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On The Pulse - 10 Cheap and Cheerful Recipes using Pulses


A pulse is the edible seed of leguminous plants, sometimes eaten fresh but usually dried and includes all beans, peas and lentils.  They are high in protein, so good for vegetarians and a healthy choice for meat eaters alike. Pulses are a slow-release carbohydrate so help you to feel fuller for longer and also add fiber to your diet.

Importantly, dried pulses are CHEAP to buy and as they bulk out a meal,  you can eat healthily and save money - great for feeding a family or cooking on a budget.

If you think pulses are boring then take a look at the recipes below. You may just change your mind.


1. Chickpea Curry Recipe

Chickpea Curry - Chickpea Curry Recipe
Photo © istock.com

Chickpea Curry not only tastes good it is packed with healthy ingredients. It is quick and easy to make and is even better if made in advance and kept for a day before eating. Chickpea Curry also freezes very well so make a batch but omit the fresh coriander garnish until serving.

Chickpea Curry Recipe



2. Spicy Chicken with Lentils

Spicy Chicken Recipe - Chicken Recipes - Easy Chicken Recipes
Photo © RFB Photography

Easy, quick and tasty too - you can't get better than this Spicy Chicken Recipe. It is a firm favourite in this house and variations on the recipe are endless; it is one of those recipes which, once you have mastered the basics, you can play around with all you want.

In this basic recipe the spicing is Moroccan, but there is no reason why that can't be changed, see the alternatives at the end of the recipe.

This spicy chicken recipe is quite a filling dish as it contains lentils as well as the chicken and vegetables, but if you feel you need a little more filling, then serve with rice or couscous.

Spicy Chicken with Lentils

3. Chili Filled Yorkshire Pudding

Chili Filled Yorkshire Pudding
Photo © RFB Photography

Yorkshire puddings are a favourite British food, especially with roast meats for Sunday lunch. Filled Yorkshire puddings make great supper dishes for mid-week, or as an alternative to a roast on Sunday. The risen sides of the Yorkshire pudding turn it into a dish just waiting for a delicious filling.

One of my favourite fillings is hot, spicy chili con carne. The punch from the spices is calmed a little by the soft taste of the pudding batter. The Chili uses minced/ground beef with lots of red kidney beans and canned tomatoes, good cheap and nutritious foods. 

 Chili Filled Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

4. Red Lentil and Tomato Soup

Red Lentil and Tomato Soup Recipe
Photo © Elaine Lemm

We all have favourite soup Recipes and Red Lentil and Tomato Soup recipe is one of mine. Is it so, so easy and takes very little time if you have some ready made stock. Red Lentil and Tomato soup is very nutritious and another great reason for making this soup is, it is also relatively cheap to prepare.

If you have stock in the freezer, now is the time to use it. No stock? It is fine to use a stock cube for this recipe. Use vegetable stock if you want a vegetarian soup, otherwise chicken is good and I also like using the broth from when I have cooked a ham as long as it isn't too salty.

Red Lentil and Tomato Soup Recipe

5. Vegetable Bean Soup Recipe

Vegetable and Bean Soup Recipe - Recipe Vegetable and Bean Soup
Photo © RFB Photography

Vegetable and Bean Soup recipe is the perfect soup recipe for cold days when you need to be warm and nourished. What could be better than a bowl of soup and crusty bread to keep the chill out? This Vegetable and Bean Soup is packed with healthy vegetables and beans to sustain you through the cold weather. Serve a large bowl as a main course, or a smaller portion.

Vegetable and Bean Soup Recipe

6. Tomato and Bean Casserole

Tomato and White Bean Casserole Recipe
Photo © StockXpert

Tomato and White Bean Casserole is a hearty, filling, vegetable casserole, perfect for chilly days. The casserole is packed with beans and with the addition of tomatoes is a very healthy dish as a main course or as an accompaniment to other dishes.

Tomato and White Bean Casserole makes a wonderful side dish for roast and braised meats.

This tomato and white bean casserole recipe uses canned white beans but you can also use frozen beans as long as they have been precooked before freezing.

Tomato and Bean Casserole Recipe

7. Magical Hummus

Hummus Recipes
Photo © Getty Images

Hummus, also known as  Houmous and or Humous depending on where you live is such a magical dish. Made from chickpeas, it has so many uses - think dips, in sandwiches, wraps. It can be dressed up for a party or down for a snack and served at practically any time of day, I've even had it on toast for breakfast.

I had no idea just how many variations there are until I looked at Saad Fayed, About.com's guide to middle eastern food, list of hummus recipes. Amazing.

Saad's 32 (!) Hummus Recipes

8. Baked Beans Recipe

Baked Beans - Recipes - Baked Bean Recipe
Photo © StockXpert

Opening a can of baked beans and serving hot on toast is the ultimate, tasty, fast food. Home baking beans adds another dimension; not only are they delicious you can control what goes in and avoid the added sugar found in the canned variety.

My Baked Bean Recipe is based on beans I used to cook in Italy, so though not strictly a British recipe, I have cooked then so many times here in the UK, I feel they are allowed.

Baked Beans Recipe

9. Mushy Peas

Photo © istock

Mushy peas are not a main course dish, but a substantial side dish. Mushy peas are an intrinsic part of British food favourite, Fish and Chips or with hot pies. There are many impostors out there using frozen and even fresh peas but true, traditional mushy peas recipe is made with dried marrowfat peas which require overnight soaking, so a little planning is needed.

Traditional Mushy Peas Recipe

10. Mexican Refried Beans Recipe

Refried Beans Recipe
Photo © Getty Images

I love refried beans, I think becasue to me they are the Mexican equivlent of British mushy peas. This Refried Bean recipe comes from Chelsie Kenyon, About.com's guide to Mexican food.

Refried Beans Recipe

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