The Protein Packed Canadian Food You've Never Heard Of

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Did you know that Canada is a leading grower of pulses? Wait, what is a pulse? You can cook with pulses?

Pulses are the dried seeds of the legume plant. What separates pulses from the rest of the legume family (which includes foods like peanuts and soy) is that they contain virtually no fat.

In Canada, we produce four types of pulses – dry beans, dry peas, lentils and chickpeas. Canadian pulses truly help feed the world - they are exported to more than 150 countries. In 2016, Canada exported 5.7 million tonnes of pulse crops worth $4.1 billion.

Most people cook and eat pulses but don’t know what they are. The United Nations actually declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses because they are are nutritional, cost effective and packed with protein. You can bring these benefits to your kitchen too – just add pulses to your next dish!

Here are some quick facts:

-        Pulses are nutritional powerhouses loaded with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals

-        Pulses can help improve your bottom line - lentils cost just $0.16 cents/serving. They one of the most cost effective source of protein, iron, folate & more!

-        Lentils contain 1.5 times the amount of iron as a steak & twice the protein of quinoa (!)

-        A half cup of pulses contains 7 – 17g of fibre.

-        Pulses can be easily added to soups, salads, sauces, bakes goods and even meats  to boost protein and fibre

-        Pulses are also good for the environment as they have a lower carbon footprint than most food groups.

-        Pulses are tasty, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan

Visit to learn more. And be sure to stop by the Pulses booth at Terroir 2017 to sample some delicious pulse foods. 

Shakshuka with Chickpeas

Recipe provided by Pulse Canada

This middle Eastern ragout is often served for breakfast but also makes a great lunch or dinner entrée. A great hearty vegetarian dish that’s easy to make for any meal, this dish incorporates hearty and healthy chickpeas with classic Middle Eastern flavours. 


2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

½ green pepper, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

5 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

1 tsp (5 mL) cumin

1 Tbsp (15 mL) paprika

1 (28 oz/796 mL) can whole tomatoes with juices

½ (5.5 oz/156 mL) can tomato paste

1 (19 oz/540 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

6 eggs

½ cup (125 mL) crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley

6 pieces toasted bread or pita


1.      In a large skillet or saucepan with a lid, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion, green and jalapeno peppers and saute until they begin to soften and brown, about 5 - 10 minutes.

2.      Add the garlic, cumin and paprika, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes with juices, tomato paste and chickpeas. Season with salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes with the spoon, untilsauce thickens, about 15 - 20 minutes.

3.      Make a shallow well in sauce for each egg and crack eggs into wells. Cover pan with a lid, letting the eggs poach for 5-7 minutes for soft eggs.

4.      To serve, carefully scoop some sauce and an egg into a bowl. Top with feta and parsley. Serve with toasted bread or pita.

Cook’s Note: 1 (19 oz/540 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained equals 2 cups (500 mL) cooked chickpeas.

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 egg and ¾ cup (175 mL) sauce

Nutritional Analysis: 

Calories 342

Total Fat 13 g

Saturated Fat 3 g

Cholesterol 189 mg

Sodium 723 mg

Total Carbohydrates 40 g

Fibre 7 g

Sugars 9 g

Protein 17 g

Folate 41 mcg

Potassium 212 mg


More Ways to Enjoy Pulses......

Thai Coconut Chickpea Curry - easy to make ahead of time

Thai Coconut Chickpea Curry - easy to make ahead of time

Hoisin Lentil Salad Wraps - easy to make and vegetarian!

Hoisin Lentil Salad Wraps - easy to make and vegetarian!

Black Bean Burger - tasty vegetarian option for BBQ lovers

Black Bean Burger - tasty vegetarian option for BBQ lovers