10 Ingredients I Always Have on Hand in the Kitchen

Photo by  Alison Marras  on  Unsplash

Inspired by this post on A Cup of Jo, here is my own version. While I sometimes find a recipe that inspires me to fix something different, these staples can almost always be found in my pantry and refrigerator.

1 | Lentils

Lentils are an easy complement to a starch like rice, bulk up a salad, or stand alone in a soup which is my favorite way to consume them this time of year.

Lentil Recipes to Try: Creamy Red Lentil Soup | Sunshine Lentil Bowls w/Garlic Olive Oil Dressing | Balsamic Lentil Stew w/Mushrooms & Rosemary Potatoes

2 | Veggies (Frozen)

I make it a habit to purchase frozen veggies like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Spinach, Peas + Carrots on a regular basis because they make for easy add-ons to meals even when I’m running low on fresh veggies. Honestly sometimes a bowl of veggies cooked on the stove for a few minutes from the freezer will constitute my whole meal after a long day. Buying frozen also curbs waste on produce which I have been guilty of in the past.

Veggie Recipes to Try: Roasted Cauliflower | Pan Seared Salmon Salmon and Roasted Vegetables | Roasted Vegetables

3 | Pasta

Pasta is definitely a staple that I regularly build a meal around. I generally try to stay away from gluten but I am not yet ready (and may never be ready) to let go of rice. Brown Rice Pasta makes a great complement to marinara sauce, pesto or even a buttery, seasoned pasta with a bit of nutritional yeast.

Pasta Recipes to Try: 5 Ingredient Vegan Vodka Pasta | Creamy Cauliflower Pasta w/Garlic & Roasted Tomatoes | Creamed Spinach Pasta w/Sausage and Pine Nuts

4 | Grains (Rice, Quinoa, etc.)

Grains are another staple to my go-to meals that pairs nicely with veggies and a plant based or meal protein. When in meal prep mode, I cook a pot of rice on Sunday and use it to make a quick fried rice or to add it with protein and veggies on weekdays.

Grain Recipes to Try: Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Harvest Bowl | Kale, Blackbean, & Avocado Burrito Bowl | Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

5 | Crunchy Snack (Plantain Chips, Popcorn, etc.)

Sometimes you want a crunchy snack to indulge in while watching TV. Lightly salted plantain chips are a great snack to indulge in that replace potato chips.

Crunchy Snack Recipes to Try: Baked Plaintain Chips w/Garlicky Guacamole | Spirulina Herbal Popcorn | Crispy Baked Chickpeas

6 | Nut Milks

I use nut milks on a regular basis to add to my matcha lattes, golden milk lattes, coffee (when I occationally drink it), GF granola, among many other things I cook or prepare. When I have nuts on hand I make my own and I would like to get into the habit of making my own more often.

Nut Milk Recipes to Try: Macadamia Nut Milk | Cashew Milk Recipe | Pumpkin Seed Milk

7 | Turmeric (fresh or powdered)

The anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric have been cataloged across numerous sites, so I won’t go into depth here, but turmeric adds a nice flavor to a variety of meals (and drinks).

Turmeric Recipes to Try: Turmeric Ginger Chicken Soup | Sweet Potato Turmeric Miso Soup | Coconut Chicken Curry w/ Turmeric and Lemongrass

8 | Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are staples to countless dishes so it’s great to have them on hand. They particularly get a lot of use during the winter months for savory soups, broths, veggie and meat dishes.

Onions and Garlic Recipes to Try: Lemony String Bean Salad w/Feta, Red Onion and Marjoram | Caesar-Style Kale Salad w/Roasted Onions and Ricotta | Warm Garlic Anchovy Dip

9 | Seasonal Fruit (either fresh or frozen)

Fruit also makes a good addition to smoothies, baked good or added to dishes or eaten alone. Fruit seems like a more virtuous evening snack than the chocolate and cookies I would eat instead if I kept them on hand. Currently it’s apples and oranges but it may be berries, watermelon and pineapple in warmer months.

Fruit Recipes to Try: Apple Crisp | Poached Pears with Cardamon and Saffron | Winter Citrus Salad w/Honey Dressing

10 | Tea (Matcha, Peppermint, Nettle, Hibiscus, Sencha Green, Lemongrass, etc.)

Not a day goes by when I don’t have some form of tea to drink. As I’ve mentioned previously, I almost always have matcha to start off my weekdays. I usually have a tea midday and have recently started drinking Nettle infusions everyday for their hair health benefits.

Tea Recipes and Infusions to Try: London Fog Tea Latte | Beauty Tea Infusion | Vegan Chai Latte

What are your stand-bys you always have on hand?