International Year of Pulses: Pulse Tacos Recipe

2016 has been formally declared by the Food & Agricultural Organization of the United Nations to be the International Year of Pulses.

Pulses are beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas {the edible seeds of plants in the legume family}  and are a remarkable Canadian success story.   
Canada is the world's largest producers and a major supplier of pulses to over 150 countries around the word, with the biggest markets being India, China and Turkey. 

 key facts about pulses:

  1. pulses are a fantastic source of protein and fibre
  2. pulses are low in fat content and contain zero cholesterol.  they are also gluten-free
  3. pulses are rich in minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc) and B-vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and folate)
  4. pulses have a low carbon footprint and use just one-tenth to half of the water of other proteins.
  5. pulses are affordable, drought tolerant and contribute to food security at all levels
  6. pulses are versatile, easy to-prepare ingredient that can be used in entrees, salads, breads and desserts
  7. pulses taste great: they can be prepared savoury or sweet
  8. eating Canadian pulses supports our farmers and the economy
  9. pulses have been shown to reduce "bad" cholesterol an help control blood sugar levels, which help in the fight against heart disease and diabetes
  10. pulses enrich the soil where they grow reducing the need for chemical fertilizers

January 6th "pulse feast" day and is being celebrated around the wold.
on January 6th, eat beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils.  share your love of pulses #lovepulses #IYP2016 #pulsepledge and  follow @lovepulses

you can also take the pulse pledge with me - start your new year with a resolution that's healthy for you and the planet:
pledge to eat pulses at least once a week for ten weeks.

and for more information on pulses  please visit

Pulse Tacos


2 tablespoons canola oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup green lentils
19-ounce can beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

taco toppings:
head of Bibb or iceberg lettuce
12 hard taco shells
grated cheddar or taco blend cheese
fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges

to make lentil bean filling:  splash the canola oil into a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat.  toss in the onions, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.  saute until the vegetables soften and the spice favours brighten, 3 to 4 minutes.  stir in the lentils, beans, water, and salt.  bring the works to a slow, steady simmer.  cover tightly and continue slowly cooking until the lentils are tender, 35 minutes or so. stir in the hot sauce.

to assemble the tacos:  first fit a full leaf of lettuce into a hard taco shell.  this will hold the filling in where the hard shell inevitably breaks.  fill each taco with a heaping spoonful of the lentil bean filling.  pack with cheese, salsa, and cilantro.  serve with the time wedges and share.

serves: 4 to 6

image and recipe courtesy & chef michael smith


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