The Legume family of vegetables refers to lentils, beans, split peas, and soybeans. Healthy legumes are a good source of protein and one of the main protein sources for vegans. They are usually quite cheap if bought in dry bulk, but also still inexpensive in cans. It is healthier to buy them dry and cook them to buy canned, but if you are short on time, try to choose an organic variety that uses cans free of Bisphenol A (i.e. you want to make sure they are healthy legumes), such as the Eden brand.
Soybeans most often get used in the form of tofu or it’s relative Tempeh. Always try to choose organic, and choose tempeh over tofu when possible if you like the taste, since it is a fermented food and less processed (i.e. healthier!) than tofu. Tofu and tempeh and fine in moderation, but should no form of soy should be your main source of protein, especially for men, as too much soy may lower testosterone levels, the male hormone and mess with mens’ hormone balance. Soy is also used for a substitute in many ‘vegan’ versions of things like cheese, lunch meats and hot dogs, and desserts and is NOT a healthy legume alternative because it is very processed in this form!
Soy milk is also a highly processed form of soy and should be consumed in moderation. Healthier non dairy ‘milks’ are organic hemp, almond, or rice milks.
Bean sprouts are another healthy legume and taste great in salads or stir frys or with hummus.