5 Veggies to Keep on Hand at All Times

Some of the saddest sights a kitchen has ever seen has to be a wilted bunch of greens deflating in the fridge or a wrinkly piece of fruit slumping over, as if it knows its fate is to end up in the compost pile or trash bin. Preventing these culinary casualties is difficult for most people, though, especially if families are busy throughout the week (who isn’t?) or if your meal planning has room for improvement.

Luckily, there are some vegetables that are so versatile having them on hand at all times leaves cooks with limitless possibilities. Whether you are looking to prepare a gourmet meal or a quick and easy supper, some basic vegetables that can be found at the store year round will fulfill what your family needs. Here are a few vegetables to keep on your grocery list every week, which can provide a variety of differing inspiration for meals:

veggies, vegetables, healthy eating, meal planning, vegan, vegetarian, cooking, meal prep, grocery shoppingPhoto: Steve Johnson via Flickr

Sweet Potatoes

Cubed: Chopping sweet potatoes up—and even keeping them pre-chopped in the fridge—is a super-simple way to add vitamins and complex carbohydrates to chilis, breakfast casseroles, soups and hashbrowns.
Sliced: Sweet potato chips baked in the oven are a healthy alternative to the processed version and thickly-sliced discs, baked with olive oil and herbs, can serve as a delicious dip-able side dish.
Baked: Baking or microwaving sweet potatoes can provide you with up to two weeks of yummy mashed spuds depending on how well you store them. Snacking on some before a hard workout is a great way to fuel up and you can use the rest to spread on quesadillas or mash with garlic for a savory twist.
Spiralized: Make some sweet potato noodles and experiment with different delectable sauces!

fkalePhoto: Flickr


Chopped: The green that has risen to amazing heights has a place in soups, stews, pastas, pestos and almost any dish imaginable. Keeping fresh, chopped or frozen kale handy allows you easy access to nutritious greens.
Sliced: De-stemmed and sliced into ribbons, these leaves makes a beautiful and nutrient-packed massaged kale salad. Add your favorite chopped vegetables and some crunchy nuts and seeds and you have a wonderfully healthy meal in minutes.
Whole: Throw a leaf or two of kale into your morning juice or smoothie and your body will thank you.

veggies, vegetables, healthy eating, meal planning, vegan, vegetarian, cooking, meal prep, grocery shoppingPhoto: Flickr


Chopped: Cucumbers are so very versatile when chopped. Toss them into a salad or marinate with onion and tomato to make a fresh and delicious cucumber salad.
Sliced: A great, unprocessed dipping vehicle for hummus and other spreads or for adding to your water bottle to mix things up.
Whole: Whiz some peeled cucumber into ice water for a refreshing beverage any time of year. Or, throw a cuke, some apple and your favorite greens into a juicer for a vibrant, green pick-me-up.

veggies, vegetables, healthy eating, meal planning, vegan, vegetarian, cooking, meal prep, grocery shoppingPhoto: Flickr

Bell Peppers

Diced: Keeping pre-chopped bell peppers on hand makes it so easy to throw into tofu scrambles, chilies and stews, salads and homemade veggie burger patties.
Sliced: Strips are perfect for stir fries or adding color and flavor to burritos or Taco Tuesday dinners. They are also great for dipping into healthy spreads, instead of processed crackers or chips.

veggies, vegetables, healthy eating, meal planning, vegan, vegetarian, cooking, meal prep, grocery shoppingPhoto: Flickr


Frozen: Frozen broccoli is a must-have for last minute side dishes or as a cruciferous crunch added to your favorite Buddha bowl.
Chopped: Florets are wonderful additions to stir fries, pastas and casseroles, but have you ever chopped and noshed on the stems? Broccoli stems are delicious when peeled and sprinkled with a touch of salt!


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Bernadine Foldi
Bernadine Foldi2 years ago

Carrots should be on the list.

Muff-Anne York-Haley

I like all these except for Kale!

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

Love them all!

Elaine Bauer
Elaine Bauer2 years ago

Some good suggestions, but do not pre-cut or -chop; they will disintegrate very quickly. My most important staple pepper, instead of green bells, is poblanos. Richer in flavor, with a hint of a kick - yummy!

James Maynard
James Maynard2 years ago

Good list. It's hard to find kale here, though.....

Angela K.
Angela K2 years ago

Thank you

Anna Ballinger
Anna Ballinger2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Natasha Site problems
Past Member 2 years ago

Do eat these regularly. thanks

Sheelagh O Cathasaigh
Past Member 2 years ago

I think you will find that as people mature, some foods no longer sit well with their digestive system. Point in hand: you will find broccoli, bell peppers and cucumbers upsetting for most senior. Better choice would to be look at high vitamins, easy digestive, low glycine and of course, always check alergins and go organic when possible!