Tag Archives: Food

Treat Yourself to Pulses: Recipes

For more information on International Year of Pulses, check out Part One of our blog series.

Want to harness low-cost, eco-friendly pulse-power in your diet? If so, you are in for a treat! Pulses are so flexible that you can find them in a vast variety of recipes and it may surprise you what you can make in your own kitchen.

(Credit Peamon Tart team)

For example, 2015’s Mission ImPULSEible national winners and UAlberta alumni Minghua Yu, Kaixing Tang and Andrea Roman were kind enough to share their recipe for a lemon tart with a gluten-free crust made from a mixture of canned pulses.

PULSE winners 2015

Peamon Tart Recipe

Mixed bean paste crust

  • 1 cup mixed bean paste (red kidney beans, chickpeas, Romano beans and great northern white beans)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 113 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons pea protein

Crust cooking instructions

  1. Preheat the oven at 425 F.
  2. Insert the bean mix or chickpeas in the grinding attachment of a stand mixer. Place 113 grams of butter into an electric stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1.5 teaspoons of xanthan gum into the stand mixer, continue beating until all ingredients are well incorporated into the mix.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of lemon zest into the mixer, continue to mix.
  4. Add 1 cup of bean paste into the mixer and beat at a low speed until all ingredients are well combined. If the crust appears to soft and sticky to handle, place in the freezer for approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Take about 1 tablespoon of dough and place it in the centre of 1-inch muffin tins; press dough onto the bottom and the sides.
  6. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork.
  7. Place the pan in the centre of the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown; approximately 13 to 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let the crusts cool down at room temperature for approximately 5 minutes.

Cream-cheese lemon filling

  • 140 g of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 teaspoons of lemon zest
  • ½ tablespoon of cornstarch

Filling instructions

  1. Place 140 grams of cream- cheese into the electric stand mixer bowl and beat until smooth. Add ½ cup of sugar into the mixer and continue to bean until it is well incorporated. Add eggs into the mixer and continue beating. Add ½ cup of fresh lemon juice and 2.5 teaspoons of lemon zest into the mixer, mix until a uniform filling is made.
  2. Pour filling into the pre baked tart shell and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until filling starts to bubble.
  3. Cool the tarts for about 5 minutes in the freezer; transfer to a baking pan and refrigerate until well chilled, approximately 2 hours.

Other recipes

Looking for more pulse recipes? Here are a couple of favourites from the Office of Sustainability staff:

If you want to make yourself popular with a crowd, try these Vegan, Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies that Jasmine brought to the office.

(Credit: Minimalist Baker)

 “I like this recipe because it’s a secretly healthy, yet delicious dessert with more texture than regular baked goods.  I also enjoy making people guess what unique ingredients I’ve merged with desserts.”

Jasmine, Outreach Assistant

If you’d rather make everyone jealous with how delicious your lunch smells, try making Spicy Chickpea, Coconut & Tomato Soup which Emma enjoys.


(Credit: Julian the Thinker)

“I love this recipe because it’s very tasty, vegan-friendly and inexpensive to make. I like to blend the soup and then freeze it in muffin tins, making it easy to portion and bring for lunches.”

Emma, Project Planner – Green Labs

Want a substantial meal with pulses? Eric is a pro at getting a full meal without animal products, so it’s no wonder that he enjoys a Black Bean & Quinoa Veggie Burger.

Black Bean Quinoa Burger(Credit: The Foodie Physician)

“It’s a hearty, satisfying meal with a unique flavour profile that goes well in a lettuce leaf, if you want a healthier option than a bun. I love that it is easy to make and freezes well. It’s a perfect alternative to a classic meat burger. “

Eric, Graphic Designer

Have any tasty pulse recipes you’d like to share? Please comment or tweet us at @greenuofa!

About The Author

Kateryna Barnes is the Communications Assistant for the Office of Sustainability. Her favourite pulse-based recipe is Post Punk Kitchen’s Black Bean & Quinoa Soup because it’s an easy-to-make, affordable and healthy recipe that freezes well and reminds her of chili.

Celebrate International Year of Pulses

This year the United Nations declared 2016 International Year of Pulses as a way to grow awareness about the benefits of pulses as a part of an affordable, sustainable and healthy diet.

That sounds great, but what is a pulse?

Pulses: Not just a sign of life in your wrist

Pulses are part of the legume family. According to the UN’s definition , pulses only include crops harvested solely for their dried seeds; fresh peas and beans don’t count and neither do oilseeds like soybeans and peanuts.

Pulse_graphic_p3 (Credit: Pulse Canada)

As pulses are dried seeds, they can be stored for long periods without losing their nutritional value and are easily transported. Farmers who grow pulses have the option to both eat as well as sell their harvest.

Pulses are powerhouses that improve soil fertility by fixing nitrogen which extends the productivity of farmland. While they are growing, they also create a more diverse landscape for animals and insects and indirectly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, some pulses can be cultivated in very poor-quality soils and semi-arid environments where other crops cannot be grown.

Like other legumes, pulses are packed with protein, fiber and nutrients such as iron, folate and potassium. They are also low in fat and cholesterol-free; they can even help lower cholesterol. A 2014 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that pulses can help reduce LDL-cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Pulses are an incredibly environmentally-friendly source of protein. For example, it takes 4,275 kilograms more water to produce one kilogram of chicken than it does to produce one kilogram of lentils or split peas.

nat post cauliflower



(credit: G. Clement – National Post)

Recently, Canadian consumers have been dealing with shockingly high food costs in the face of a struggling economy (Hello, $7 cauliflower). If you’re looking to cut down on your food budget, integrating pulses into your diet might be a good option. They are an incredibly affordable source of low-fat protein. Next time you are in the grocery store, compare the costs of beans, chickpeas or lentils per gram to the cost of chicken.

exporter chart

  (Data: Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

Pulses are also grown in Canada—and a lot of them too! In Alberta one in every twenty acres of cropped land grows pulses.

With all these pulses, Canada is by far the largest exporter of pulses on the planet, exporting 3.65 times more pulses than the next largest nation. With the bulk of the pulses being grown in the Prairies, they are quite local and accessible for Albertans.

Pulses are such an important crop in Canada that there’s even a national food development competition for students, Mission ImPULSEible, where competitors must create a tasty and healthy food product using pulses in an innovative way. This year, a team of UAlberta students represented Alberta in the national competition with their product BiotaGelata, which uses Alberta-grown pulses to make a non-dairy, vegan gelato. This summer they will be going to Chicago for the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo.

When they looked into making a pulse-based frozen dessert, they realized there was a market for it.


(Credit: BiotaGelata)

“We did a lot of research into the dairy-free market, and a lot of the products use soy or coconut milk,” said Nicolle Mah, one of the BiotaGelata team members. “With a lot of soy allergies, or many people who don’t like the flavor of coconut, we thought this would be innovative and would catch on with the market.”

With a bit of culinary know-how from teammate Austen Neil (who worked at Fiasco Gelato in Calgary and has experience as a pastry chef), the team created their own Maple Walnut gelato recipe. The dessert took first place in the provincial Mission ImPULSEible competition earlier this year.

The BiotaGelata team hopes International Year of Pulses and competitions like Mission ImPULSEible gives these crops their due.

“A lot of people don’t realize what a pulse is,” said Chandre Van De Merwe. “They also don’t realize that they are cheap and you can do a lot with a pulse.”

Want to try eating more pulses? Check back for Part Two to check out five creative pulse recipes!

About The Author

Kateryna Barnes is the Communications Assistant for the Office of Sustainability. She’s trying to eat more pulses in her diet to be healthier and more sustainable.