There are some great recipes for cooking with pulses – peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Maybe you already have some; maybe you’re looking for inspiration. If you take the pulse pledge you can download a cookbook called Pulses – The Heart of Every Meal or you can buy an inspiring cookbook like Spilling the Beans by local authors Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. It’s one of my favourites.
Beans are what 66 per cent of Canadians eat when they eat a pulse. Chickpeas are next with 53 per cent of us having eaten them in the last six months and lentils are lowest with only four out of 10 people having tried them.
I chose a few recipes from Pulses – The Heart of Every Meal to test and I’ll share them here. Two quick tips – if you are using canned pulses – rinse them thoroughly before using to remove sodium and never add salt when cooking pulses from their dried state as it makes them tough.
Roasted Cauliflower and Spicy Lentil Wraps (adapted from Pulses – The Heart of Every Meal) This was the favourite of the recipes I tried but there’s some beautiful salads I’ll be making as well.
1 large head of cauliflower, sliced into bite-sized florets
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste ½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¾ cup brown lentils, picked over for debris and rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth or water
⅓ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lime juice
2-3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers) or chipotle hot sauce to taste Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 small, round corn tortillas
½ cup packed fresh
1. To roast the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower florets with enough olive oil to cover them in a light, even layer of oil. Season with salt and pepper and arrange the florets in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes, tossing halfway, until the florets are deeply golden on the edges. 2. Warm the olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic with a dash of salt for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened and turning translucent. Add the tomato paste, cumin and chili powder and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the lentils and the vegetable broth or water. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20-35 minutes, until the lentils are tender and cooked through. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. 3. To prepare the chipotle sauce, just whisk together the ingredients and set aside (if you have no choice but to use whole chipotle peppers from the can, use a blender to purée it all). Once the lentils are done cooking, drain off any excess liquid, then cover and set aside. Warm tortillas individually in a pan over medium heat. Stack the warm tortillas and cover them with a tea towel if you won’t be serving the tacos immediately.
4. Once all of your components are ready, you can assemble your tacos. Top each tortilla with the lentil mixture, cauliflower, a drizzle of chipotle sauce and a generous sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Note: I rolled up the tortilla and ate it as a wrap. I also cut it and served it as appetizer bites.
Za’atar-Spiced Crispy Chickpeas
Note: I used canned chickpeas instead of the method below. Just rinse them under cold running water and presto, you’re ready to put them in the oven.
3 cups chickpeas
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
Za’atar to taste (Note: this rhymes with matter. You can find it in large grocers in the International foods aisle)
Additional salt to taste
1. Pour about 6 cups of water into a large, heavy pot. 2. Dissolve the salt, add the chickpeas and cover. Let sit overnight. Skip steps 1 & 2 if using canned chickpeas. 3. The next day, drain the chickpeas and return them to the pot, adding fresh water to cover the beans. 4. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until chickpeas are tender and creamy, about 1 hour. 5. When the chickpeas are cooked, preheat the oven to 350°F. 6. Drain the chickpeas and spread them on a sheet pan in a single layer. 7. Cook until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Gently shake the pan occasionally for more even cooking. 8. Drizzle the olive oil over the chickpeas and shake or stir until they are fairly evenly coated. 9. Season generously with za’atar and additional kosher salt to taste. 10. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks
Fennel and Northern White Beans – photo credit – Karen Anderson
Olive Oil Braised Great Northern Beans with Rosemary, Thyme & Parmesan – I think this would be a great side dish when you’re grilling up some Alberta Beef or Pork or for a lunch that will stick to your ribs I’d serve it on a bed of butter lettuce.
