This Healthy Lentil Chili is packed full of whole foods, plant-based proteins, and flavor. You won’t even miss the meat!
Have you tried lentils yet? They are one of my favorite “pulses.” Isn’t that a cool word? I just learned about what the word “pulse” in relationship to food meant last year and I find myself saying it often; it makes me feel smart/fancy. What is a pulse? Well, let me tell you!
According to Pulses.org,
“Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. Pulses grow in pods and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Pulses are annual crops that yield between one and 12 grains or seeds. The term “pulses” is limited to crops harvested solely as dry grains, which differentiates them from other vegetable crops that are harvested while still green. Pulses are healthy, nutritious and easy to cook with. Growing pulses also promotes sustainable agriculture, as pulse crops help decrease greenhouse gases, increase soil health, and use less water than other crops. Pulses are a low fat source of protein with high levels of protein and fiber. Pulses also contain important vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium and folate.”
Dry beans, lentils, chickpeas, and yellow and green split peas are the types of pulses that I most commonly use and eat, but pulses include all kinds of things that I had never heard of before, like cowpeas, bambara beans, and lupins (Harry Potter anyone?!). Fun stuff, huh? When I think about meatless meals, I often try to include a pulse in the mix because I know they are a great source of plant-based protein.
This lentil chili is an awesome example of a healthy whole food protein-packed meatless meal. It is delicious! I plugged this into MyFitnessPal and with the ingredients that I used, a cup serving (with no toppings) came out at under 350 calories but had almost 22 grams of protein! You can plug in what you use to get all the details/nutrition specs, but the preliminary reports are looking good. Plus, it’s full of fiber and really keeps you full. Add it to your meal plan for next week!