Stock up on These 3 Healthy Vegetables and You Can Make a Million Different Meals

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Chances are you're cooking a lot more at home right now (I certainly am). And when you're cooking a ton for the first time, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. What recipes should I try? What groceries should I buy? How are there constantly so many new dishes in the sink? I don't have the answers to all of those questions, but I do have one thing to make your cooking adventures a bit easier. Next time you're at the grocery store, stock up on these three vegetables: onions, celery, and carrots. Why? They're not just healthy—they're the three ingredients that come together to create a mirepoix.

Mirepoix (a French word pronounced "mirror-pwah") refers to a mixture of diced onions, carrots, and celery. Lukas Volger, a chef and author of the cookbook Start Simple, says mirepoix is known as the "holy trinity" of a lot of Western cooking, and is typically used as a base for soups. "When [these vegetables are] finely chopped, they actually help thicken the sauce," he says, along with adding flavor.

But mirepoix isn't just a chef thing though—having those three affordable vegetables always on-hand opens up a whole new world of delicious recipes for you to try at home. Don't believe me? These six ideas provide just a sampling of how to use mirepoix in your cooking. Consider it your new essential fridge staple.

1. Beet bourguignon

On the most recent episode of Cook with Us, host Jessie Van Amburg (Well+Good's senior food and health editor), challenged Volger to make a vegan French classic in 30 minutes or less. He went for a beet Bourguignon, using the root vegetable instead of beef to make it plant-based without sacrificing on flavor. The base of the delicious stew? Mirepoix, of course—seasoned with a little salt and bay leaf.

Watch the video below to get the recipe: 

2. Bone broth rotini soup 

As mentioned, I have basically been living off of chickpea pasta; this recipe from Dine Like Shay uses the high-protein noodles in a veggie-packed bone broth soup that starts with a base of mirepoix.

3. Sweet potato split pea corn chowder

When was the last time you had a chowder? Quarantine seems like a good time to try making one. You can make Sugar Loves Spice's recipe vegan by leaving off the garnishes.

4. Moroccan harissa burger

Cooking the mirepoix and then adding it into the ground turkey brings more flavor (and veggies!) to this burger recipe by Feed Your Soul Too.

5. Cauliflower wild rice curry soup 

This vegan and gluten-free soup is packed with veggies and spices for a savory, filling meal. It gets bonus points because it can be made in an Instant Pot.

6. Mirepoix lentil soup

This recipe has double the mirepoix for double the fun (because chopped veggies are now what I consider "fun," thanks quarantine). The first mirepoix is diced and used as a base to thicken the soup, the second is chopped in larger pieces and added in near the end so they're cooked al dente.

Now, learn seven creative ways to use chickpeas, from dinner to dessert. And these are the two foods you should never buy frozen, according to an RD. 

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