My Spice Drawer

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What's Your Pulse?

Posted by Spice Girl on 1/31/2016 to EAT TASTE LOVE
What's Your Pulse?
It’s the start of a new year and what better time to make some heathy changes in your life? When I ask about your “pulse” I’m not referring to the one on your wrist; I’m referring to the one in your lunch or dinner!

The United Nations designated 2016 as the “International Year of Pulses”. Pulses are the heroes of the legume family (including dried beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils) which pack a powerful protein, fibre and essential nutrient punch.

Pulses are a delicious, cost effective way to add protein to your diet. Canada produces over 30% of the world’s supply of peas and lentils. On Vancouver Island we are lucky to have Saanichton Farm, a local grower of red lentils. Pulses are readily available in grocery stores; try a variety of types for different textures and flavours. If you aren’t already familiar with cooking pulses there are plenty of inspiring recipes on our Monsoon Coast Recipe Page; but to cut to the chase, here is one of my favourites. It makes a large one pot meal which freezes well and is terrific left over. Use any selection of vegetables for colour and texture (avoid the cauliflower if it is still running at $8 a head!). Enjoy!

Mahavira's Dal

Serves 6-8

 2 tsp vegetable oil
 2 onions, diced
 1 heaped tbsp Mahavira's Feast
 1 tbsp turmeric
 2 cups red lentils, washed
 1/2 cup Basmati rice, triple rinsed
 8 cups veggie stock
 1 cup cauliflower, cut in small pieces
 1 sweet red pepper, diced
 1 cup fresh or frozed green peas
 1/2 lb asparagus cut in 1 cm pieces
 1 can coconut milk
 Salt to taste

In a very large pot sauté onions in oil until translucent. Add spices and stir well. Add lentils and rice and stir to combine with onion and spice mixture.

Add 7 cups of the veggie stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low, cover and simmer. After 10 minutes add the cauliflower and stir in. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the vegetables and more stock as needed to keep the consistency of a thick soup. Once all the veggies are in, add salt to taste.

Cook 10 minutes until veggies are nearly done. Stir in the coconut milk, simmer for about 10 more minutes to combine the flavours.