By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician
I live with a dairy farmer and meat and milk are usually what’s for dinner at our house. However, I think for one meal a week, or better yet a serving daily, all us carnivores can think outside the box and enjoy beans and legumes, or pulses as they are called these days. Pulses are the edible seeds grown in pods that are harvested dry. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognizes 11 types of pulses: dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cow peas, pigeon peas, lentils, Bambara beans, vetches, lupins and pulses nes (which is everything not in a before mentioned group).
Experts will say they are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Those hot trendy terms are not why I like to recommend them. Pulses are low fat and high in fiber with plenty of protein. Research has shown that eating a half-cup to three-quarters of a cup of pulses per day can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. This is beneficial in helping reduce your heart disease risk factors. As Paul and I age, these health benefits are the reason I am going to start adding some pulses into our daily meals.
Pulses are easy to cook and prepare in any kitchen. We primarily used canned beans. We’ve tried many of the black, cannelloni, kidney, soybean, edamame, pinto, navy and lentils. This March for National Nutrition month, I may take a pulse food adventure and check out the availability and recipes of those seldom seen pulses in my kitchen. Not sure what flavors, textures and tastes I’ll discover but that’s why it’s an adventure. Join me on a foodie adventure outside your box this March and add some heart healthy pulses to your meals. The possibilities are endless!
Eat well and healthy,
Frijoles Negros…Black Beans (Pulses.org)
16 oz dried black beans (3-4 cans)
2 cups chicken or beef stock
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp molasses (or 3 tbsp dark brown sugar)
1 tbsp cumin
4 slices bacon
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse beans and let them soak overnight in water. (If using canned, skip this step)
Drain beans and cover with chicken or beef stock. Add chopped red pepper. Bring beans to a simmer and cook over low heat until tender.
Cook bacon in a heavy skillet until crispy. Remove bacon from skillet and add the onion and garlic to the bacon fat. Cook over low heat until soft and translucent. Add the cumin and brown sugar to the onions and continue to cook until browned and soft. Once beans are tender, remove 2 cups of the cooked beans and process in a blender with the onion mixture. Add the blended beans and onion to the rest of the cooked beans. Season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Continue to cook beans until very tender. Add water if necessary, until desired texture is achieved.
Crispy Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas itdoesnttastelikechicken.com
19oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 375F (190C).
- Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet. It’s ok if they are still a bit wet, they will dry out in the oven. Bake 30 minutes, stopping to shake the pan every now and then.
- Remove the chickpeas from the oven and carefully add the hot chickpeas to a bowl along with the olive oil, chili powder, thyme, and salt. Toss well to coat the chickpeas evenly. Spread the seasoned chickpeas back onto the baking sheet and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before enjoying. You can snack on them still warm, or completely cooled. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for about a week. They may start to get a little soft and less crispy.
Rigatoni with Fava Beans and Pecorino theitaliandishblogspot.com
adapted from Andrew Carmellini’s Urban Italian
3 pounds fresh fava beans, pods removed (about 2 cups with pods removed)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup fresh basil (about 12 leaves), roughly chopped
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
Put another large pot of salted water on to boil to blanch the fava beans. Place a large bowl of ice water next to your stovetop. When the blanching water boils, throw the shelled fava beans into the pot and blanch them for about one minute. Remove them with a strainer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove the translucent skin from the beans. They should slip right out, easily.
Add the rigatoni to the pasta water to cook and start preparing your sauce.
In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter, the onion and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and cook until the onion starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and pine nuts and cook until both have begun to toast, about 2 minutes, stirring often to keep the garlic from burning. Add the red pepper flakes, oregano and 3/4 cup of the pasta water and mix to combine. Add the fava beans.
When the rigatoni is just al dente, remove with a strainer and add right to the skillet with the onion and fava bean mixture. Stir until the pasta is coated with the sauce, about 1 minute.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the salt and pepper, the rest of the butter and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the grated pecorino cheese and the basil and mix everything together well. Serve with pasta in individual serving bowls, sprinkled liberally with more pecorino and black pepper. serves 4-6
Lupini Bean Recipe: Marinated Tremoços from Portugal legalnomads.com This is a recipe for patient people. But your patience is rewarded with delicious and healthy snacks!
About 1 cup (240 ml) dry lupini beans, rinsed. (Available via Amazon)
Large pot of water, at least 4 cups
2 cloves garlic vertically sliced into thin slivers.
White pepper (optional).
Handful of chopped fresh parsley.
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) salt.
Put the beans in a pot of water and soak overnight, for a total of 24 hours. Ensure that the water covers the beans completely. After twelve hours, check on the beans to make sure they are fully submerged and add more water if needed.
After the 24-hour period of soaking, bring the beans to a boil and simmer for 2 hours. Drain and rinse the beans.
Place the beans in a large container and cover with cold water. Let them cool and then stick them in the refrigerator.
For the next 14 days, change the water once a day with new cold water. This soaking is what removes the bitterness from the beans.
After 14 days, add 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of salt and the sliced garlic to the beans. Place back in the fridge to soak overnight.
On the 15th day (I know, I know):
Once you are ready to eat your lupini beans, you simply remove the amount you would like to eat, and toss with olive oil, a pinch of black pepper, the chopped fresh parsley, and some white pepper if you would like a punch of heat.
Store the rest of the beans for future use in your airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for approximately two weeks.