A whisper from the woods

Food for Thought, February 2023

Feb 6, 2023

A plant-based Feijoada


Welcome to February 2023 and to another Food for Thought article.

In a few days’ time, it is World Pulses Day, so we will take the opportunity to celebrate them. Below you will find an introduction to this unique food product. Later this week, a more detailed and informative article is going to be published, so say tuned to learn more!

Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. They grow in pods and come in an array of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Pulses are an extremely interesting crop – apart from being good for our health, they are climate-friendly. They have lower carbon and water footprints than their animal-based counterparts and help maintaining the integrity of the soil.

If this sounds interesting to you, keep an eye out for more information.

There are so many traditional recipes from around the globe that are based on pulses: the Brazilian Feijoada made with black beans, the Mexican Tortillas often filled with beans and vegetables, the Waakye from Ghana, prepared by boiling beans and rice together, the Nepalese Kwati, a thick stew including a variety of beans, or the Indian Congee a combination of grains, like millet,  and pulses, like green lentils… The list goes on and on.

Today’s recipe includes kidney and haricot beans. It is a plant-based version of the Portuguese dish Feijoada (different from the Brazilian Feijoada). It is a warm, comforting stew, perfect for the winter months.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 150g (around 1 cup) carrots, chopped
  • 300g (around 3 cups) mushrooms, chopped
  • 120g (½ cup) tomato sauce
  • 120g cabbage (I used Savoy cabbage; around 6-7 leaves), chopped in strips
  • 960ml (4 cups) water*
  • 600g beans (½ kidney, ½ haricot), cooked & rinsed**
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Salt to taste: taste the food as you cook and add salt as you go.

*If you home-cooked the beans, use that water.
**If you want to home-cook the beans, use around 300g of dried beans. You can also cook more and freeze the rest. This way you’ll have beans ready to go when you need them.

  1. Preheat a big pan or a wok and prepare the vegetables.
  2. Once the pan is hot, sauté the onion with the carrots until it is golden. Lower the fire to medium heat. And a splash of water (or wine) as needed to deglaze the pan.
  3. Add the mushrooms and the tomato sauce. Let the mushrooms reduce in size and release their water (10-15 minutes). Stir the pot from time to time to prevent it from burning.
  4. Add the water and the cabbage. Let the broth come to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Let it simmer away in a low fire for 15-20min.
  5. Add the cooked beans and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Best served warm with rice on the side.

Eager to try that? If you do, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Tag us on social media so that we can celebrate your cookings together!

Global Tree Initiative | @globaltreeinitiative
Kind Dish | @kind.dish

Thank you very much for being here and until the next time!


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  1. Anrich Bester

    Really nice photos. Bon Appétit!

    • Kika Gusmão

      Merci beaucoup! 😀


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