Earlier this year, I wrote all about pulses and their nutritional content (and you can read it here).
What I didn’t talk about was how versatile pulses are and the tasty ways you can incorporate them into your cooking. If you are a plant-based-protein kind of person, these are some great meal and snack (and dare I say, even dessert) ideas for you to try.
I highly recommend checking out pulses.org to learn more about pulses, recipe ideas, and how to eat more of them.
One of the most obvious ways to eat pulses is to make hummus. The combination of chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, and salt make it a great option for a really fast healthy snack, or if you need to make something quickly for a potluck.
To make it a little more interesting, you could add different flavours, like roasted red pepper or pureed beets. With either of these two additions, you could add different herbs or spices (like paprika) to create new flavour profiles.
I feel soups get an undeserved reputation for being vegetarian and, therefore, being bland and boring. This is a mark not only against soup, but also against vegetarian food. Both of these things can be quite exciting when done well.
One easy way to fix this is to add pulses! Pulses will not only add flavour, but they will also add some much needed nutritional content to soup, which helps you feel more like you’re consuming a meal.
Chickpeas, white beans, or black beans can be added to soup to make it more nourishing. If you have fussy eaters who pick things out of their food, you can add some pureed chickpeas or white beans to your soup, which not only sneakily adds some good stuff, but also makes the soup creamier and tastier.
Here is a recipe for a Southwest-Style Black Bean Soup for you to try:
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 small onion, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange are your best bets), diced
1 can black beans
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
4 cups stock or water, or a combination
½ cup salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp oregano
pinch salt and pepper
Heat canola oil in a heavy-bottomed large pot over medium heat.
Saute onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft, about 10 minutes.
Once soft, add the rest of the ingredients.
Bring soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes more.
Top with sour cream, tortillas, cheese, or cilantro, or any combination you like.
While it is probably unconventional and most would probably not try it if they knew, many pulses are ground into flour and used in many different desserts.
Chickpeas and black beans can be used in addition to regular flour, and in some cases, they replace regular flour altogether, which gives you new opportunities for gluten-free desserts.
Check out this website for all kinds of dessert recipes.