With the cost of food being so high right now, these nutrition packed goodies can come to your rescue. They are a good source of plant-based protein, packed with fibre and low GI.
Here are a few ways to use them:
- Soups and Stews: Add cooked lentils, beans, or chickpeas to soups and stews to boost their nutritional content and make them more filling.
- Salads: Toss cooked pulses into salads for extra protein and fibre. Chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans work particularly well in salads.
- Hummus: Make your own hummus using chickpeas as the base. Enjoy it as a dip for veggies, whole-grain crackers, or as a spread in sandwiches and wraps.
- Pasta Dishes: Mix cooked pulses into pasta dishes for added texture and nutrients. Lentils can be used to create a hearty pasta sauce, and chickpeas work well in Mediterranean-inspired pasta salads.
- Burgers and Patties: Create veggie burgers or patties using a mixture of beans, lentils, and vegetables. These are a great alternative to meat-based burgers.
- Curries: Add a variety of pulses to curries for an extra source of protein and texture. Try red lentils in a lentil curry or chickpeas in a traditional Indian chana masala.
- Stir-Fries: Incorporate cooked beans or lentils into stir-fries for a nutritious boost. They can complement the flavours and textures of your vegetables and protein sources.
- Dips and Spreads: Aside from hummus, experiment with other pulse-based dips and spreads, such as black bean dip or lentil dip, for snacking or as appetizers.
- Casseroles and Bakes: Mix cooked pulses into casseroles, bakes, and grain-based dishes like quinoa or rice. They add a hearty element to the dish.
- Sides: Serve pulses as side dishes. For example, prepare a simple lentil salad with herbs and vinaigrette, or make a classic three-bean salad with a tangy dressing.
Remember to rinse canned pulses thoroughly before using them to reduce sodium content. If using dried pulses, soak and cook them according to package instructions to ensure they are properly cooked and digestible.
By incorporating pulses into a variety of dishes, you'll not only enhance the nutritional value of your meals but also enjoy the diverse flavours and textures they bring to your cooking.