June 2, 2016

5 Pulse Powered Lunches

The United Nations proclaims 2016 as International Year of Pulses, and as we know, an International Year of title provides us the opportunity to celebrate beans, chickpeas, lentils and other pulses (as if we needed an excuse). In this blog we’re talking pulses, at lunch.


Chickpeas – this cheeky pulse is one of the earliest cultivated legumes with 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East. This ancient pulse can be found in several salads and flatbread, and as a key ingredient in humous.

Chickpeas are used in our Co-op Moroccan Meal Pot. So, if you fancy a change from cold food at lunchtime, try one of the Meal Pots. Easily warmed in the microwave and full of exotic flavours.


The black turtle bean – a small, shiny variety of common beans, especially popular in Latin American cuisine. The black turtle bean has a dense, meaty texture, which makes it popular in vegetarian dishes.

Add some kidney beans, edamane beans and chickpeas, spice it up with sliced red jalapeno and add a bit of tangy lime zest and you have the main ingredients of the Co-op Mexican Spicy Bean Protein Pot. This pot is a vegan recipe, so the majority of the protein comes from the pulses.


Edamame beans – these are actually fresh soya beans and they are a beautiful bright green colour – delicious in salads or stir-fries.

Our Co-op Coconut Curry Super Green Meal pot contains edamame beans and green lentils, as well as our handy snack pack edamame with soy sauce.


Lentils – these have been cultivated even longer than chickpeas with evidence showing they were eaten 9,500 to 13,000 years ago. Lentils come in all sorts of colours from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black – different colours have different qualities so red is great for purees and bulking dishes out, with green and brown being ideal for salads.

Green lentils and chickpeas are added to bulgur wheat, dried apricots, carrots, red and yellow peppers to make our Co-op Middle Eastern salad.


Broad beans – these were a major food of old Mediterranean civilizations, particularly for the Romans and Ancient Greeks – they are best enjoyed while they are young and tender.

You can find broad beans in our tasty Co-op Super Kale Salad alongside cannellini beans, which have a slightly nutty flavour.

Find out more about healthy eating on our website.

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