• Load up on legumes for lunch

    Nicole Lowe | March 20, 2023

    Have you thought of packing legumes in your lunch?
    Legumes are plant-based proteins. Some of the most common legumes include chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, split peas and mung beans.
    Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating plant-based protein. Legumes are a good example because they are easy to find and easy to pack, and they often cost less than meat, too.
    In addition to being a source of protein, legumes are rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate, zinc, calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium.

    They are also high in fibre. They contain two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Both are important for our bodies to function.

    If you are buying canned legumes, rinse them well under cold running water to remove extra salt. Canned legumes are already cooked so you can add them directly to your favourite dishes after rinsing.

    Meal ideas:
    • Turn a side salad into a meal by adding canned beans.
    • Use black beans as a topper on your chicken pizza.
    • Add beans or lentils to a meat sauce.
    • Try a white bean dip or hummus with raw vegetables.
    • Switch from hamburgers to plant-based burgers by substituting cooked lentils for ground beef.

    Or try making a chickpea salad:
    1. Chop cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots. Add them to rinsed, drained canned chickpeas.
    2. Toss with a dressing made of vegetable oil, vinegar or lemon juice.
    3. Add a pinch of pepper to taste.

    Legumes are a flavourful and low-cost food that give a good boost of nutrition. Consider adding some to your meal the next time you’re in the kitchen.

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