⅓ cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into thick slices *reserve
¼ cup chopped fennel fronds
1 small bunch of fresh rosemary (tied in kitchen twine)
1 small bunch of fresh thyme (tied in kitchen twine)
2 – 15-ounce cans Great Northern Beans or about 3 cups of cooked beans (1 cup dried)
⅓ cup chicken broth
1 lemon, zest + juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. In a wide saucepan or skillet over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, and fennel. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, then add lemon peel (zested or peeled) and sprigs of rosemary & thyme. 2. Add the beans and stir in ⅓ cup olive oil & chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer and cover, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes (or until fennel is tender, but not soft). Season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and the juice of ½ a lemon. Top with fennel fronds and serve immediately. ⅓ cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into thick slices *reserve ¼ cup chopped fennel fronds 1 small bunch of fresh rosemary (tied in kitchen twine) 1 small bunch of fresh thyme (tied in kitchen twine) 2 15-ounce cans Great Northern Beans or about 3 cups of cooked beans (1 cup dried) ⅓ cup chicken broth 1 lemon, zest + juice Sea salt to taste Freshly ground pepper Instructions Ingredients RECIPE DEVELOPED BY Sassy Kitchen Serves 4-6
Healthy & Delicious Salted Pumpkin & Pink Bean Fudge (Gluten-Free, Vegan) RECIPE DEVELOPED BY Heartbeat Kitchen.
This was fun and easy to make. You don’t need to cook it, just pulse it in a food processor and freeze. It would be a great way to use up leftover pumpkin pie filling around Thanksgiving. I couldn’t find pink beans so I used pinto beans. I think the colour would be nicer with the pink ones.
½ cup pumpkin purée
⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon cooked pink beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
½ cup coconut butter in pourable, liquid state*
½ cup chopped, roasted pecans
1. Add pumpkin, beans, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and almond butter to food processor or high-powered blender. Purée for 20 seconds, then stop and scrape down sides. Purée for another 40 seconds, then scrape down sides. Add coconut butter, and purée for 20 seconds to bring everything together until completely smooth. 2. Scrape into a 8 x 4 x 2 ½-inch loaf pan (a little smaller or bigger will work too, it will just affect the thickness of your fudge) and smooth top with a spoon. Sprinkle pecans on top, then lightly press down on them so they attach to fudge. Freeze for 1 hour, then cut into small squares and serve. You can store leftovers in covered container in the refrigerator, or in the freezer for 2-weeks. Storing in refrigerator will result in a little softer fudge. Makes 14-18 pieces of fudge
*At room temperature, coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil) is solid. To get it into pourable, liquid state, set the tightly closed jar in a bath of hot water (not fully submerged just in case it would leak through the cap). Let sit for 10 minutes, then stir. Close jar and set back in water for 5 minutes. Stir until completely smooth. If a few clumps remain, microwave jar for 10 seconds, then stir, and repeat until no clumps remain.
Bon Appétit my friends. I hope these recipes inspire you to cook with pulses more often and that you’ll savour it all. Here’s a bonus recipe from the Indian cookbook I wrote with my mentor Noorbanu Nimji, A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen.
Chana Wagharia – chickpeas and eggplant in a spicy sauce
time – 20–25 minutes yield – 4 servings
GLUTEN-FREE & VEGETARIAN
1 Tablespoon olive oil
5–6 curry leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 Chinese Eggplant cut in bite-size cubes
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup water
11⁄2 teaspoons cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon Indian chilli powder
1 (19 oz/540 mL) can of chickpeas
1 Tablespoon Ambli Ni Chutney (tamarind chutney) OR
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon finely cut coriander leaves
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat and add the curry leaves and mustard seeds. Cook covered until the seeds pop—about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato, eggplant and salt
and cook on medium-low heat—adding a little water if necessary—until eggplant is almost cooked, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the cumin, turmeric, coriander, sugar and chilli powder and cook for
4 to 5 minutes more or until the eggplant cubes are cooked and tender when pierced with a fork.
Stir in the chickpeas, Ambli Ni Chutney or lemon juice and simmer for another 5 minutes. The gravy should just cover the chickpeas and eggplant.
tip: If you really like an authentic Wagharia, add about 4 Tablespoons of oil and simmer for a few more minutes. It will be richly satisfying.
Stir in the coriander leaves just before serving.