Disclosure: This post is sponsored by North American Pulses. 2016 is the International Year of Pulses and I'm excited to help them spread the news...because pulses are pretty darn amazing and delicious!

Let's talk about pantry staples. The stuff you always have on hand and would go crazy without. It's the glue to your cooking craft. The Brenden Dassey to your Steven Avery....so basically the stuff that can easily be snubbed as basic and not so brilliant but could be the key to everything (Making a Murderer is invading my life).  But back to the pantry staples. There are things we all have and love and rely on in our pantries that can be so versatile and meal building and I think everyone has their own unique list. One of the things on my list year in and year out are pulses.

To back up a few steps let's talk about 'pulses'. You guys know exactly what they are but probably aren't used to hearing them called by that name. It's like when you learn your co-worker's real name is different than what you've called them for the past five years and it warps your sense of reality (Hint: They're involved in the Steven Avery case and had to change their name and leave Wisconsin because they planted evidence! Season two Netflix...). Pulses are dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas (See, you know what those are). Since 2016 is officially the International Year of Pulses I truly hope you see more and more of them from day to day. If you want to be in a committed relationship with pulses like I am, join me in taking the Pulse Pledge and eat pulses once a week for 10 weeks. Not only is it great for your health, but it's great for the environment. Pulses are a sustainable food across the world and that's definitely something to brag about. 

So while I could give you a ton of recipes for pulses (and you can see a few of my favorites I've created over the years for lentils and beans ), we're going to focus on something new we whipped up for you: Miso Salmon with a lentil, pomegranate and walnut salsa with flatbread and fresh herbs. Now if you're not into the fish in the dish, by all means skip it! This lentil pomegranate salsa can stand alone, as an add in to greens or with chicken. We're all about accommodating, so just make a few swaps by creating a miso dressing for the salad or chicken. Easy (dried) peasy. 

Pomegranate Lentil Salsa and Salmon Flatbread  recipe
Pomegranate Lentil Salsa and Salmon Flatbread  recipe
Pomegranate Lentil Salsa and Salmon Flatbread  recipe

Miso Salmon with Lentil Pomegranate Salsa

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main course

/// Ingredient ///

Marinade for Salmon

  • 1/2 pound salmon
  • 1 T miso paste
  • 2 T mirin
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 T sherry vinegar
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T water
  • salt and pepper (season to preference)

Salsa

  • 1 cup of green lentils (cooked)
  • 1/2 C pomegranate 
  • 1/8 C chopped walnuts
  • 2 T pomegranate molasses
  • 1 T sherry vinegar
  • 1 T olive oil

Serve with...

  • 2 T fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 T fresh mint 
  • Flat bread (naan)
  • 1/8 C coconut cream

/// Directions /// To make marinade, mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour over salmon in a shallow dish or plastic bag. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. While the salmon is in the fridge, mix the salsa in a large bowl and toss ingredients to combine. To cook salmon, place salmon on a foil lined baking sheet and broil for about 6 minutes (depending on how thick your cut of salmon is). To check for doneness, salmon should flake easily with a fork. To plate, add lentil salsa to a large bowl and serve alongside salmon. Top all with herbs and spread coconut cream in a thin swipe along the edge of the dish so it can be added to flatbread if desired. Warm flatbread and cut into triangles. 

A word on cooking the salmon: For those of you interested, we tried an additional way to cook the salmon: sous vide with the marinade. While it made literally the most tender fish I've ever consumed, we felt that the salmon needed a bit of a crisp/caramelization on the top. Because even though we finished the sous vide salmon in a cast iron skillet, we found we were both eating mostly the top layer of the fish as we dished up to get that extra texture and flavor! I think I'll dedicate another post to using the sous vide for cooking fish later but for the purposes of this recipe, we're recommending getting a little crisp! 

 

Pomegranate Lentil Salsa and Salmon Flatbread  recipe
Pomegranate Lentil Salsa and Salmon Flatbread  recipe

In terms of nutrition  benefits, pulses are totally a super food. Are they sexy and tropical and colorful? No. They're inexpensive pantry staples and they are amazing. They don't get the coverage in recipes or health articles that they should so I'm giving them their nutrition limelight here. 

Pulses are....

  • High in antioxidants. Per serving, red kidney beans have higher antioxidant content than pomegranate juice.  

  • Iron rich and a good source of protein. 

  • A good source of potassium. One serving of dry peas contains as much potassium as a banana. 

  • Excellent source of fiber. All pulses have four times more fiber than brown rice. Hello weight loss tool that makes you feel full.

Pomegranate Lentil Salsa and Salmon Flatbread  recipe

Now that you know what pulses are, let me know on Twitter or Instagram or below YOUR favorite way to eat them! 

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.