So in lieu of a recipe this week, I thought I’d give you some vegetarian pantry staples. Odds are, if you have most of these things in your pantry or refrigerator, you can make something healthy and vegetarian with a moment’s notice.
Bonus; it’s MUCH cheaper to eat vegetarian, even allowing for organic produce and other more expensive type items, which you don’t HAVE to buy.
This may seem like a lot, but once you’re stocked, you just have to replace an item here and there as you use it. Every week I might have to replace 3 to 5 non-perishables (tamari, vinegar, olive oil, etc.). Most of our grocery cart is fruit, veggies, and the rare dairy product or almond milk. Our family of five (Rebekah is away at college but I still supplement her dorm food a bit) spends $150-$200/week on groceries, and that includes paper products and almost entirely organic produce (and even organic rice, canned tomatoes, etc.). If you’d like to start making changes but want to avoid a big, giant stock up, just add a couple of these items to your regular list each week.
Here’s what I recommend;
Vinegars (I keep balsamic, red wine, apple cider, white wine, and raspberry)
Canned chickpeas (I also keep black beans, pintos, kidneys, and white beans as well as dried beans, although they take longer to cook)
Peanut butter and/or tahini
Jarred tomato sauce
Canned diced or whole tomatoes
Better Than Bouillon vegetable broth paste (in soup/broth section of store or natural foods section for organic)
Pasta and/or rice noodles
Goat cheese and/or feta cheese
Nuts and/or seeds (the ones we use most are sunflower and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and peanuts)
Tamari (natural soy sauce – don’t buy so called soy sauce. It’s just corn syrup) and Sriracha sauce
Tortillas (corn or flour)
Herbs and spices (my go-tos are cayenne, red pepper flakes, paprika, oregano, basil, tarragon, thyme, chili powder, and cumin)
Staple fruits and veggies (ours are apples, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, mixed greens, avocado, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, celery, leeks, onion, garlic)
With these things you can make multiple (and amazing!) vegetarian soups, pastas, rice and quinoa-based dishes, wraps/burritos/tacos, main course salads, etc. Next week I’ll post some of my favorite quick vegetarian dinners, including a recipe for my much-loved, super fast and easy vegetable soup.