Personally, I love these foods but may people don’t eat them because they don’t know what to do with them. These days it’s really easy to buy good quality cooked pulses in water, so you no longer have to remember to soak your beans over night and boil them up for hours. Chickpeas, kidney beans, butter beans, haricot beans, lentils of various colours, they all offer great nutrition and add a lovely extra texture to dishes. You can use them to bulk up a salad, add to soups or make main dishes like vegetarian chilli or three bean casserole.
Combining, a pulse with a grain i.e. hummus on an oatcake; beans on toast; chilli with rice, makes a complete protein, meaning they have the same high quality protein as meat and fish. So add to your dishes grains like pot barely, my current fave as it is chewy, nutty and really filling; brown rice, always a great staple and look out for Quinoa – this is a South American grain high in protein and minerals, quick to cook and tastes great – a healthy alternative to couscous. Always opt for whole rather than refined grains as much of the goodness and most of the fibre is lost in the refining process.
All of these grains and pulses are high in fibre and full of a range of really important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants so start experimenting and look up some new recipes by searching online.