Health nuts and serious carnivores alike may be shocked by this fact: cup-for-cup, lentils have more protein than beef or quinoa. Not to mention they’re much cheaper. Like their cousin, beans, lentils are legumes, a category that also includes peanuts, peas, and soybeans.

Photo by Lauren Buckel

In addition to protein, these superfoods pack in plenty of fiber, antioxidants, and essential nutrients like iron (vegans and vegetarians, rejoice!), folate, and potassium. To prep, rinse dry lentils and boil the legumes in unsalted water for about 20 minutes.

The Takeaway: Lentils and beans are part of the legume family. Both are extremely high in protein, fiber, and iron.

Spicy Veggie Blend

Add cooked lentils to this bean-based veggie blend for an ultra-quick meal with a spicy kick.

Fun Fact:

Only about 8 percent of American adults eat dry legumes (also known as pulses) on any given day.