Want to eat satisfying and delicious meals every day of the week?
The best way to make sure that happens is to have your pantry stocked with plant-based staples for swift and healthy meals, even when you don’t have a plan for dinner. To get you started, we’re sharing our top 10 pantry staples (in no particular order – we love them all!).
BEANS AND LENTILS
Always keep a variety of dried or canned beans and lentils on hand for quick and hearty meals. Some favorites are black beans, chickpeas, adzuki beans and red lentils. So versatile, you can use them to make burgers for grilling, chili, taco salad and so much more.
No kitchen is complete without an assortment of grains. Whole grains provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You have endless choices, quinoa, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, oats, etc. For a quick breakfast try overnight oats.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Add texture, crunch and flavor to your favorite dishes with nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are a source of vitamins, minerals, fats, protein and fiber. Our go-to seeds are chia, flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Walnuts, almond, cashews and peanuts are all versatile nut options. For a quick and tasty dessert, use chia seeds to make chocolate or vanilla pudding.
For culinary purposes use it as a butter replacement, for roasting or sautéing vegetables, in baking (as an ingredient or to grease the pan), for dressing, sauces and dips.
If you need some last-minute flavor and richness to your dishes, try coconut milk. Canned coconut milk is great for quick curries, smoothies, and warm soups.
Having your favorite nut butters ready to go is perfect for traditional snacks like PB&J or as an addition to your smoothies like Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bar Smoothie.
ALL-PURPOSE GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR
Having your favorite go-to flour on hand will give you freedom from culinary worry.
This zero calorie sweetener is a great option when you need to curb your sweet tooth without the added sugar. It’s a plant you can grow in your garden or on your window sill but is most easily used in its powdered form you can get at the store in the sweetener aisle. Use it anywhere you would normally use sugar: coffee, tea, smoothies or oatmeal. You can even use it in your baking to reduce the amount of sugar in your treats (note: do not use in a 1:1 ratio when replacing sugar. A little goes a long way).
Miso paste is traditionally made from fermented soy beans but can also be found soy-free from barley or chickpeas. Use it for soups, dips, dressing, sauces, and vegetable stock. It will save you a bundle in vegetable stock and can add vibrant flavor to ho-hum dishes.
Popular in Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and baba ganoush. It pairs great with miso for a creamy light dressing for beans and grains.
If you’re ever in doubt about what to make for dinner, the best method is to cook a bean or lentil and grain of your choice from your newly stocked pantry, steam two or more seasonal veggies, mix it in a bowl with a quick sauce and you’re ready to eat.