Try Protein-Packed Pulses to Make Hearty Comfort Favorites
Dried peas, beans and lentils star in satisfying
meatless winter meals
HUNT VALLEY, Md. (January 5, 2016) – As winter temperatures drop and warm comfort food cravings increase, dried peas, beans and lentils are stepping in as nutritious, protein-packed ingredients that are savory and satisfying. Known as “pulses,” legumes like pigeon peas, cranberry beans and black beluga lentils were identified in the McCormick® Flavor Forecast® 2016 as featured ingredients for 2016 for their ability — when paired with flavorful spices and herbs — to take on starring roles in hearty dishes. 

“The United Nations named 2016 the ‘International Year of Pulses,’ and we couldn’t agree more,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “High in protein and fiber and low in fat, they act as a blank canvas for flavor. For instance, create a meatless bolognese by simmering cranberry beans in tomato sauce with sage, garlic and Albariño wine.”

Meet the Pulses
Discover the possibilities of pulses brought to life with delicious flavors:

  • Pigeon Peas (6 grams of protein per ½ cup cooked*), are small legumes that range from green to brown in color. When split, they are called Toor Dal and are yellow with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Available dried or canned and common in soups, stews, rice dishes and salads, pigeon peas are traditionally paired with cumin and coconut in Latin and Southern Indian cuisines.
    • Try:  Caribbean Coconut and Pigeon Pea Rice – A creamy, risotto-like dish that satisfies with flavor from sweet potatoes and a spicy topping of toasted coconut, Scotch bonnet chilies, green olives and cilantro.
    • Try: Pigeon Pea Tacos al Pastor with Coconut Lime Slaw – Flavorful meatless tacos are seasoned with oregano, garlic, cumin and paprika, filled with tomatoes and pineapple and topped with a coconut lime cabbage slaw.
  • Cranberry Beans (8 grams of protein per ½ cup cooked*), also known as Borlotti or Roman beans, are available dried or canned and are a beige color with red streaks, which fade during cooking. Popular in Italian and other European cuisines, their creamy texture and mild chestnut-like flavor make them an ideal substitute for pinto or cannellini beans in pasta, soups and chili.
    • Try: Cranberry Bean, Sage and Orzo Soup - A rustic and warm one-pot meal that invites unique flavors from savory sage and Albariño wine, a fruity and aromatic Spanish varietal.
    • Try: Vegetarian Bolognese with Borlotti Beans – A meatless take on a classic, best served over spiralized zucchini or yellow squash as a healthy and fresh alternative to traditional pasta.
  • Black Beluga Lentils (9 grams of protein per ½ cup cooked*), are small, shiny black lentils that resemble caviar when cooked. Typically found in dried form, they have a mild, earthy flavor and smooth, distinct texture. Black beluga lentils are quick to prepare — no need to soak, and they cook in just 25 minutes. Uniquely accented with peach and mustard, black beluga lentils enrich salads, chili and appetizers or can be enjoyed simply braised.
    • Try:  Pickled Peach and Black Beluga Lentil Toasts – Tossed with herbs, black beluga lentils are spooned onto crispy toasts and topped with crème fraîche and quick-pickled peaches to create this hearty appetizer that elevates the typical party food. When fresh peaches aren’t in season, finely chop frozen sliced peaches as a substitute.

*According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. 

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About Flavor Forecast 
Since 2000, the annual McCormick® Flavor Forecast® has identified top trends and ingredients driving the future of flavor. Created by a global team of McCormick experts — including chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers and food technologists — the Flavor Forecast inspires culinary exploration and innovation around the world. Visit to learn more.

About McCormick
McCormick & Company, Incorporated is a global leader in flavor.  With $4.2 billion in annual sales, the company manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry – retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses.  Every day, no matter where or what you eat, you can enjoy food flavored by McCormick.  McCormick Brings Passion to Flavor™.  For more information, visit



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