The 68th General Assembly of the United Nations has declared 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses. Yes, that’s a thing. What are pulses? They are legumes including lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states that pulses are “a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet to address obesity, as well as to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions and cancer.”
Look for more products containing pulses such as snack bars and smoothies but be sure to add these legumes to your diet at home. Try these 21 Vegan Recipes for Lentil Lovers, 10 Recipes You Might Be Surprised were Made with Chickpeas, and Give Peas a Chance with these 20 Delicious Green Pea Recipes.
Don’t forget the beans! If you Think You Don’t Like Beans? These 25 Recipes Will Make You Love Them. Then try these 20 recipes with legumes that will definitely raise your pulse with delicious excitement.
1. Akara (Nigerian Fried Bean Balls)
Akara are deep-fried bean fritters, popular in West African countries and Brazil and these Nigerian Fried Bean Balls are going to be popular in your house. Black-eyed peas are the most common choice of bean for this crispy snack and a bit of chile pepper gives them a spicy kick. Akara can be enjoyed as a snack or appetizer with a side of savory sauce for dipping and they’re best served while still fresh and crispy.
2. Mushroom Lentil Burger
These flavorful Mushroom Lentil Burgers are savory and delicious. They start with meaty mushrooms and protein-packed lentils as a base. Sautéed onion, dry herbs, and liquid smoke add more flavor to the mix. Take these to the next level by assembling your burger with toasted hamburger buns, vegan cheese, greens, and other trimmings. Serve with your favorite side of fries.
3. Creamy Chickpeas with Turmeric, Black Cumin and Parsley
When you need a versatile dish that gives you lots of options, make this Creamy Chickpeas with Turmeric, Black Cumin and Parsley. This creamy dish works as a salad topper, sandwich filler, or as a stand-alone dish. Turmeric gives it a beautiful color and black cumin is a flavor powerhouse. Cashews provide the creamy consistency and cayenne adds a spicy kick.
4. Quinoa Lentil Broth Bowl
This Quinoa Lentil Broth Bowl starts with a simple miso broth that’s loaded with goodness. The puffy quinoa is cooked until al dente, ensuring that it adds texture, while the fresh vegetables are cooked until tender. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice completes the meal by adding a zing of tangy flavor into the mix. Serve this soup as a light lunch or dinner, paired with your favorite sandwich.
5. Chickpea and Edamame Quinoa
This Chickpea and Edamame Quinoa will power you throughout your day! The mixture of green edamame, deep red cranberries, red bell peppers, and fresh herbs mixed into fluffy quinoa creates a dish filled with vibrant color and different textures. Make a big batch of this quinoa salad at the beginning of the week and eat it for lunch at work or school.
6. Channa Dal Kosambi (South Indian Lentil and Vegetable Salad)
Channa Dal Kosambari is a South Indian style salad recipe usually served on special occasions like marriages. It is prepared by mixing vegetables and soaked pulses, then followed by tempering with lots of curry leaves. This salad also has beets, cucumbers, mangos, and chiles. Top this salad with toasted coconut flakes and serve it with grains of your choice, such as millet or quinoa.
7. Butternut, Kale and Black Bean Quesadillas
These Butternut, Kale and Black Bean Quesadillas is a whole new take on everyone’s favorite Mexican treat. Tender toasted butternut squash, black beans, and kale are combined to create a meal that’s savory, slightly spicy, and delicious. These quesadillas make a quick and easy lunch. Serve with a side of guacamole, spicy salsa, and vegan sour cream.
8. Bean Burger with Herb Aioli
Everybody needs a reliable go-to burger recipe that tastes fantastic, just like this Bean Burger with Herb Aioli. This meaty bean burger is made with pinto beans, tofu and oats. It’s paired with a refreshing and creamy cashew aioli packed with fresh herbs. Serve on toasted buns with leafy greens, sweet potato fries, and extra sauce on the side, for dipping.
9. Pitas with Lentil Hummus
Sometimes all you need to get through your day is a really good snack like these Pitas with Lentil Hummus. These homemade whole-grain pitas are great for snacking on, and the creamy lentil hummus will keep you fueled and energetic. Switch up the usual chickpea-based hummus recipe for this creamy lentil one; we promise you won’t regret it!
