Exciting year – 2016 – Year of the Pulse! Pulses are the dried beans and seeds of some podded plants and therefore are shelf stable for a very long time.They are nutritious food products being naturally high in protein and fiber, rich in minerals and low in fat. Pulses tend to be easily digestible. They are also extremely inexpensive. Some common pulses you are likely familiar with would be dried beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. Go to pulsecanada.com for great information on these little powerhouses.

Soaking or direct cooking your own beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas is immensely healthier for you than using a precooked canned product. Lentils benefit from soaking but cook quite quickly without.

I picked up a 10 lb bag of brown lentils at my local store for about 8$. I have been soaking and sprouting them, using them in soups, salads and stews for a several months. I still don’t feel like I have put a dent in that 10 lb bag. Apart from their affordability pulses are downright delicious. They are easy to prepare and are an excellent way to add some variety to your diet.

Here is a recipe using delicious brown lentils you can easily make for a weeknight supper.

Brown Lentils “Cassoulet Style”

1 cup brown lentils

2 cups water

Combine in an ovenproof casserole and bake for 1 hour at 350*F to cook lentils. 

4 pork dinner sausages – bratwurst or English style bangers

Cook sausages in oven for 20 minutes, until internal temperatures reaches 160*F. 

Meanwhile prepare the garnish. 

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 small onion

Splash white wine (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

2 fresh tomatoes, diced small

Splash white wine (optional)

In a heavy bottomed pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion. Let cook several minutes while stirring. Add a splash of white wine if desired. Add garlic and thyme. Add tomatoes. Turn heat down to medium and let cook until onions are completely cooked through. 

Once lentils are cooked fold them into the pot with the onion and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve lentils together with the roasted sausages. 

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