The dried seeds of plants in the legume family—you may know them better as chickpeas, lentils, dry peas, and beans—play a major role in cuisines worldwide. Unlike most other edible plants, pulses are left to dry in the field before they're harvested, which gives them a longer shelf life and makes them easier to store. They have one of the lowest carbon footprints of any food, and they're cheap. What's more, they're nutritious—packed with protein, fiber, and antioxidants, so you can easily swap them for meat. Our favorite attribute of this affordable, accessible, environmentally sound superfood? They're easy to prepare. The following guide shows you how to cook and enjoy them with quick and simple recipes the whole family will love.