Here are my top vegetarian pantry staples that are a must for anyone starting on their journey to eating healthier! Building a Vegetarian Pantry is essential (at least it was for me) to be able to adjust and commit to a Vegetarian diet. I learned very early on in my journey to becoming a Vegetarian that cleaning out my pantry and adding in key staples that I would use almost daily would set me up for success! At first I was not sure exactly what to remove and replace in my pantry, but after some trial and error and some research I landed on the following key ingredients that I ALWAYS have on hand and pretty much NEVER am without in my pantry. These foods are essential to my Vegetarian diet and as long as I have these top staples, I seem to never fail when it comes to planning meals or creating recipes.
So here you go! My Top Vegetarian Pantry Staples!
Quinoa is a grain and is key to a Vegetarian diet due to the fact that it contains all 9 essential amino acids, which makes it a COMPLETE PROTEIN.
This amazing superfood Has so many health benefits:
- Contains a long list of vitamins like vitamin C, D and B
- Good source of Fiber
- Contains Iron
- Heart Healthy
Let’s not forget it’s delicious and so easy to prepare and include in everyday meals. You can use quinoa in so many recipes like burgers, salads, soups or just as a side dish mixed with some veggies. Check out my Quinoa Sweet Potato recipe that is incredible and loved by everyone that tries them!
Lentils are such a key ingredients for me to have at all times in my pantry. I am pretty much never without them since they are so versatile and can be easily incorporated into any meal to add that great punch of protein. Lentils are also very flavorful and easy to make.
Health benefits of lentils include:
- Great source of Protein
- Help reduce Blood sugar levels
- Increase Energy
- Lower Cholesterol
- Help with Digestion
- Great for Weight Loss
My favorite variety of lentils are red lentils and French green lentils since they are so delicious and perfect for soups and salads. Look out for my Incredible Lentil Soup Recipe that I will posting later this week!
Check out my Lentil Chili recipe here!
Beans of course are an obvious pantry staple due to the amazing plant based protein and versatility they have. There are many varieties of beans like black, garbanzo (chickpeas), white northern, kidney and others. My favorites are Chickpeas and Black Beans but I also like to keep White Northern Beans in my pantry so I can use them for creamy dairy-free sauces or soups.
Health benefits of beans include:
- Great source of Protein
- High in Fiber
- B Vitamins
- Iron, Zinc, Potassium, Magnesium
Check out my Beans and Greens category for some incredible recipes using beans!
Garlic is an ingredients that is low in calories that can be added to almost any main dish to create a punch of flavor and give you some key nutrients. I pretty much put garlic in all of my savory dishes since I LOVE it! It must be the Italian in me. Ha ha!
Health benefits of Garlic Include:
- Immune Boosting
- Combats Heart Disease
- Controls Blood Pressure
- Improves Cognitive Function of the brain
Check out my Chickpea Flatbread with Roasted Garlic Spread here.
Potatoes are one of the most versatile and nutritious foods everyone should always have on hand. You can make so many recipes using potatoes or just have them as a quick snack rather than reaching for that bag of chips or box of crackers. Potatoes are also filling without eating a lot so they are great for weight loss. At least they have been for me. Did you know that you can make a vegan cheese sauce with sweet potatoes? I just tried it and it was delicious! Be on the lookout for my Vegan Creamy Mac and Cheese coming soon.
Here are some health benefits of potatoes that are good to know:
- Low in calories
- Contain Vitamin C and B6
- Good source of Fiber, Potassium, Magnesium and Antioxidants
Check out my Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potato recipe here
Before I was a Vegetarian I rarely ate nuts but now they have become a staple for me. I add them to salads, stir fry’s, and sauces all the time. A little secret that many people don’t know; If you soak cashews in water and then puree them, they make a great dairy-free ricotta or cream-sauce packed with nutrition and protein. Mind-blowing, I KNOW! Also, when I am hungry in between meals, a handful of nuts goes a long way and helps to reduce the urge to snack on less healthy food. My favorite nuts are cashews, pistachios, walnuts and almonds. I store them in my fridge and freezer since “Nuts have oil so they can spoil” and they last longer if stored at cooler temperatures.
Here are a few nutrition facts on Nuts that I think you will find useful:
- Good source of protein
- Low in Carbohydrates
- Contain Vitamin E and Magnesium
- Good source of Antioxidants
Check out my Almond Butter Chocolate Bars recipe here
There you have it! My Top Pantry Staples for a healthy Vegetarian Diet that will help you get started on the right track. This is definitely information that would have helped me in the beginning of my journey so I am hoping it lends a hand to you as well!
Please let me know in the comments below what you have as go to pantry staples?