Although it is sad to say, oil is not a health food. And often times you can end up consuming more oil than you realize, because we use it when we cook, when we eat a dressing, or when we make and eat a sauce. We realized how much oil we were “accidentally” consuming when we paid attention to how much we would oil up a pan or whisk it into a sauce.
We used to think that we needed oil to have a tasty dressing or to properly roast or cook veggies; however, that is not the case at all! In fact, not only can you still easily make a sauce or brown or roast foods, but you can capture more of their flavor and feel better after eating them.
Here are a couple of tips that you can start to implement to reduce use:
Sautéing and roasting vegetables without oil
I know what you may be thinking – that you need oil or a spray so that your foods do not stick to the pan. Don’t worry! When using a pan, heat a dry pan on a higher heat before adding your vegetables. Once the pan is very hot, add your vegetables and shake and stir them around often. This will help to ensure that they do not get completely stuck to your pan. Once they start to brown, you can remove them, or add a little liquid (a couple of tablespoons to 1/4 cup to start), like water or vegetable broth, and seasonings to help the flavor really stand out. If roasting in the oven, think similar steps – high heat, flip or toss around often, add seasonings and liquid. The veggies will stick or catch a little, but that is what helps to get them to brown.
If you are not looking to really brown your veggies or just want to try something else, then you can also make any oil free dressing or sauce, pour that over your veggies, and voila! You will automatically have a liquid to help prevent your veggies from sticking. One of our favorite dressings to use for this method is the one from the tempeh-peach kabobs from your nutrition plan.
Dressings without oil
Crazy, I know, but we have not used oil in a dressing for about 3 years, and we love how we feel. Whatever the amount of oil the recipe calls for, simply swap out water! If it makes sense, you can swap in a broth, but typically water is your best bet. The water helps to even out the more intense flavors of vinegar or acids from citrus that you may use, as well as helps to expand – or give you more of – your dressing. See a few sample recipes here, and try out all of the dressings and sauces from your nutrition plan. Our favorite is the pesto!