Fifty per cent of our meat and alternatives intake is supposed to include, well, alternatives. But let’s face it: legumes aren’t exactly the most appealing of foods (their smell and appearance certainly don’t help, either). And while we know beans help build muscle, get regular and sculpt a lean bod, that doesn’t make it easier to cook them. Here are five simple, savoury dishes to get you loving legumes.
1. Pasta e fagioli: An Italian dish that is famous—with good reason. Cook Romano or kidney beans in boiling water and then mix with tomato sauce and your favourite pasta. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and you will find yourself in love with a new meal. Being a grain product, the pasta combines with the beans to form a complete protein.
2. Tacos: Easy to make and delicious! Combine black beans—rich in fibre, protein and iron—with your favourite Tex-Mex toppings in a whole grain tortilla. Pack that taco with healthy foods such as salsa (cancer-fighting lycopene), avocados (for a flat belly), onions (keep colds at bay) and cheese (calcium and protein).
3. Lentils in savoury tomato sauce: These legumes are sorely underrated; lentils taste amazing, and especially when you cook them, then heat them in a pan with tomato sauce, onions, and garlic. Add a dash of rosemary and chili flakes, chop up some corn bread and you’ve got yourself a tasty 20-minute meal.
4. Bean salad: Mix your favourite beans—dare we suggest red kidney beans and chick peas?—with a dash of vinegar and parsley to form a nutritious bean salad to accompany any meal.
5. Hummus: Pick up a jar of Tahini sauce, find a hummus recipe online and mash those chick peas into a savoury dip! Pair with celery for a truly healthy and filling snack.
You can’t say no until you try and believe us, once you savour these recipes, you’ll have no more excuses for not eating your legumes—and you won’t want to find one!