Angie Quaale opened something more than a store, called Well Seasoned, in Langley in 2004. It is a culinary culture beacon, featuring authentic barbecue, cooking classes, an in-house chef, and Quaale’s homemade bacon chocolate chip cookies. But most of all, she sees the whole operation as an incentive to get people to re-think their approach to food, and the eating thereof. “The idea,” she says, “is to have people integrate new ingredients into a meal.” The latest rage is all pulse—technically speaking, it’s the seed that grows on a legume plant. But it can broadly be applied to the beans that these seeds grow into, as well.
Quaale loves pulses. “They are essentially a blank canvas, can be grown in Canada so the cost is low, and are low on the allergen list,” she says. “Plus they make a pasta dish really awesome.” Italians, especially the further north you go, are in love with their pasta fagioli, and it might be catching fire right here in Canada, too. Lentils, chickpeas—definitely worth incorporating into a weekly food regimen. “We grow a lot of lentils in Canada,” Quaale says. “Even if you buy a good quality canned lentil, you are getting a healthy product.” She is savvy about the simple element of convenience, and how highly humans value it. “In our cooking classes, we really try to establish that going more healthy, and trying just a few new ingredients, can actually still make cooking at home ultra-convenient, and not a huge time-consuming chore.”
Business is great, says Quaale, and these days “people are looking for less meat. That means finding alternate sources of protein. Pulses are a wonderful way to go. A wonderful food, in every way.”
Here’s a perfect example from Quaale’s repertoire.
Braised Lentils with Smoked Sausage
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
⅔ cup finely chopped carrot
½ cup finely chopped celery
1 ¼ cups dried green lentils
4 cups chicken stock
4 smoked sausages, cut into 1-inch coins
Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until slightly softened, about five minutes.
Add lentils and stir one minute.
Add stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add smoked sausage.
Cover and simmer until lentils are just tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Dig in, and let your pulse start to race.
This story from our archives was originally published on April 29, 2016. Read more about Food and Drink.