Wednesday, January 6, 2016

International Year of Pulses: Canada's Beans, Peas, Lentils and Chickpeas Recognized Around World #lovepulses

What are “Pulses”? The Future of Food Pulses — beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas - are edible seeds of plants in the legume family. 2016 has been formally declared by the Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to be the International Year of Pulses (IYP).

Pulses are a remarkable Canadian success story. Canada’s pulse industry, which only began to see significant growth beginning in the 1970’s, is now contributing over $3 billion to Canada’s economy. Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of dry peas and lentils and a major supplier of pulses to over 150 countries around the world. Canada’s biggest export markets are India, China and Turkey. Pulses are Canada’s fifth largest crop, after wheat, canola, corn and barley. There are 22,000 pulse farmers in Canada. Over 3.2 million hectares of pulses were planted in Canada last year. This is enough land to cover the city of Toronto 50 times over. The launch of the International Year of Pulses marks the conclusion of the Year of Soil, which is appropriate as pulse crops produce a number of different compounds that feed soil microbes and benefit soil health. Pulses emit nitrogen into soils, making them a sustainable and nutrient-rich crop.

Chef Michael Smith takes the Pulse Pledge and challenges Canadians to eat more beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. International Year of Pulses recognizes pulses as one of the world’s most important foods.

Chef Michael Smith is Canada’s IYP Ambassador

“Many Canadians are familiar with lentils, peas, chickpeas and beans, even if they don’t know the term pulses, which are edible seeds of plants in the legume family,” says Chef Michael Smith, Canada’s International Year of Pulses (IYP) Ambassador. “Canada can be proud of the pulses we grow here. They are nutritional superstars, affordable and easy to prepare, and they are sustainably grown, meaning they are good for the planet, too."

Chef Michael Smith's new IYP Pulse Taco Recipe:

Makes 12 tacos, Serves 4 to 6

For the pulse filling
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of canola oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon (18 mL) of chili powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of ground cumin
1 cup (250 mL) of green lentils
A 19-ounce (540 mL) can of your favourite beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups (500 mL) of water
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of your favourite hot sauce

For the taco toppings
A head of Bibb or iceberg lettuce
12 hard taco shells
A few handfuls of grated cheddar or taco blend cheese
Your favourite salsa
A large bunch of fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges

Make the lentil bean filling. Splash the canola oil into a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Sauté until the vegetables soften and the spice flavours brighten, 3 or 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.

Assemble the tacos. Fit a full leaf of lettuce into a hard taco shell. This will hold the fillings in when 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 lime wedges and share!

TAKE THE PULSE PLEDGE — Start your new year with a resolution that’s healthy for you and the planet. Take the Pulse Pledge to eat pulses at least once a week for ten weeks: www.pulsepledge.com

Bookmark and Share
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...