Are you always eating chicken? You might be missing out. There are so many other high-quality sources of protein, which also have wonderful nutrient profiles. One food category too many people neglect is beans. Also known as legumes or pulses, these plant-based foods are great sources of protein, as well as fiber.

A recent study shows that a high-protein meal based on these meat alternatives is MORE satisfying than a high-protein meal based on meat & potatoes. The only wrinkle in the results? The young, healthy men studied didn’t like the fava bean pattie & split pea mash as much as the sausage & mashed potato meal. So how can you make beans/peas/legumes tasty?

Some Canadian classics that include these wonderful foods include split pea & ham soup, a chilli chock-full of kidney beans and vegetables, and baked beans.

If you’re ready for something new, try this:

Black Bean Burgers

Makes 4 servings in about 35 minutes.

Pattie Ingredients:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1¼ cup cooked brown rice (or white rice, or breadcrumbs, or a combo)
1 small onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
½ tsp Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 egg
2 Tbsp Salsa

To Make Full Burger:
Hamburger buns (whole grain preferred)
Plain greek yogurt & more salsa
Romaine lettuce leaves
Avocado (optional)


  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and onion, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Remove onions and wipe out pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mash beans a bit with a potato masher or fork. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide mixture into 4 or 8 patties, each about 1-inch thick.
  3. Cook burgers in skillet over medium heat 4-5 minutes each side, or until lightly browned.
  4. Enjoy as-is, as part of a meal, or place on a toasted whole wheat bun, top with a mixture of salsa & plain greek yogurt, and garnish with avocado slices and/or romaine lettuce. Pair with a salad or cooked vegetable such as grilled asparagus.

Need help figuring out how to add beans and other healthy foods into your meal plans? This recipe and more are included in Nicole’s Cookbook, a 200-page resource available exclusively to people working one-on-one with Nicole on their nutrition & health habits. Learn more.