HOW HEALTHY ARE OILS – Part 2

Cooking without oil is really simple and after 7 years of experiencing my wife Delia´s wonderful cooking, I can truly say that you don´t need the added taste of oil to make foods taste great. On the contrary, as my taste buds started adapting to the new oil less flavor of each individual vegetable, I actually began to enjoy eating more.

COOKING:

In Delia´s own words…

It may seem impossible but it´s true: We don´t need oil to cook. After seven years of eliminating all fats in the preparation of meals I can truly say that yes, it´s possible and very easy to use substitutes for all the oils that we´re accustomed to using when cooking our favorite dishes.

Instead of frying, I sauté onions and garlic in the preparation of rice and different sauces, stews or casseroles. I only need to add a little water, wine or vegetable broth and cook over a low flame in a covered pan or pot. It´s important to mix the ingredients, once in a while, to prevent the food from sticking. I prefer to use non-stick pots and pans (without the chemical Perfluorooctanoic acid – PFOA), that make it simpler to cook without oil or fat.

For baking successfully without oil you can use mashed bananas or avocado, soaked prunes and even canned pumpkin. Either one will provide the moistness you desire.
To prepare Mexican style dishes, it´s not necessary to fry the tortillas, potatoes or other foods. In most cases you can get great and very tasty results grilling instead of frying.
Another benefit of cooking without oil is during the cleanup. It´s less of a hassle to wash the dishes and pots and pans.

SALAD DRESSING:

It´s important to be reminded of something we already know…that with regards to making salads, each vegetable or fruit that we include has it´s own unique flavor and that it´s a wonderful experience to savor the individual tastes as they explode in our mouths. For that reason I try to make the dressings simple and let the individual vegetables speak for themselves.

asian-style-chopped-salad-83466-1

For salad dressing, without added oils, there are so many options available on the internet that one can try a different dressing every day of the week. For me, I keep it simple by alternating between the following 3 options and add different herbs and spices to alternate tastes. In my salads, I´ll often include at least 5 of the following ingredients: green leafy vegetables, avocados, beans, tomatoes, onions, carrots, cucumbers, sweet peppers, apple slices, nuts and seeds, dried and unsweetened cranberries.

1) After chopping up the salad ingredients in a bowl, I´ll mix in the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of natural organic soy sauce (since there´s a lot of unhealthy soy sauces out there, please read the labels for additives and coloring), powdered garlic and Italian herb seasoning to taste, a teaspoon of chia seeds and balsamic vinegar. I would then add a few nuts and/or seeds (almond, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, sesame, squash or sunflower seeds).

2) After chopping up the salad ingredients in a bowl, mix in the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of natural organic soy sauce, a tablespoon of ground flax seeds, a tablespoon of organic mustard and a teaspoon of agave syrup. Add nuts and/or seeds.

3) To vary I´ll often make a salad plate which would include choices from the list of ingredients above. To the salad I would squeeze a half lemon and sprinkle powdered garlic, herb seasoning, ground flax seeds and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

An added note and for your information:

Like most people, for so many years, before I changed to a whole food vegan diet, I relied on what the supermarket offered and still offers in the form of salad dressings (i.e., Italian, ranch, French, blue cheese, etc.). Just look at the ingredients on the label of one of the most popular brands of Italian dressings:

INGREDIENTS: VINEGAR, VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN AND/OR CANOLA), WATER, SUGAR, SALT, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF GARLIC,* GARLIC, RED BELL PEPPER,* ONION,* ONION, SPICE, XANTHAN GUM, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FLAVOR), ANNATTO EXTRACT (COLOR).

Ingredients are always listed in the order of quantity so you can see that 3 of the first five main ingredients are oil, sugar and salt. The amount of salt per portion in this dressing is already over the daily suggested maximum. According to cravings experts, the combination of fat, sugar and salt are what keeps us addicted to processed foods. That´s what keeps us coming back for our fix at McDonalds, Burger King and Pizza Hut. Xanthan gum is used as a thickening agent. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is to add flavoring, EDTA is a preservative and Annato extract is used as a coloring agent. It´s also used to make medicines to treat diabetes, diarrhea, heartburn, malaria, hepatitis and as a bowel cleanser. Most of the added ingredients are to preserve foods on the shelves…since the product is no longer fresh.

Fortunately, when you make your own salad dressing, you can choose from fresh ingredients, so that you don´t need to add chemicals or preservatives.
As a final thought here, I highly suggest acquiring the habit of checking the ingredients on the labels of all processed foods. Be aware of added oils, sugar, salt, preservatives, words that you don´t understand and words that begin with the letters “die”.

Online recipes:

forksoverknives.com     straightupfood.com      happyhealthylonglife.com

Recipe books that I recommend:

The How Not to Die Cookbook by Dr. Michael Greger                                                             The China Study Cookbook by Leanne Campbell

 

 

 

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