Think you don’t like pulses? Ten thrifty recipes that might change your mind

We all know that meat is expensive, so if you are trying to save money on your groceries it makes sense to eat less of it. There is also a substantial body of evidence showing that a well thought out vegetarian diet is healthier too.

However, I  have lost count of the number of times people have told me that they hate pulses whilst being known to happily scoff a nice pot of hummus, baked beans or a spicy lentil dahl!

Here at Shoestring Cottage we enjoy a wide variety of meals, some of which contain a little meat and some that are meat free. We often include beans and pulses in our meals. As well as being packed with protein, they are low in fat and a great source of fibre. You can buy them cheaply in cans and sachets, so don’t have to spend a lot of your precious time soaking and cooking them.

Here are some of our favourite frugal meals containing pulses (forgive my chick pea obsession):

Smoky chicken with chickpeas. This is mildly spiced and the cheaper chickpeas stretch the chicken and uses my favourite smoked paprika.

Tarka dhal, a recipe featured by Jamie Oliver. This is nice as a side dish or can be eaten with rice or bread for a simple, super frugal meal.

Chick pea curry. This is cheap, tasty and easy to make.

Red dragon pie. I have been cooking this for years from my old copy of Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen – lovely book! This recipe involves a lot of chopping but is much easier if you use canned beans, as I usually do. This link takes you to a nice little website called Sprinkles of Love, which is an online shared cook book but sadly nobody seems to be contributing any more.

Spanish chicken with butterbeans, chorizo and tomatoes. One from the lovely Delia Smith. My friend cooked this for me at a dinner party one evening and it was delicious!

Chick pea burgers. Stick them in a bun with some salad and relish.

Cheesy mushroom and lentil cottage pie. I like this with lots of veggies and gravy.

Quick beany enchiladas. One from the BBC Food website. I like to double up when making the filling and freeze if for a quick ready meal to use with rice. They use frozen peppers, although I tend to use fresh since I always have some in the fridge.

Another one from Delia, although you can find versions of this all over the Internet: Boston baked beans. As I am generally pushed for time, I always buy canned beans to use in this.  It needs long, slow cooking.

Finally, the recipe that launched Jack Monroe’s career as a cookery writer, carrot, cumin and kidney bean burger. How can you go wrong when you can make a burger for around 10p?

Give beans and  pulses a try. They can help you stick to your budget and improve your nutrition.


14 thoughts on “Think you don’t like pulses? Ten thrifty recipes that might change your mind

  1. There are some fantastic ideas here. I’ve been increasing our use of pulses. We have already started to eat hummus, use chickpeas regularly and add pulses and beans to lots of meals. We are branching out now – or should I say me as I’m the unadventurous one! I love a nice chickpea curry too. Yum!

    • Thanks for sharing, I have some cans of various beans in the cupboard and needed some inspiration on how to use them.

    • Oooh! I am still waiting on my cooking on a bootstrap book. I was one of the crowd funders two years ago but it has yet to materialise

    • I barely go on the email account I registered with either so no updates. I know she has had troubles, but I think she needs to get it published as a matter of priority

  2. Pulses are fab, though I’m not keen on chickpeas. I make Jack Monroe’s burgers regularly. We love them, and that is saying something when my husband definitely prefers meat. I eat a bit of chicken but no other meat so pulses feature regularly, a great favourite of mine being a Slimming World’s lentil & veg cottage pie. I also like a vegetable chilli made from pulses (don’t like quorn at all). I’m going to try thr be any enchiladas. They sound nice.

  3. The new book is due out late this year.
    Message on Jack’s website below………..l.

    I am very very very proud to announce that Bluebird (part of Macmillan) will be republishing Cooking On A Bootstrap in late 2017, so if you didn’t grab a copy in the Kickstarter, you’ll be able to get it from any good bookshop(!!!)

    To my 4,377 backers, I was sitting in the British Library sobbing fat tears on a Rare Books And Manuscripts Desk (from which I hastily moved my 500-year-old cookery tomes before I dissolve them in snot) as I typed this a few days ago. Please know that this would not have happened without you, and what great things your support has done, and how thankful I am for you all getting me back on my feet.

    – Backers will receive one of my kickstarter copies, which will be limited editions, a few months before general release.

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