Beet Braised Lentils with Thyme and Apple | Simple Bites #recipe #dinner #vegetarian #meatlessmonday

24 recipes for the Year of the Pulse

This new year I’m keeping my food resolutions relevant and attainable. In fact, I only have one: eat more pulses in 2016.

I’ve just returned from a quick trip to Toronto to celebrate Pulse Feast, the kick-off to the International Year of the Pulse (#IYP2016). United Nations has declared 2016 the year we sit up and take notice of this incredible crop, a harvest that is mainly grown here in Canada.

What is a “pulse”? That’s a good question and one that I am getting asked frequently. Chances are you already are familiar with beans, chickpeas, lentils and dried peas – yep those are all pulses. They are good for your health, good for the environment, and mighty good to eat. The following list demonstrates the sheer variety of pulses available.

Beans:

Available canned or dried, in many varieties such as black, kidney, navy, pinto, fava, lima, black-eyed peas and more.

Chickpeas:

Also known as garbanzo beans.  Available canned or dried. Kabuli (larger) and Desi (smaller). Chickpea flour. Hummus.

Lentils:

Green, Red, Brown, French Green/du Puy and Black/Beluga. May be dried or canned. Pre-cooked lentils can be found in the frozen of refrigerated section of most healthy grocers. Lentil flour.

Peas:

Split Green and Yellow, Whole Green and Yellow. Pea protein powders. Pea flours. Soup mixes.

At Pulse Feast last week, chefs, farmers, food writers and local media and I sampled over 20 dishes featuring the very versatile pulse. It was an inspiring evening, hosted by Chef Michael Smith, the Lentil Hunter himself.

That night I signed the Pulse Pledge, a commitment to eat pulses once a week for 10 weeks. Easy? Easy. In fact, I’m vowing to eat pulses once a week for all of 2016. And if you think that is wild, consider that I met a lady at Pulse Feast who has resolved to eat pulses every day this year. Now that is impressive.

Won’t you join me and sign the Pulse Pledge? Once a week, grab a handful of cumin roasted chickpeas or dip into a bowl of hummus. It’s that simple. It can also be a pot of chili or bowl of soup, a plate of salad or maybe a lentil dinner. In other words, eating pulses once a week is totally doable.

To me, it’s an obvious choice. Eating more pulses means eating local, eating for our heath, supporting farmers, and helping the planet out, too. Tell that to your kids when you serve up lentil tacos.

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Speing Clean the Pantry | Simple Bites

Inspiration to Spring Clean the Pantry

Technically it’s still spring, folks, and never too late to do a little kitchen cleaning and organizing.

A well-stocked pantry of wholesome ingredients goes hand-in-hand with great home cooking. If your staples stay clean and organized, family meals can happen more efficiently.

Sounds good, right?

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Eat Well, Spend Less: Week One Link Round-Up

Thank you all for the fantastic response to yesterday’s post, Homemade Substitutes for Grocery Staples. It definitely showed that this Eat Well, Spend Less series is coming at a good time for many of you.

Remember, the list of pantry staples to make from scratch is posted for inspiration, not assignment! A few commenters felt overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, but the idea is to start small. Baby steps all the way.

Can I just share one response? I so loved what reader and friend, Julie, commented on the post:

“Such a brilliant topic. This is the meaning of true convenience food – not the availability of prepared foods at every corner store! True convenience is the skill to make it yourself.

Isn’t that so true.

Now hit the jump for the full Eat Well, Spend Less round-up of posts from the other bloggers.

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Eat Well, Spend Less: Homemade Substitutes for Grocery Staples

Has anyone else noticed the rapidly rising price of food lately? That the usual grocery run is costing more and more? I have, and I’ve been comparing receipts with several other food bloggers. The results of our research has prompted us to bring you a series to help you spend less while continuing to eat well.

Spearheaded by Jessica of Life as MOM, our series Eat Well, Spend Less will touch on topics such as buying (and storing) food in bulk, frugal meals, menu planning, and much, much more. Besides Jessica and myself, on board and digging deep to help you eat better on a budget are also Shaina, Mandi, Katie G, Alyssa, Carrie, Katie K , and Tammy.

The series will run on Mondays or Tuesdays for the next 3 weeks, depending on the blog.  Simplebites will contribute on Mondays and we’ll link up everyone’s posts for the week on Tuesday. Get ready to learn a lot and be equipped for the rising costs of everyday food.

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Five Simple, Natural Recipes for Homemade Pancake Syrup

Pancakes are somewhat of a religion in our household, but contrary to what most people think, we don’t enjoy them exclusively with pure maple syrup. Yes, around here it is easily accessible and somewhat affordable, but I like to change things up for pancake toppings from time to time.

A favorite of ours is fresh yogurt with apple butter, but we get even more creative than that and today I’m showing you some of those variations. Pictured above from left to right: buttery maple, honey-orange, molasses-cinnamon, vanilla-rice syrup, and blueberry syrups!

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