Pulses! You know I’m a fan. (Did you know I wrote a book on the subject?)
If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to the edible dried seed of legumes, like dry peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils. Pulses are quite possibly the world’s perfect food – high in fibre and protein, low in fat, inexpensive, versatile, easy to store, and good for the environment – as they grow, pulses fix the nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer in crop rotations. And they can be found in virtually every cuisine in the world – a pulse is as fitting in a bowl of Cacio e Pepe in Italy as in an Indian chana masala or daal, or a can of British baked beans. And they’re a huge Canadian crop – 65% of the world’s lentils come from Canada, mainly Saskatchewan – which makes me love them even more.
Today is the second annual Global Pulse Day, a global event to celebrate pulses and continue the momentum of the International Year of Pulses (last year), to spread the word about how amazing they are, and to educate more people about how easy they are to cook. (Home cooks tend to get intimidated by the idea of soaking, which really only requires covering dry beans with water to jump-start the hydration process – and did you know dry lentils don’t require any soaking at all?) As part of the festivities, and to encourage more eating of pulses today, Pulse Canada asked me to round up some of my favourite recipes, like the miso roasted chickpeas up at the top.
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