I value the US Dry Bean Council because I rely on healthy plant-based protein in the form of beans, peas, lentils and legumes [also known as the catch-all phrase “pulses”] to power my daily diet. And the United States is the global leader in quality, dry bean production largely in part to the council’s state-of-the-art harvesting equipment, handling practices and production processes.
Recipe courtesy of Sher Castellano, blogger at With Food + Love.
I was impressed to learn that the U.S. grows more than ten varieties of beans – crazy right? Varieties like pinto, navy, black, Great Northern, lima, black eye, and of course the star of my bean and kale tacos, the red kidney. All of these bean varieties are renowned for their nutritional qualities and culinary influence.
I joke that my husband is half chickpea because he eats some form of the legume literally every single day. And as a plant-based cook, pulses make their way into almost all of my recipes in one way or another.
Which is really good news for me and the people I prepare food for because consuming them can help manage sugar levels, increase energy and even help prevent certain cancers. They’re delicious and affordable, and full of fiber and protein.
And lastly, but maybe most importantly, I eat beans and other pulses because they play a critical role in sustainable food production. For example, pulses require just forty-three gallons of water per one pound of product. Versus one thousand eight hundred fifty-seven gallons of water for one pound of beef.
Pulses also utilize soil bacteria to draw nitrogen from the air. Allowing a natural process that replaces the need to add nitrogen fertilizers in pulse crops. Which means pulses use half the energy inputs of other crops.
World Pulses Day is an opportunity to share the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production with the aim of optimizing food security and nutrition. And that sums up why I do what I do. I want you to be inspired when you see my recipes to make nutrient dense, affordable, sustainable food for your own families.
How to Make Kidney Bean and Kale Tacos
These tacos are a quick meal. It’s one of the recipes in my repertoire that I memorized a long time ago. It takes just fifteen minutes to put together. It’s inexpensive, and you might just have all of the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator already.
First, sweat the garlic in olive oil and then bloom the spices. Next add in the kale and sauté briefly. And last add in the kidney beans and warm through. Garnish the kidney bean and kale tacos with red onions, and cilantro, yogurt, lime, and your favorite hot sauce if you please. I hope you love them as much as I do and I hope they become a family favorite like they are mine.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons garlic, minced
- 4 cups kale, finely shredded
- 2 cups kidney beans
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 8 corn tortillas
- red onions (to garnish)
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over low heat. Toss in garlic and kale, and stir briefly. Cover the pan for about 3 minutes, or until the kale becomes bright green and wilted.
- Next add in the beans, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and water. Turn up the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the moisture has mostly evaporated and the beans are soft and sizzling.
- To serve: add the taco mixture to the tortillas and top with onion, cilantro, avocado and hot sauce or salsa.