Oil is a highly processed food with no nutritional value and essentially empty calories. Fat is higher in calories per gram than any other food. You can get plenty of natural fats by eating a whole food plant based diet. Here are some cooking tips after you ditch the oil bottles and leap into a healthier lifestyle.
- Sauté: Use a nonstick pan to avoid sticking. I like to use stainless steel pans or enamel coated cast iron pans. Get your pan hot, add your veggies, keep them moving by stirring, and use very small amounts (1-2 tablespoons) of water, vegetable broths, juices, vinegars, or wine to deglaze the pan. Deglazing the pan simply means to remove and dissolve the browned food sticking to the pan. Deglazing definitely adds an extra layer of flavor to vegetables.
- Try roasting potatoes and vegetables instead of frying. I like to “toss and roast” by seasoning veggies in a baggie, shake for coating, and then roast. I’m sure we all remember the term “shake and bake”. Potatoes, bakes fries, mixed veggies, tofu, tempeh, and chickpeas are so easy to toss and roast.
- Use parchment paper or silicone pads and bake ware when roasting or baking in the oven. This will make clean up easy.
- Skip frying and try breading! Dip vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, okra, mushrooms, or onion rings, into: 1) whole grain flour 2) plant based milk 3) breadcrumb mixture. I recommend following that order for best results. Bake at a high temperature (between 400 and 450) until golden.
- For baked goods, substitute oils with vegetable and fruit purees (baby food purees work well here), avocados, silken tofu, or nut butters.
- Sauces and Dressing: Replace oils with water or juice. If it doesn’t feel as thick or viscous, you can add things such as chia seeds, a dash of xanthan gum, avocados, nut butters, cashews or cashew cream, tofu, or beans. It really depends on the consistency you want.