Can legumes add to the nostalgia for old family recipes? 

The ones that bring back memories of Sunday dinners, special occasions, and that irresistible aroma wafting from the kitchen. Many of us grew up with deliciously rich and often deep-fried dishes that bring back fond memories of family gatherings, weekend meals, and holiday feasts. While these traditional meals hold a special place in our hearts, they often come with a heavy load of oil, flour, and sugar. But what if we could re-imagine these classics in a healthier, more sustainable way, and just as comforting? Enter legumes—the humble yet mighty ingredients transforming old recipes with a modern twist.

Revolutionizing Recipes with Legumes

Legumes like beans, lentils, and chickpeas are packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making them the perfect substitute for less healthy ingredients. They add richness, texture, and protein,  while keeping your meals exciting and delicious. So, next time you’re craving a classic dish, consider giving it a modern legume twist. You might  discover your new favourite recipe!

Let’s explore how you can take classic recipes and give them a new life with a legume twist: 

Beefing Up Flavor (Without the Beef):

Shepherds Pie is a hearty dish traditionally made with ground lamb. But swapping lentils for the meat creates a lighter, protein-rich version. Lentils have an earthy flavor that compliments the vegetables beautifully, also they hold their shape well, preventing the filling from becoming mushy.

Legume Power Salads:

Salads can be boring, but adding chickpeas or black beans instantly elevates them to a satisfying main course. Chickpeas, with their nutty flavour and satisfying crunch, are perfect for a Mediterranean-inspired salad with roasted vegetables and a lemon vinaigrette.

Falafel: Baked Chickpea Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Falafel is a Middle Eastern staple known for its crispy, deep-fried goodness. Traditionally, it’s made with ground chickpeas or fava beans and a hearty dose of oil for frying. While the flavors are undeniable, all that frying can weigh down your meal. Instead, let’s opt for a baked version that retains the essence of falafel without all the oil. We are also introducing you to a recipe: 

Baked Chickpea Falafel


  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil spray


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is coarse but holds together.
  3. Form the mixture into small patties or balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Lightly spray the falafel with olive oil to help it crisp up in the oven.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through, until golden brown and crispy.
  6. Serve with tahini sauce, pita bread, and fresh veggies.

The result? A healthier, oil-free version of a Middle Eastern classic that doesn’t skimp on flavour. The chickpeas provide a satisfying texture, while the herbs and spices give it that traditional falafel taste we all love.


Lentil Samosas: Say Goodbye to Deep-Frying

Samosas are synonymous with Indian cuisine and are known for their crispy, deep-fried goodness. But let’s be honest: they can be quite oily. The solution? Bake them instead of frying and use lentils for the filling instead of traditional potatoes. This modern twist retains all the flavour without the deep-fried guilt.

Lentil-Stuffed Baked Samosas


  • 1 cup cooked green or brown lentils
  • 1 small potato, diced and boiled
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed
  • Olive oil spray


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a skillet, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and cooked lentils. Stir to combine, then add the boiled potato and peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roll out the puff pastry and cut it into squares. Place a spoonful of the lentil filling in the center of each square.
  4. Fold the squares into triangles and seal the edges with a fork.
  5. Place the samosas on the prepared baking sheet and lightly spray with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  7. Serve with mint chutney or tamarind sauce.

These baked lentil samosas are crunchy on the outside and savoury on the inside, offering all the comfort of traditional samosas without deep frying.

Sweeter options with Legumes

Plant-based protein snacks deliver both flavour and nutrition, providing a variety of choices to curb your cravings and keep you energized:

  • Chickpea Flour Pancakes: Traditional pancakes are typically made with all-purpose flour and sugar, but you can create a healthier version by using chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or besan. Chickpea flour is naturally gluten-free and high in protein, making it an excellent choice for pancakes. These chickpea flour pancakes are light, fluffy, and slightly nutty in flavour. They are perfect for a weekend brunch or a quick weekday breakfast.
  • Lentil Chocolate Chip Cookies: They are soft, chewy, and full of flavor. The lentils provide a subtle earthiness that pairs well with the sweetness of the chocolate chips.

Valpro Path’s Project 

The VALPRO Path project is dedicated to creating innovative products using plant-based crops like chickpeas, peas, soybeans, lentils, and faba beans. The project seeks to produce a variety of items, such as vegetable burgers, baked goods, and pasta, all derived from these crops. VALPRO Path emphasizes the efficient use of by-products and embraces circular business practices to support sustainability.


Modernizing traditional dishes with legumes is a fantastic way to enjoy your favourite meals while reducing the intake of unhealthy oils and refined flour. By incorporating chickpeas, lentils, and other legumes, you can create dishes that are not only healthier but also sustainable and rich in flavour. From baked falafel to lentil samosas and chickpea-based fries, the possibilities are endless. 

So why not give this modern legume a try and rediscover the joy of cooking  healthy!

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