Take the Pulse Pledge this year!

Source: CBC – Fresh Air

The United Nations has declared 2016 the international Year of Pulses: dry beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. And Ontario, which is big on beans, is ready to celebrate this indigenous staple, starting with a launch event dinner on January 6, hosted by Chef Michael Smith– Canada’s ambassador for the International Year of Pulses.

We talked about this humble superfood with Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada. He told us about the Pulse Pledge, a 10 week challenge to explore the health, environmental and financial benefits of using more dry legumes in your kitchen.

He also shared some recipes to get your “pulses: racing: one for a taco and one for a dessert. Try, enjoy, and take the pulse of this new year’s food trend! You can listen to our chat with Gordon here:https://soundcloud.com/cbc-fr…/pulses-the-un-and-you-in-2016

Find out more at www.pulses.org. and www.pulsecanada.com
Sign up for the pulsepledge.com for recipes, information and tips.

Chocolate Brownies

Makes 16 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 30-35 minutes

½ cup (125 ml/1 stick) unsalted butter or buttery spread
¾ cup (185 ml/about 6 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
1¼ cups (310 ml) sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup (125 ml) black bean flour
¼ cup (60 ml) cocoa
½ tsp (2 ml) xanthan gum
½ tsp (2 ml) table salt
¼ cup (60 ml) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).Line a 9×9-inch square nonstick metal baking pan with parchment paper,leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
  2. In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, heat the butter and chocolate chips on low power until the chips are melted. Stir until blended, then beat inthe sugar with an electric mixer on low
    speed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time,until well blended.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the beanflour, cocoa, xanthan gum and salt until well blended and then gradually beat it into the
    chocolate mixture on medium-low speed until no flour is visible. Stir in the nuts (if desired). Spread the batter in the
    pan with a wet spatula. This batter is very thick.
  4. Bake until the brownies feel firm to the touch, about 30 to 35 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cool the brownies in the
    pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Use the parchment overhang to transfer the brownies from the pan to the wire rack to finish cooling. Remove the parchment and cut into 16 squares.

Chef Michael Smith’s 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!

© Chef Michael Smith 2015

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