This post is for all the vegetarians out there, or for anyone who wants to eat more meatless meals. It’s also a post for anyone who wants to keep the budget in check, as beans, pulses and legumes are a lot cheaper than meat.
What are beans, pulses and legumes?
Hopefully you know what beans are, but in case you don’t they are the protein packed vegie alternative to meat. Instead of coming from an animal, they come from plants. There are many different varieties of beans, but you probably know them best in those tins of baked beans you get at the supermarket. Today I’m hoping to show you that beans can be eaten in a lot of better ways than just as baked beans.
Varieties of beans are:
- Kidney (large red ones)
- Black (small black ones)
- Borlotti (large splotched white and red ones)
- Butter (very large white creamy beans)
- Fava (the dried version of green broad beans)
After beans the most common type of vegetarian protein source are the pulse. Pulses include dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas.
Varieties of pulses:
- Green lentils
- Brown lentils
- Red lentils
- Puy lentils – also called French lentils
- Split yellow peas
- Split green peas
- Chickpeas – also called garbanzo beans.
Legumes are great for you too and are eaten in many traditional cultures. Legumes include:
- Fresh peas
- Alfalfa and clover leaves.
Generally, the word legumes are used to describe the seed and the pulses describe the edible version, so you’ll see some overlap. Therefore, don’t get too hung up on which category its called, just know that lentils, chickpeas, soy and peanuts are all vegetarian versions of protein along with beans, and that they’rea ll good for you to eat regularly.
Best bean, legume and pulse recipes
- Yellow split pea and vegetable samosas.
- Lentil, feta and avocado salad.
- Minestrone soup. (The recipe links are under the pictures).
- Carrot and lentil soup version 1. Or carrot and lentil soup version 2 (a smoother soup).
- Foul – middle eastern breakfast beans. Makes a nice change from baked beans and is more filling, especially served with scrambled eggs.
- Rice with lentils (Mujadra).
- Roasted Brussels sprout and lentil salad. (Use a tin of lentils to make the meal faster).
- Jamie Oliver’s happy cow burgers (uses 4 bean mix). The original recipe is in Jamie’s Book 15 Minute Meals, about page 225, whereas this is a version tweaked by the blog writer (but its pretty close to the original).
- Pea and potato patties.
- Lentil and potato Dahl. (I use this recipe about once a month and love it. Add any veggies you have on hand to make it stretch further).
- Baked eggs with beans.
- Chickpea ‘tofu’ with spiced black-eyed beans.
- Zucchini, black bean and corn enchiladas.