How to Eat More Legumes: Chickpea & Tomato Pasta


For all the carnivores out there: please keep an open mind when reading this post.

Legumes (ex. lentils, beans & soy) have many health benefits, and I would suggest using them as substitutes for meat protein at least twice a week.

Their health benefits include:

-High in protein & fibre (1 cup of lentils has 18 grams of protein & 15 grams of fibre!)
-High in folic acid or vitamin B9 (cancer fighting & key for cell division & growth – important for women who are in their child-bearing years and/or trying to get pregnant)
-An excellent source of minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium & iron)
-Easily digested (unlike meat protein)
-A complete protein when combined with a grain

There are many delicious ways to incorporate more legumes into your diet:

-Add chickpeas, kidney beans or black beans to any type of salad (spinach salad, greek, cold pasta salad)
-Combine with quinoa, wheatberries or barley for a complete protein meal
-Add canned lentils to your chilli or stews instead of ground beef or chicken
-For fajita night: sauté black beans with onions & peppers instead of ground chicken (or do half beans, half chicken)
-Make chickpea or black bean hummus as a sandwich spread instead of mayo, or as a dip for raw veggies and/or whole wheat pitas
-Add chick peas or white kidney beans to your pasta dishes instead of meat (great chick pea pasta recipe below!)
-Add black beans to frittatas or omelettes, and add corn, salsa & avocado for a great Mexican dish

Legumes are available dried or canned. Dried beans have to be soaked (1 hour), boiled (2 minutes) & than set-side (1 hour), which is time consuming. Canned beans are a great alternative, and a huge time-saver. Just make sure you rinse & drain them really well to avoid some unpleasant side-effects (the musical fruit), and to cut back on the sodium.

Here’s a really healthy, easy, yummy pasta recipe that may just persuade the carnivore in your life to eat vegetarian a couple nights a week.

Chickpea & Tomato Pasta

½ package of brown rice pasta
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 small onion or 2 shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed & drained
½ – ¾ jar organic tomato pasta sauce
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled
⅓ cup of fresh basil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Pink salt & pepper to taste


Chop onion, garlic & red pepper, and drain/rinse chickpeas. Boil pasta according to package instructions.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and saute onions for 2 minutes. Add the red pepper, chickpeas & garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and let simmer for 5-10 minutes until sauce is heated and flavours meld together.

Add in the cooked pasta, feta cheese & lemon juice, and stir to combine.

Top with salt & pepper and fresh basil – Enjoy!

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7 Responses to How to Eat More Legumes: Chickpea & Tomato Pasta

  1. jaya classen March 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    I’m on a sugar free wheat free kick right now and I tried your guilt free chocolate pudding – so good! I will make it again for sure. I used pureed fresh baked sweet potatoes and added splah of orange juice (I love orange chocolate) and it worked well.

    • Lauren March 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      Awesome! It’s a good idea to cut out sugar and wheat sometimes to give your body a break and that dessert definitely doesn’t make it feel like you’re cutting anything out – great idea to add orange!


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