This post is sponsored by the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council
The humble pulse. Often overlooked in favor of meatier dishes. Yet just as packed with nutrients: protein, fiber, antioxidants, folate, iron and potassium.
Chickpeas contain 3x more folate than kale and more than twice as much iron as chicken.
The antioxidant content of lentils is twice that of blueberries, and three times that of pomegranate juice.
One serving of lentils has twice as much protein as quinoa.
Pulses are the nutritionally-packed edible seeds of legumes, including lentils, chickpeas, dry peas and beans. Let’s give them some applause!
My first job out of college was working at a travel magazine in Charlotte. On a mission to lose weight, I packed up my lunch each day and counted down the minutes until I could crack open my lunch box. An earlier version of this orange and dill bean salad was one of my favorite entrees to bring. The recipe has long been lost, but I recreated it from memory.
The beans provide protein, fiber and starch; cucumber and red pepper satisfy vegetable cravings; dill and orange bring bright flavor; and ricotta salata adds a salty punch.
Begin by chopping your veggies and washing and rinsing the beans.
Mince the dill, and layer ingredients into a bowl –
Peel and segment your orange. I use cara cara oranges because of their gorgeous vibrant color!
Make your dressing – a light blend of olive oil, orange juice, garlic and Dijon mustard – and toss into the salad.
Season with salt (I used an herby Peg’s Salt, but regular kosher salt will do)
And lastly, gently fold in the ricotta.
Orange and Dill Bean Salad
- 2 cans or 2.5 cups of cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chopped red pepper about half of one
- 1 cup chopped English cucumber about 1/3 of a big one
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 cara cara orange segmented
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup ricotta salata
- For the dressing
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 small clove garlic crushed
- Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl. Toss.
- Make dressing, pour over salad.
- Top with cheese.
- Serve at room temp or chilled. Flavors will develop over time!
Each year the United Nations picks a topic of global interest, and they named 2016 to be International Year of Pulses. They selected pulses thonor their health, economic and environmental benefits. In celebration, each country of the UN was asked to submit a pulse-centric recipe. The USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, which manages the International Year of Pulses in the U.S., asked me to develop a recipe to be in the running. With your help, the recipe below could be selected as the National Signature Pulse Recipe for the U.S.! Just go to the USADPLC Facebook page, and vote for this salad by Liking the photo!
Thanks to the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council for giving pulses the love they respect and for sponsoring this post!