if desired
olive oil for cooking
- In an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker, add 2 teaspoons olive oil, onions and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, and add tomato paste and jalapenos, stir. Cook for 1 minute and add canned tomatoes.
- Add chicken stock and salt, stir. Add beans and stir to combine. Place lid on pot and seal. Cook on high pressure for 50 minutes.
- Allow pressure to release naturally. Remove lid and stir. Ladle beans in bowls and top with fresh herbs, if desired. Enjoy!