A pulse is defined as the edible seeds of various crops (peas, beans, or lentils) of the legume family.
Most people are familiar with peas and beans but lentils tend to me a little more foreign for most of the population. Lentils come in red, brown, and green varieties and are high in protein, fiber, folic acid, and potassium. These small legumes (about the size of sunflower seed) are cooked in a similar to beans (in much less time).
Consuming a one to two 1/2 cup servings of pulses a day can have the following health benefits:
- Reduce total cholesterol by 3%
- Reduce LDL cholesterol by 9%
These lowered cholesterol levels equate to a 17%-25% decrease in the risk of heart disease. How do you achieve these same cholesterol lower benefits yourself? Try consuming one to two 1/2 cup servings a day of lentils, beans , peas, or chickpeas.
Recipe adapted from tasteofhome.com
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup salsa
- 12 taco shells
- 1-1/2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomato
- 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 tablespoons sour cream
- In a large nonstick skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream.