4 Tasty, New Staples for Your Pantry

4 Tasty, New Staples for Your Pantry, barley, black lentils, bulgur, spelt berries, whole grainsThe Wellness Husband and I have been trying to eat a primarily vegetarian diet for the past six months or so. It saves money, we feel so healthy, and we find we stay full for longer. For those who say “I could never…” – if The Wellness Husband can, you can. He runs about five miles a day and weight trains two days a week. So, there goes your argument about not getting enough calories/protein. No one was a bigger “meat and potatoes” guy than my husband. So, there goes your other argument.

That’s not to say we won’t order chicken when we dine out. My husband loves a good burger. You will even see meat and poultry recipes on this blog (mostly concocted for my stepdaughter, who is not sharing this journey with us!). We’re not those people who only eat off of the veggie tray at a party. Just like with all of our other rules (avoiding processed food and refined sugars in our home), we are not against splurging from time to time when we dine out or go on vacation. The key to The Wellness Wife healthy eating plan is to eat clean and healthy every day in the home so we won’t feel guilty when we go to a party and want to have a piece of cake. The funny thing is, once you eat clean, you may not even want the cake anymore. Even if you enjoy the bad-for-you foods while you are eating them, you won’t like how you feel afterward.

I got my Vitacost order in yesterday and I thought I could use its contents to explain to you some of the protein and fiber-dense lentils and whole grains we use to make hearty, tasty, healthy vegetarian (and often vegan) meals. Fiber makes you feel full as much as protein does and healthy carbohydrates give you energy.

Vitacost is a great way to get healthier, safer products at good prices delivered directly to your door. There is free shipping if you order is over $49, which mine always is! If you order through my Vitacost link, you will get $10 off your first purchase and I will get $10 towards my next purchase through their refer-a-friend program.

4 Tasty, New Staples for Your Pantry

Barley – 5 grams of protein and 8 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Barley can help lower cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Contains many important vitamins and minerals including niacin (Vitamin B3), thiamine (Vitamin B1), selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper. Also contains antioxidants which prevent damage from free radicals. Free radicals can lead to many serious diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.

Black Lentils – 12 grams of protein and 9 grams of dietary fiber, and 20% of the Daily Recommended Value of iron per serving. Black lentils don’t have any more or less nutritional value than other lentils. I just decided to buy black lentils because most of the yummiest looking lentil recipes on Pinterest use black lentils. Lentils contribute to heart health because of their fiber, folate, and magnesium content. Lentils also help to stabilize blood sugar.

Bulgur – 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Bulgur has been shown to relieve chronic inflammation. Inflammation in the body leads to many health conditions including arthritis, digestive issues, migraines, and even cancer. Bulgur is an excellent source of manganese, which is essential to brain and nerve function.

Spelt Berries – 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving. It is also a significant source of zinc, iron, and magnesium. Spelt has been found to prevent migraines and diabetes. It can also lower cholesterol.

Try these as a building block for your clean eating or vegetarian menus. What are your go-to healthy pantry staples?



BarleyFoods.org, Health and Nutrition

Livestrong, What Are the Benefits of Bulgur Wheat

Nature News, Spelt Can Replace Wheat for Improved Health

World’s Healthiest Foods, Barley

4 thoughts on “4 Tasty, New Staples for Your Pantry

  1. Penny

    I’ve got two out of four of those sitting in my pantry! I love bulgur wheat with a little vanilla cooked with it and topped with plenty of fresh fruit and a little 1% milk for breakfast. A welcomed change to oatmeal. I love lentils but haven’t tried the black version. We try to eat super healthy and love it, but haven’t moved to vegan. We’ve cut out sweets entirely and we don’t miss them at all (well, except the Greek Fest this weekend got us haha). Everything in moderation at this point!

  2. Chris-Ellyn

    I use a mix of almond flour and chia seed for almost all my breading of meat needs these days…a trick I think I learned from the Wellness Wife! We also have made the switch to pasta that is made with either quinoa or spelt.

    1. Lisa Post author

      Yum! I’ve never used chia as breading. Sounds great! We use quinoa pasta, too. Seems the family likes it even better than whole wheat. Thanks for the tips!

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