In case you didn’t know, 2016 is The Year of the Pulse. What’s a pulse? All pulses are legumes, but not all legumes are actually pulses. Pulses include all lentils, dry beans, dry peas, and chickpeas. Pulses are high in protein, low in fat, and low in cholesterol. It just doesn’t get any better than that. If you’re an athlete seeking protein-packed, whole foods based recipes or if looking to include more plant-based meals in your diet, then pulses belong on your plate. It’s easy to include pulses in every meal of the day. For breakfast, you can try this Mexican-Spiced Tofu Scramble. With both black beans and tofu, it’s a protein-packed double whammy. This Smashed White Bean Avocado and Basil Sandwich is an easy, filling, and affordable lunch. For a no-fuss dinner, try this Spinach and Beans Chipotle Casserole or this Cauliflower and Lentils With Dill Tahini. And yes, you can have pulses for dessert, too — like these Chocolate Covered Black Bean Brownie Cake Pops.
When it comes to delicious, flavorful pulse recipes, we’ve got you covered. Check out 21 Vegan Recipes for Lentil Lovers, Think You Don’t Like Beans? These 25 Recipes Will Make You Love Them, and 10 Recipes You Might Be Surprised Are Made With Chickpeas to get started and then check out these 15 protein-packed recipes where pulses are the star ingredient!
1. Lentil Veggie Loaf
If you’re looking for an effortless meal that doesn’t disappoint, then you have to make this Lentil Veggie Loaf. What makes this meaty dish so wonderful is not only its heartiness but also its versatility. You can pack it with whatever vegetables you want and still achieve something delicious. It’s topped with a spicy homemade barbecue sauce for extra flavor.
2. Stragalia: Greek Toasted Chickpeas
Stragalia are a delicious, nutritious, and totally addictive snack that’s so simple to make! With coriander and fennel seeds, fresh ground black pepper, sea salt and garlic — this recipe is the perfect combination of traditional Greek spices. A fantastic on-the-go option for a healthy, protein-rich snack at work or school. The secret to getting crunchy, nutty good bites every time? A very hot oven!
3. Chili Lime Lentil Tacos With Spicy Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Who ISN’T a fan of tacos? Especially tacos that are unique. These spicy, sweet, and filling Chili Lime Lentil Tacos are awesome on their own, but even better when topped with guac vegan sour cream. The lentils bring the protein while the grilled pineapple balances out their spicy, tangy flavors.
4. Sweet Pea Hummus
While at first glance this dip looks like guacamole, don’t be fooled! It’s actually a deliciously, creamy Sweet Pea Hummus! Made with sweet peas, tahini, lime, chickpeas, and plenty of garlic, it’s brimming with flavor and nutrition. Whether you dip in some veggies, put it on a brown rice cake, or use it as a spread for a veggie-loaded sandwich, this hummus is a great staple.
5. Caribbean Pigeon Pea Curry
This Caribbean Pigeon Pea Curry is packed with protein and plenty of healthy 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.
6. Chickpea Chocolate Chip Bars
These Chickpea Chocolate Chip Bars are made from chickpeas and almond butter, so say hello to protein! The edges have the perfect “crispiness” to them while the inside is like a soft, gooey cookie. These are great for snacking, but they’re best after they’ve cooled down a bit, but the chocolate chips are still melty. For a dessert that’s indulgent, but still pretty healthy, try your bar with a banana ice cream and a dollop of whipped coconut cream!
8. Red Bean Patty Wraps With North African Chermoula Sauce
These savory Red Bean Patty Wraps combine the flavors of a traditional North African spice mixture with a gluten-free red bean patty. It combines the flavors of a traditional North African spice mixture with a vegan and gluten-free cakes. Herbs are the main ingredient of chermoula, a marinade used prominently in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria. Parsley, cilantro, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemon, and other seasonings bring a fresh flavor, making chermoula the perfect marinade for warmer weather.
9. Greek Taverna Baked Beans
These Greek Taverna Baked Beans aren’t your typical baked beans. This easy and protein-rich Greek casserole is made from fava beans with savory tomatoes, caramelized onions, and garlic. It’s a filling dish that’s great for making for a potluck without breaking the bank or to have for dinner throughout the week.
10. Black Bean Peanut Butter Brownies
The fact that these Black Bean Peanut Butter Brownies contain pulses will completely dissolve when you sink your pearly whites into them. It’s a great way to trick kiddies into getting some nutritious beans in their systems, and fussy family members too! They taste incredible and will surely please most, if not all, who taste them. Chocolate peanut butter brownies to them, and a nutritious wholesome treat to you. It most certainly can be our little secret!
11. Spiced Coconut Dal
This simple Spiced Coconut Dal is the ultimate recovery food after long days of outdoor activity and intense exercise. Although it seems plain, warm spices add a complexity of flavor that will make you want to savor every bite. Plus, you can add whatever toppings you like! It’s especially good when mixed with sautéed onions, dark, leafy greens, and tempeh for extra protein.
12. Colombian Black Bean Stew
Not only is this Colombian Black Bean Stew super easy to make and utterly delicious, but it’s also extremely healthy, full of plant-based protein and fiber. It’s proof that healthy plant-based food does not need to be complicated or expensive. It uses inexpensive foods like black beans, onion, and garlic to make a hearty meal, especially when served with a side of grains and topped with sliced avocado.
13. Crispy Falafel Patties
If you love falafel, why not eat it in burger form? These Crispy Falafel Patties are a must-try for just that. The herbed and spiced chickpeas are held together by almonds, or any nut that you have on hand — no flour necessary — and they’re fried until they’re crunchy and golden on the outside. These go great with guac, salsa, and pair beautifully with thick-cut sweet potato fries.
14. Fudgy Cinnamon Chai Protein Bars
These Fudgy Cinnamon Chai Protein Bars are a great source of healthy fats, as well as completely free of refined sugar. They’ll be your new favorite mid-day snack without the sugar rush and they taste like fudge straight from the candy shop. They’re made from chickpeas and dates that are infused with chai tea leaves, but you’d never know that they contain beans. They need to be stored in the freezer to keep them from melting, so they’re a sweet and satisfying treat on a hot day.
15. Sprouted Lentil Rice Burgers With Portobello Buns
Sprouted lentils or beans of any kind add much-loved texture and taste to any dish. In burgers, they bring a little something special to the meal. These Sprouted Lentil Rice Burgers are made from sprouted brown rice and lentils, spinach, sprouts, and sandwiched between two meaty Portobello mushroom caps. Top with creamy guacamole, leafy green lettuce, and mustard and serve with fries.
Which of these awesome and pulse-tastic recipes are you going to try first? Let us know in the comments!
Lead image source: Greek Taverna Baked Beans