5 Foods Every Plant-Based Cook Needs in Their Kitchen

If you've been following me on either the Intentional Ten Podcast and Blog or on Instagram (@intetionalten), you've seen me talk about plant-based foods a thousand times. We've been a plant-based family for over a year now and I'm thrilled with the benefits we've seen in our health and wellness along the way. Our mindset, in addition to our diet, has completely transformed! This week I shared my story along with tips for how to make the transition on Kind Publishing Co. Check out my guest contribution to learn more here: How We Transitioned To A Plant-Based Family (And How You Can Too)

Today I'm excited to share my biggest secret in a simplified plant-based diet, BASE! I'm pretty sure I made up this term for it myself, but it works. We're a busy family of five, and cooking all of our own meals from scratch can be incredibly time-consuming (I know you moms out there hear me big time right now on this one). I've figured out that if I keep these five "bases" stocked in the fridge at all times, we can make quick, easy, and delicious meals on the fly! These bases and can be mixed and matched with all kinds of vegetables, lentils, beans, and more to make snacks, tapas, or full-blown feasts. Let's not waste any more time chatting...here are the "recipes" (these are guides, always adjust to your own taste!).


This one doesn't need much explanation. Dip it, spread, it, or use it in place of cheese.


2 16oz Cans of Garbanzo Beans

5-6 Tbsp Tahini

2-4 cloves of Garlic, (or more?!) Minced

2 Lemons, squeezed

1/2 Tsp Cumin (optional)

1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt to taste (I prefer Kosher)


Blend on high in the food processor. Enjoy with extra olive oil and paprika on top!


This one comes from my sweet Puerto Rican grandmother whom we called, Mama. Some people would call this a "recaito" instead of sofrito but just think of it as the Puerto Rican version of mirepoix. This is the ultimate base and can flavor anything from rice to soup to tofu!


1 Bunch of Cilantro

1 Green Pepper

1 Onion

Garlic. A lot of garlic. Like 5-6 cloves of garlic.

Oregano. Also a lot. At least 1 Tbsp. I used Greek Oregano in this picture.


Blend on high in the food processor. I store mine in recycled jars or mason jars. If you don't use it within two-three days, freeze it. Subscribe to the blog to get my Mama's full red rice and beans recipe one day soon!! Take a moment to pause and smell your house when you finish making this. Mmmmm!

Tahini Dressing

This one also needs little explanation, but dressings aren't only for salad! You can put this on almost anything and it will be amazing. Most recently we had it over rice, kale, and chickpeas (yum!).


2 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

3 Tbsp Tahini

2 Tsp Miso Paste (optional)

Approx 1/3 c Water (recommend adding 1/2 c if you're storing for later use)

1/4 Tsp Garlic Salt (or more to taste)


Mix on low in the blender. Again, I store mine in recycled jars or mason jars. Use within a week, but ours only lasts 1-2 meals before it's all gone!

Potato Base

Use this in place of meat. We eat it with tofu for breakfast, in a tortilla for lunch, or over rice with falafel. This is the base of bases. It can do anything!


Red Potatoes

2 Other Veggies (we love zucchini, peppers, or kale, but anything works)


Garlic (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste (I like to add Rosemary or Balsamic Vinegar sometimes too!)

Coconut Oil or Grapeseed Oil


Dice everything small, then spread them out on a lined cookie sheet. Coat and mix with either grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil (if you want a salt/sweet flavor). Bake in the oven approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool and then enjoy!

Cooked Oats/Granola Bars

I love steel-cut oats for either oatmeal or homemade granola bars or protein bites, but they take forever to make compared to the ease of quick oats that I used to use! Steel-cut oats have more fiber, fill you up, and are often gluten-free! Breakfast with little ones is so much more manageable when you have something ready to go at the crack of dawn. "Mommy Bars" are a big hit for breakfast in our family. Here's my recipe for a successful and calm morning that will guarantee you get to sip your coffee in peace!


1 c Prepared Steel Cut Oats

4 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed

1 c Almond Butter

1 c Almond Flour

3/4 c Brown Sugar (or Coconut Brown Sugar)

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Salt

Raisins (or other dried fruit to mix in)


Cook 1 c Steep Cut oats with 3-4 c water for about 20 minutes and allow it to cool. Mix flaxseed with 1/2c water in a separate bowl and allow to sit and thicken for at least 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl, stirring in the oats and flaxseed mixture last. Grease an 8x8 pan with coconut oil then spread granola mixture out in the pan. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Be sure to allow it to cool before cutting into squares or rectangles to serve. Enjoy!


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Talk to you soon!


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