Exactly six months ago I decided to eliminate oil from my cooking repertoire as my month long blogging project for Vegan MoFo 2013. It was a big success. I lost a few random lbs. and I noticed that I cooked with oil a lot. It was in everything from salad dressing to sautéed vegetables to soups. And in my baked goods.
My goal was to see if I could make my basic recipes without oil. And if you read the blog during last September (click here for a recap) you will remember that I did. Everything from hummus and pesto (I used a zucchini to add a little creaminess) to salad dressings made with sunflower seeds, cashews, and avocados to soups and sautés using water. I baked tofu and tempeh and even caramelized onions in water. As I mentioned, I upped the amount of fresh herbs and spices I used to give my food some extra flavor but it was worth it.
Potatoes didn’t make the oil free cut; they just have to be roasted with a little oil or nothing good happens. And even though I made a cookie or two without oil, generally I left the baking out of the experiment.
A few weeks ago, I started my professional plant-based certification course at Rouxbe.com. In order to complete my assignments properly, I had to use oil. I learned the proper methods for sweating and roasting vegetables and the ratio of oil to vinegar for the perfect salad dressing.
I was wondering how I was going to feel after eating a salad dressed with olive oil and white wine vinegar and a quinoa pilaf with a mirepoix of onions, carrots and celery sweated in oil. Because it was my cooking and my kitchen, I controlled the quality and quantity of the oil. And I am happy to say that I felt fine which made me realize that it is probably okay for me to add a little bit of oil back into my life.
While I really do believe that the best way to get healthy fats is from the whole food itself e.g., avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, and coconuts, now, I might finish a salad with a drizzle of olive oil or roast with a very small amount of a high heat oil like grapeseed or sunflower. I am even thinking about working with coconut oil too. Stay tuned!