Savouring Pulses- Nov 21-27

The Alberta Pulse Growers along with three local restaurants will be featuring pulse-based dishes from November 21-27 to celebrate Savouring Pulses week.  Did you know that pulses such as beans, lentils and peas are all grown around the Lethbridge area?  Now the question is, are the pulses we buy in grocery stores produced locally?  Hmmm.. time to do some investigating!  Pulses are a staple for many vegetarians and healthy eaters for many reasons:

  • Very high source of fibre
  • Free of fat and saturated fat
  • Free of sodium
  • Excellent source of folate.
  • Good sources of iron, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin
  • Gluten free
  • High fibre, low fat foods such as pulses are part of a healthy diet which may control blood cholesterol and blood sugars. Pulses may also help people feel full longer and help with managing weight
  • Pulses are the perfect meat alternative for vegetarian diets

To learn more about what’s being served in Lethbridge restaurants, click here (some are vegetarian friendly, and some not).  Or, if you don’t feel like going out and want to try a pulse recipe at home, try my Veggie Lentil Pot Pie or check out the recipes on the Alberta Pulse Growers page!

Do you have any favorite pulse-based recipes?  Have you ever grown any pulses, and if so, what are your favorites to store and use for the winter?


Locavores: Sprout Your Own

With all the problems around bean sprouts lately, especially in Germany & Europe, where many people have gotten sicked and died because of eating tainted sprouts, one must begin to look to the ultimate diy solution- sprout your own!  Not only is it easy, but it is super cheap.  And kind of addicting when you learn how many dried beans, seeds and legumes you can sprout!  It also adds a whole new dimension of nutrition as instead of eating a dormant food, you are now eating a live plant!  You can even sprout beans before cooking them for this added benefit.

Here are a couple of resources I’ve found on sprouting your own, enjoy!

Joy of Sprouting

Growing Sprouts, Avoid Ecoli

Update on Sprout Contamination in Germany

Have you ever grown your own sprouts?  What are your favorite types?  Share your stories below!

Quicker Baked Beans with Beer

Welcome to Spring!  And.. its snowing… again… in fact, there’s a snowfall warning!

But, let’s look on the bright side- what better excuse for some comfort food.

I got home and I was craving Baked Beans… and though I have 4 cans of readymade baked beans in the pantry, that wouldn’t cut it.  I wanted real baked beans, hot from the oven… sweet, savory, and filling.  Full of protein.  Combined with a crispy buttered (or margarine-ed) bun, perhaps a crisp salad or coleslaw, and a good beer, it really warms you up on a chilly day.

So I checked the cookbooks for a ‘quick’ version of baked beans that I could make with canned beans, as there was, unfortunately no time to soak and cook dried beans.  I found only one recipe and it was for ‘baked beans with bacon’, which obviously, did not cut it for a non-pig flesh eater.  That’s okay, I don’t like to follow recipes to a tee anyway.  I had some black & kidney beans, a cast iron dutch oven, and a bunch of homebrew waiting in the wings.

Quicker Baked Beans with Beer
(vegan friendly)

Preheat oven to 350

Combine in a baking dish, such as a dutch oven (deeper rather than shallower):

  • Approx 3 cups of cooked, canned beans, rinsed well (I used white kidney and black beans.. feel free to experiment)
  • 1/4c ketchup
  • 1/2c minced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp molasses (natural, unsulphured if possible)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • A squirt of hot sauce
  • A squirt of olive oil
  • 1/2 c beer (I used a home-brewed amber ale.  This also leaves you a bit to whet your appetite while the beans bake)
  • 1 Tbsp of vegetarian bacon bits (available in most grocery stores)
  • Freshly ground pepper & Salt to taste
  • Your choice of herbs & spices (optional)… I have an organic ‘no salt’ organic herb mix from costco…

Mix well.  The beauty of this dish is you can mix it right in the baking vessel.  I used my enameled cast iron dutch oven.  If you don’t have one, man they are a blessing!  They cook everything so beautifully, without drying out.

Bake for 40 min with lid on.  Stir.
If too dry, add more beer!
Remove lid and bake for another 10-20 min


And if you’ve now got a hankering for some good beer, check out the LCSA International Beer & Music Festival at the College Barn this Thursday.  Featuring the following beers:

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Saison Dupont Vieille Provision
Baird Rising Sun Pale Ale
Harviestoun Old Engine Oil
Pilsner Urquell
Schneider Aventinus
Central City Red Racer India Pale Ale
Wild Rose India Pale Ale
Hacker Pschorr Hefe Weisse