Before switching to a more plant-based diet I used to think of legumes as an extra interesting ingredient. Now they are a staple. High in protein, fibre and minerals, and so tasty prepared in the right way!
What do you mean you don’t like legumes? Have you tried a black bean burrito? Sweet potato and lentil curry? Roasted red-pepper hummus? That got your pulses racing…
Now I’ve got your attention, let’s start with lentils, shall we? Red lentils are my absolute favourites, quick to cook and make an awesome soup (learned that from my Granny). I also love combining different veggies to make a lentil stew, and all my favourite curries have lentils!
Beans, beans, good for the heart, beans, beans, make you… hold on a minute, not anymore! Once your body gets used to the extra fibre from legumes then digesting them isn’t an issue. There’s much more to them than ‘beans on toast’, I mean what would Mexican food be without beans? In fact, beans are one of the oldest cultivated plants and a staple all over the world. How about a bean burger with smashed avocado or a classic Chilli (sin) Carne? The possibilities are endless!
I never liked peas. I used to stab my fork at them with contempt as a kid. That weird texture of watery, rubbery little green balls, skin half falling off. That was until I discovered pea pesto pasta! Oh my goodness… game changer. If you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for? Go and defrost those little green weirdos, put them in a blender with olive oil, salt, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast (optional), pine kernels (or cashews) and lots of fresh basil (or parsley). Stir into some pasta with chopped cherry tomatoes et voilà! You’re welcome.
A few tips:
- If you’re using dried beans or lentils, soak them for a few hours prior to cooking.
- If you’re using tins or jars, make sure you rinse and drain them first.
- Don’t forget about chickpeas and edamame beans!