/ 14 June 2024

Your passport to flavour: Exploring plant-based plates around the globe

Couple Eating Lunch With Fresh Salad And Appetizers

Three vegetarian meals that taste delicious and are still protein-packed and healthy

As plant-based diets take centre stage, beans, peas and lentils — also known as pulses — which have been nourishing civilizations for centuries, have emerged as unsung heroes of nutrition. They offer a wealth of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals that sustain not only the planet but also our health.

The word pulse describes seeds you can eat that are found in pods, which include the dried seeds of legumes. Plant-based proteins and pulses are high in everything your body needs without the saturated fat and cholesterol that’s present in animal proteins. The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa recommends beans and other legumes as part of a healthy eating pattern, and for a good reason. Substituting plant-based proteins for red meat can lower blood cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, and they make you feel full for longer because of the high dietary fibre content. 

A half-cup serving of cooked beans provides about 20% of the recommended daily dietary fibre. This simple measure can have profound implications for your overall health, particularly in managing blood cholesterol levels.

Take a journey to uncover how beans and legumes form the backbone of traditional dishes from various countries. Be inspired by the Vitality HealthyFood Studio recipes where you can cook along with the chefs on the videos and explore and expand your taste buds and menu.


Country of origin: Mexico

Pulses used: Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans.

Flavour sensations: Fresh cilantro, lime-cumin vinaigrette.

Try it yourself: Watch how to make a Mexican-style Three Bean Salad and bring a piece of Mexico to your table. This recipe combines protein-packed black beans with quinoa, red bell peppers, corn, fresh cilantro and a zesty lime-cumin vinaigrette for a truly refreshing meal. 


Country of origin: South Africa

Pulses used: Lentils

Flavour sensations: Sweet butternut, wholegrain mustard, flat-leaf parsley, rocket, feta cheese and balsamic vinegar.

Try it yourself: Follow HealthyFood Studio’s Chef Eli Williams’s simple steps to assemble this salad, combining roasted butternut and onion with a lentil mixture dressed in mustard and balsamic, all garnished with fresh parsley, rocket, and crumbled feta. Or try her super-delicious spaghetti.


Country of origin: Italy

Pulses used: Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans.

Flavour sensations: garlic, the earthiness of quinoa, tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese and celery.

Try it yourself: Dive into the art of Italian cooking by making this wholesome quinoa and vegetable soup. With ingredients like olive oil, savoy cabbage, fresh tomatoes, and a sprinkle of Parmesan, this recipe promises a delightful culinary experience. Watch the recipe video here and embrace the warmth and richness of Italian flavours in your own kitchen.

Book a HealthyFood Studio course on the HealthyFood Studio website https://www.healthyfoodstudio.co.za/#/courses