Pro Taste

The edible rainbow

A healthy plant-based diet naturally consists of a wide variety of vegetables – but if you’re new to this approach to eating, you might need a little introduction to all the different options available. Discovering new vegetables will make it so much easier to crowd out the meat and dairy on your plate, leaving you with a delicious, healthy, and varied diet. Here’s a guide to the different types of vegetables you might find in your local supermarket or farmer’s market.

Leafy greens

Think spinach, kale, collard greens, and swiss chard. Keep these refrigerated, and use them soon, as they won’t keep for very long. For the most part, you can eat them raw or cooked: try some sauteed spinach with garlic and sunflower seeds, or a lemon-marinated kale salad, or a green smoothie.

Image by Evita Ochel from Pixabay

Cruciferous vegetables

These veggies are nutritional powerhouses are delicious, if well-prepared. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are a few options. They’re best kept refrigerated, but will last a bit longer than leafy greens. You can eat them raw, but they’re also great roasted, stewed, or grilled. Try some cajun cauliflower bites, grilled cabbage steaks, or an easy vegetable curry.

Image by Jose Antonio Alba from Pixabay

Root vegetables

Carrots, sweet potatoes, fennel and beets are some familiar root veggies. Some, such as sweet potatoes and fennel, can be kept at room temperature while others, such as carrots and beets, should be refrigerated. Try smoked carrot lox, or a bean burger served with sweet-potato fries.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay


Nightshade is a strange name for a familiar family of vegetables, including tomatoes, eggplants and bell peppers. Tomatoes are best kept at room temperature, while eggplant and bell peppers should be refrigerated. Try a creamy tomato soup, or baba ganoush, or a ratatouille.

Image by Peggy Choucair from Pixabay

Edible plant stems

Think celery, asparagus, artichokes, and kohlrabi. Keep these refrigerated. Celery is a great raw option, dipped in hummus for an afternoon snack, while steamed artichoke is a delicious starter, served with a creamy lemon dipping sauce.

Image by Hans Dietmann from Pixabay


The squash family includes butternut, pumpkin, and zucchini. For the most part, they will last for quite a while at room temperature. Great for roasting, they can also be steamed, stewed, or boiled. Try a butternut soup for a winter warmer, pumpkin pie for a classic American sweet treat, or zucchini ribbons as a low-calorie “pasta” alternative.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay


This strange name denotes aromatic root vegetables such as garlic, onion, leek, and shallots. These can be kept at room temperature (except for leeks, which should be refrigerated). Try whole-roasted garlic to complement your tray of roast vegetables, or caramelized onion to serve as a gourmet burger topping, or indulge in a lovely potato and leek soup.

Image by Robert-Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

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