I love pulses! The pulse family includes lentils, peas and beans, and provides us with some of the least expensive yet most nutritious foods we can eat. They are rich in protein and fiber, and when eaten with whole grains in the context of the overall diet, give our bodies the complete array of proteins that we need-think the ubiquitous dal of South Asian food that’s always served with rice or a flatbread. For this very reason, we should all eat from the tasty pulse family more often than we do, whether we are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, or are just trying to stick to having a ‘Meatless Monday’. Yes, pulses have starches, but as whole foods, their starches affect us very differently from those in sugary refined foods, and shouldn’t be avoided just because of their carb content. Unlike refined carbs, pulses’ fiber and phytonutrients slow assimilation of the starches down, so they do not demand a huge surge in insulin production from your body the way refined carbohydrates do. Plus, pulses actually help with our gut health, as the fiber in pulses acts as a prebiotic, feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut. That they are good for gut health may seem odd. The pulse family has a reputation for making us feel bloated and windy, so a word of warning: If you’re not used to eating pulses in quantity, to avoid discomfort, don’t overload! Introduce them into your diet gradually. These recipes will allow you to do just that, a small bowl of lentil soup here, a black bean burger there will allow you to happily take the pulse. Enjoy!