A lot of recipes have some type of oil in them for cooking and sautéing, however, you can cook without the extra added unnecessary fat in oils. You do not need oil for flavor, for texture or even for keeping things from sticking to your pans. Here are some suggestions for healthier meals without compromising the flavor of the dish.
- Use water in place of oils for meals cooked on stovetop.If a recipe calls for oil, you can heat up the pan adding 1-2 tablespoons of water. Once the water becomes bubbly, proceed with the recipe as you normally would. Add more water to prevent the food from sticking to the pan.
- Steaming is the simplest way to cook vegetables without oil. If you do not have a steamer, you can steam veggies in a flat-bottomed pan. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and bring it to a boil. Add your vegetables and cover tightly. Cook for 1-2 minutes, remove from heat and let steam for 4-5 minutes. Do not add any spices until the end to bring out the best flavors.
- Nonstick cookware such as pots and pans with ceramic coating helps prevent foods from sticking without having to use oil.
- Parchment paper will help prevent foods from sticking to the pan when baking. This works best for anything that would call for greasing the pan first. You can bake meatloaf, casseroles, quiches, tofu, potatoes and vegetables on parchment paper. Baking foods on low will also help keep them from sticking. If you would like your potatoes or vegetables a little crisper towards the end of baking, turn the oven temperature up or put the baking pan in the broiler for 1-2 minutes.
- Medical Weight Loss Clinic salad dressings make a good marinade to sauté meats and vegetables in. Heat up the pan, put the MWLC salad dressing in the pan, add the meat or vegetables and cook over medium to low heat until the meat is cooked thoroughly and the vegetables are tender. The dressing base will add a robust of flavor. You can also use the MWLC salad dressing to sauté fresh herbs and spices in, such as garlic.
- To bring out the flavor in spicy dishes or garlic, you can squeeze a little juice from a fresh lime or lemon in the bottom of the pan, add the garlic or spices and toast on low heat. You can also squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon or lime over potatoes and vegetables before frying or roasting in the oven.