Fruits and vegetables
There's not much to say then ALL fruits and vegetables are THE basis of a vegetarian diet ! I'm not going to list my favorites, since they all are ! There's a basic rule to follow : the brighter the color is, the higher the likelihood for it to be nutritious ! Many have anti cancer proprieties. Variety is the key here. I'm still going to say a word on a few that are important in my daily vegetarian diet.
Dried fruits (sun dried tomatoes, cranberries, blueberries, etc.)
Dried fruits are becoming more and more popular. They are loaded with antioxydants, vitamins and minerals, and easy to add in smoothies, desserts, granolas, salads, snacks etc. I add a variety of dried fruits in my granolas, depending on what I got on hand. I often use goji berries as a decoration on desserts. Sun dried tomatoes are great for dips, nut cheese, red pesto sauce and pasta dishes (sliced).
Dark green leafy vegetables are so rich in nutrients ! Swiss chard, kale, beet leaves, spinach, they all have a place of choice in my diet ! Whether in smoothies, pasta sauces, tofu spinach ricotta lasagna, stir fried (with garlic, lemon juice and chilli flakes as a side dish) or kale chips, they are SO important to my family ! No wonder why we call our son the Kale kid, he ADORES his Greens !
Probiotics and prebiotics work together to provide the beneficial health effects. Prebiotics can be found in garlic, leak, onion, asparagus, bananas, so I try to incorporate those veggies whenever I can to help the gut function.
Seaweeds (sea vegetables)
I use sea salt, which is non iodine, so I incorporate seaweed as a natural source of iodine in my diet. They are packed with minerals, electrolytes and chlorophylle. I use them to make sushis (Nori sheets), but we also like arame in stir fry's (with diced grilled tofu, thin sliced veggies and a bit of tamari sauce). Wakame are great in miso soup as well. I love spirulina in morning smoothies. Finally, agar-agar is also a seaweed I use to replace gelatine in desserts (vegan panna cotta!).