4 Ways To Cook and Enjoy Peas & Beans | Vegetarian

Along with being rich in plant-based proteins, peas and beans are high in fibre and may enhance heart health and protect against cancer. I’ve eaten ital (vegan) and been vegetarian most (not all) of my life and so peas have been a constant in the pot and on the plate. Of course, you can add whatever else you like or eat to these vegetarian dish ideas.

If you’re looking to cook something that is nutritious, easy-to-make, tasty and versatile, try adding peas or beans to your plate. Not only do they absorb whatever flavour and spices you cook them in but they’ll add some texture to your meal or they can be made to stand on their own as a soup. At a time when resourcefulness needs to be up to all, peas and beans make a good, practical choice that still come with lots of possibilities.

Here are 3 ways to cook peas & beans. They can be prepared and enjoyed as:

  • stew
  • dhal
  • fries/patties
  • soup

(or add them to your next salad.)

STEW

Tip: Add your peas or beans to a pre-spiced and seasoned (in a little oil or butter) pot. That helps the legumes to absorb the flavour instantly and take their ‘cue’ from the onion, garlic, ginger and spices first, so they don’t come out bland. If there’s not much time to prep a meal, you can make a stew like one of these in the photos using canned peas or beans, but for dhal, dried peas are best.

VIDEO adding coconut milk & broccoli to black beans

ON THE PLATE

lunch is served

DHAL

a curry dish made from dried, split, cooked (and sometimes puréed) peas.

split pea dhal
Because of the creamy texture, it makes a good filling to scoop up with paratha roti
lentil ‘fries’ / patties with leftover chilled dhal – here’s how | black beans (with mashed potato) make a good veggie burger too

FRIES

You’ll get the best texture when you use leftover peas from a stew, dhal or soup after being stored in the fridge overnight. Gently scoop small patty-sized portions into a floured-plate lightly dust with flour then either place in the oven or in a frying pan simmering with butter or very-little oil.

The peas or beans are already cooked, it’s just to get them crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside. Maybe some fried plantain on the plate same-time?

SOUP

Who doesn’t enjoy a hot, delicious bowl of soup? I could (and do) drink soup in any weather or at any time of day. It’s such a cosy kinda meal, whether you make a light broth or a soup filled with what we call in The Caribbean ‘strong-food’ (with dumplings and ground provisions like breadfruit, eddoes, yam…woo-weee! Feelin’ for ah soup all now just describing it!)

It still amazes me that we’ve been given food in the form of fruits, vegetables and ground provisions and sustenance and medicine – whether they’re found on trees, shrubs, or in the earth or sea; it’s not something to be taken lightly.

Peas and beans are light on the pocket and on the tummy when included in a meal. Buy them in bulk when you can, and store them well so they last years. Feel free to share your favourite way of prepping peas and beans or your proven storage tips in the comments. We’re all here to help and encourage each other.

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