Over 200 people attended Pulse Feast on January 6th in celebration of 2016 being declared the International Year of Pulses by the United Nations.

Pulses – essentially the dried edible seeds of legumes – are highly nutritious with an abundance of fiber, protein, and micronutrients, which make it the perfect dietary addition to start the habit of healthy eating this year. Ivana Raca, the executive chef and owner of Raca Cafe & Bar, creatively incorporated the use of pulses in creating various dishes for everyone to taste. There were 4 cooking stations set up with each showcasing recipes using common types of pulses, including chickpeas, beans, lentils, and dry peas.


Indian Chickpea Stuffed Crepe with chicken, golden raisins, and cashews



Navy bean crab cake with braised red cabbage


Cranberry beans, chili, rapini, and chorizo sausage)



Pan seared scallop topped with red lentil risotto, smoked bacon, salsa verde


Braised beef short ribs, lentil mushroom stew and peppercorn sauce


Dry Peas

Cheddar split pea biscuits


None other than the #IYP2016 ambassador, renowned Canadian Chef & Food Network Star Michael Smith, spoke on the importance on influencing Canadians to make good food choices that not only lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes, but also boosts the economy where Canada leads in pulse production and its exportation. As for farmers, growing its crops requires less maintenance and induces environmental benefits, such as an increase in microbial activity – cycles more nutrients into the soil – and nitrogen fixation – minimizes the need for chemical fertilizers in soil. This ultimately reduces the carbon footprint as World Wildlife Fund depicts that food production (above energy and transportation) is the biggest contributor.

“Pulses are the bedrock in agriculture.” – Chef Michael Smith

Chef Michael Smith


Pulse Feast brought much needed awareness to this highly-nutritious grain legume. This event has proven pulses’ diverse capabilities in bringing to life various invigorating and delicious recipes. With its sustainability in both the environment and economy, they are the food of the future.


Take the Pulse Pledge, a commitment to half a cup of pulses each week for 10 weeks, at http://pulsepledge.com/ with recipes and prizes.

For more information:
Instagram: @LovePulses #LovePulses
Twitter:@LovePulses #IYP2016

Photos by Janey Tso and Nick Lee

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Janey Tso