10. Spiced Chickpeas with Harissa and Tamarind
If you haven’t tried tamarind yet, get introduced to the legume with these Spiced Chickpeas with Harissa and Tamarind. These chickpeas are a heady melody of savory and subtle tartness. The tangy, sweetly sour tamarind, nutty chickpeas, and spicy harissa meld well together and it’s even better after a day or two. It’s wonderful for quick weeknight meals, especially perfect over quinoa and peas, or rice or with some pita bread.
11. Lentil Coconut Curry with Pesto Cucumber Noodles
This Lentil Coconut Curry with Pesto Cucumber Noodles is fresh and filling, easy enough to make on a busy weeknight but without being boring. The meaty, spicy, and tangy lentil coconut curry sits on a bed of refreshing cucumber noodles that are crisp, cool and coated in a creamy cilantro pesto. So many flavors in this simple yet layered dish.
12. Kale Salad with Lentil Meatballs
Who says meatballs have to be served on spaghetti? This Kale Salad with Lentil Meatballs is a lighter way to enjoy meatballs. The lentil meatballs are so easy to make. They’re dense, meaty, and a little bit spicy. Sit a few atop a kale salad with sliced red onion and fresh cherry tomatoes and drizzle some of the barbecue mustard sauce on top.
13. Caribbean Pigeon Pea Coconut Curry
In this Caribbean Pigeon Peas Coconut Curry, stewed curried pigeon peas are served on a bed of steamed vegetables. Although each vegetable contributes its own flavor and texture, the curried pigeon peas and mushrooms pack the biggest punch. The coconut milk-based curry is warming, smooth, and savory. A side of rice is unnecessary, but it ensures that you won’t miss one drop of this delicious curry.
14. Zucchini Ribbons and Lentils
If you’re trying to eat lighter for the warmer weather, you’ll love these Zucchini Ribbons and Lentils. Raw zucchini ribbons and tender lentils are tossed with a creamy, garlicky avocado dressing. The zucchini is light and refreshing, the lentils ensure that you won’t be hungry one hour later, and the cherry tomatoes add a pop of flavor. Serve this meal on a bed of dark, leafy greens, with extra dressing on the side.
15. Chickpea Salad with Cilantro Dressing
It’s time to start thinking about spring and summer salads that are perfect for picnics and outdoor gatherings. This Chickpea Salad with Cilantro Dressing is simple but that doesn’t mean boring. Chickpeas, crunchy bell peppers, and vibrant cherry tomatoes are tossed in a homemade dressing that’s bold and spicy. This salad is great for brown bag lunches, on a bed of greens or in a sandwich with greens and whole grain bread.
16. Edamame Wasabi Bean Dip
This crazy-yummy Edamame Wasabi Bean Dip is Asian inspired and packed with protein. It has a little heat due to the wasabi powder but a bite thanks to a little ginger. The white beans make the dip nice and creamy and give it a comfort food feel. Use this as a spread on Asian themed wraps or add a little milk to thin it out and toss it with pasta for an amazing sauce.
17. Superfood Butter Bean Burgers
These Superfood Butter Bean Burgers are exactly how they sound — full of superfoods and full of butter beans! These dense, meaty burgers are packed with chia seeds, quinoa flakes, whole grains, and, of course, beans! Enjoy them with a side of salsa and sweet potato fries. Whether or not you serve it on a bun is entirely up to you.
18. Green Edamame Spinach Hummus Pesto
This Green Edamame Spinach Hummus Pesto gets its name from its uniqueness. Edamame, cooked spinach, and tahini are blended together to create a sauce unlike any other. It’s smooth like hummus in its texture, yet it tastes like pesto. Serve it over pasta or enjoy it as a dip.
19. Black Soybean Sliders with Chipotle Avocado Lime Sauce
These Black Soybean Sliders are a fun and spicy finger food that pack a tasty kick. Served on a toasted bun and topped with vegetables and a creamy, spicy, and tangy chipotle-avocado-lime sauce, they’re the perfect food to serve at any party. These little burgers are perfect when served with a big stack of vegetable fries.
20. Spring Pea Toasts with Radish and Lavender
These Spring Pea Toasts with Radish and Lavender are the perfect for afternoon tea, brunch or garden parties. A hefty portion of peas acts as a nourishing and filling spread, the radishes, and lavender add a nice finishing touch, and the toast is the kind of crunchy and comforting bread you need in the afternoon. Enjoy this snack with a calming cup of tea, or paired with a warm cup of soup.
If you keep your pulse on the trends, then you know that pulses are hot this year. Fill up with beans, peas, lentils, and legumes that are perfect for so many different kinds of delicious recipes.
Lead image source Black Soybean Sliders