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A Little Meat Goes A Long Way When Paired with Pulses

Posted by Julia Smith on

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization passed a resolution to officially designate 2016 the year of the pulses and we couldn't be more thrilled. Canadian farmers make up more than 35% of global pulse production and that number is sure to rise with the popularity of these nutrient rich foods.

Pulses are basically dried edible seeds from the legume family (beans, peas, chickpeas & lentils). They are about 25% protein and are known for reducing cholesterol and helping to control blood sugar. The reason we get so excited about them is because they are a great way to take a small portion of meat and turn it into a delicious and satisfying meal. 

They also work really well with slow cooking which is also the best way to work with our more affordable cuts of meat. Chickpeas are lovely with chicken. Lentils go great with beef, pork and lamb. Split peas are a natural fit with ham. 

Buying dried pulses is cheaper than buying them in cans and that way you get to skip the BPA. It is also much more sustainable to ship dried pulses than heavy cans full of water. 

There are loads of great recipes online and pulses can be incorporated into most soups and stews... just make sure you add enough liquid to make up for how much they will absorb. Try this easy recipe for Ham Hock & Lentil Soup.

Here are some very basic cooking instructions to get you started:

How to Cook Dried Lentils

  • soak 4-12 hours (optional but recommended)
  • drain & rinse 
  • cover with water 
  • simmer until tender... about 25 minutes

How to Cook Dried Chickpeas

  • soak 12-36 hours (24 is ideal)
  • drain & rinse
  • cover with water
  • boil until soft... about 45-60 minutes

How to Cook Dried Split Peas

  • soak 4-12 hours (optional but recommended)
  • drain & rinse 
  • cover with water 
  • simmer until tender... about 30-45 minutes

Quick & Easy Lunch: Use the cooking method described above for lentils. When cooked, add some whiskey tomato ketchup and a little bit of bacon jam. Super easy and incredibly tasty!

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