Some people associate summertime with barbecue season. But for a growing number of vegetarians, vegans and those simply seeking to curtail their meat consumption, that image no longer works.

When asked to conjure up a vegetarian picnic, we think not of lab-grown meats but of plants. We are gardeners, after all.

Tomatoes and fruit are an obvious starting point for most traditionalists, but there is only one plant “food group” that makes a worthy meat substitute: pulses. Of those, beans are our favourite. A good bean burger or bean salad will make you friends at any summer picnic.

Point of clarification: All pulses are legumes, but not all legumes are pulses. Unlike peanuts, soybeans, and fresh peas and beans, pulses are the dried edible seed within

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