Go beyond typical fare to take advantage of everything beans have to offer. Our chef Alex recommends these menu ideas to incorporate beans into your menu.
- Aquafaba: This translates from Italian to “bean water.” Whip the water used to cook chickpeas into a protein-rich vegan soufflé with roasted carrot, porcini mushroom and sage
- Black-Eyed Peas: Try a black-eyed pea dip with coriander and cinnamon, avocado garnish, and fried plantain chips
- Lentils: Consider Thai basil coconut lentils with Thai eggplants and grilled pineapple
Ancient grains contain protein and make a delicious alternative to the traditional rice or pasta. There are plenty of gluten-free options to choose from, such as sorghum, amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat. But be sure to check with your supplier for gluten-free certification.
- Sorghum: This vegetarian dish is packed with unique flavors: crispy sorghum stir-fry with black garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and mustard greens.
- Spelt: Create an instant breakfast classic by serving spelt and oat savoury oatmeal with crispy pork belly, braised leeks and topped with a poached egg.
- Amaranth: Use amaranth polenta with gorgonzola and mascarpone cheese and walnuts as a delicious base for garlicky sautéed greens.
Seeds & Nuts
Many consumers already add seeds and nuts to home-cooked meals to increase protein consumption - so don't miss this trend!
- Hemp Seeds: For a filling, unique dish, try barbecued sweet potato and hemp seed salad with kale.
- Chia Seeds: Create a delicious dessert guests have likely never had before by adding Earl Grey, rosewater and chia seeds to Greek yogurt.
- Flax Seeds: Already on consumers’ radar for a couple of years, showcase new toppings for flax seed crackers by pairing them with pumpkin-maple-mascarpone dip.
Tasty Lunch Pairings
Spinach and Chickpeas - Spinach and chickpeas are a centuries-old pairing. Combine wilted spinach with chickpeas and cumin for a North-African salad, or make a farinata of chickpeas served with toasted chickpeas.
Rice and Beans OR Rice and Lentils - Make a hearty Middle Eastern Majadara (rice and lentils with brown rice) as a side dish or the base for a Middle Eastern rice bowl. Also consider making a hearty “fajita” with brown rice, beans with vegetables.
Chickpeas and Tahini - The classic components of hummus give your guests a great source of plant-based protein. Combine into a paste or create a chopped salad with chickpeas and tahini served with herbs and a complementing dressing.