Last week, I shared the benefits of eating beans, peas and lentils otherwise known as pulses . And now, I want to share some plant based, vegetarian recipe ideas using them that I hope will leave you wanting to make them all!

I have always loved the idea of a white bean burger and have made a few in my day but I think that the flavors of this one are just right. I hope that you like it also. My friend Terri Laddusaw shared a lentil taco on facebook a few weeks ago that became an inspiration for my spring lentil taco. I always love bean tacos and lentil tacos are definitely a new way to get my “weekly pulses”. My greatest challenge has been to find a fresh, new idea using split peas beyond the old split pea soup! I found a lot of great recipes out there and for inspiration to make something brand new but need to do a little experimentation before I will unveil it! And this time of year, I am thinking spring and green! So I decided to share a fresh garden pea recipe and show how they can be added as a great source of protein in risotto! Green peas are almost a pulse but they are also a starchy vegetable!

I hope that you enjoy my pulse recipe collection. Since beans, peas and lentils make up a big part of my diet, I hope to share inspiration throughout the seasons!

Mediterranean Burgers

This burger is full of flavor and healthy ingredients.

Mediterranean Burger

Makes 4 burgers

The white beans in this recipe with the help of sun dried tomatoes, olives and walnuts are a delicious way to get your daily dose of pulses!

1-16 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 clove garlic

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup olives chopped or thinly sliced thin

1/3 cup thinly sliced hydrated sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs (use gluten-free if desired)

Olive oil

Pesto to top the burgers

Saute onions in a medium skillet until soft and brown. Add the walnuts and let them slightly brown. Add the onions, garlic and walnuts in a large bowl. Add beans and mash until it is in a paste. Add olives, tomatoes, egg and bread crumbs. Get a consistency to be able to make patties. Make the six patties. You can heat a little olive oil in the skillet and brown on both sides. Take out of the skillet and drain on paper towels. Or you can also bake in the oven at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Serve with a side of asparagus.

Spring Lentil Tacos

Lentil tacos may be even tastier than bean tacos!

Spring Lentil Tacos

Makes 6 tacos

Top these tacos with a fresh, spring radish salsa, spinach, cabbage and goat cheese. Instead of the cheese, you could also top it with toasted walnuts. My radishes were not ready to make my fresh radish salsa so I used some of our canned salsa from last summer!

1 cup lentils

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup onion

Olive oil

2 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

12 soft corn tortillas

Spring toppings for tacos: Goat cheese, Thinly sliced spinach, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro. Shredded beets and radish salsa would also be great for these! Try my fresh radish salsa

In a medium sauce pan cook lentils in vegetable broth until they are just soft. In a skillet saute onion in a few teaspoons of olive oil until soft and start to brown. Add chili powder and cumin. Toss in lentils and let them lightly brown and get crunchy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Microwave corn tortillas a few seconds in the microwave. Add two corn tortillas on a plate and add toppings. Use a toothpick to close if desired. Seriously, these are so tasty. I hope that you enjoy them!

Spring Pea Risotto with Spinach

Makes 6 servings

Spring peas are a good source of protein and when paired with a grain, some cheese or nuts, they have almost as much protein as a piece of meat!

1/2 cup onion

Olive oil

3 cups vegetable broth

12 ounce arborio rice

1 tablespoon tub margarine or butter

1 cup peas

1 cup spinach

Parmesan cheese, walnuts or pesto to top it

In a large saucepan with a tight fighting lid, saute onions in a small amount of olive oil until the onions are almost brown. Bring 3 cups broth and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of tub margarine or butter. Add 12 ounces of rice and simmer 18-22 minutes. Add peas and spinach at the end of cooking tip. Fluff with a fork.

Menu planning can be a challenge! My husband and I have been making a weekly menu most of our marriage since college. Having a guideline, helps us buy what we need, save money and stay with a healthy eating plan. If you would like a little help getting started, I can help! As a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, I have helps a lot of folks create plans that work for them and I always have so tasty menu ideas to try! I also have a lot of great recipes in my book Farm Fresh Nutrition




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