August 2007

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Vol. 6, No. 8

COOKING WITHOUT OIL

BROWNING VEGETABLES

Browned onions have an excellent flavor and can be used alone or mixed with other vegetables to make a dish with a delicious taste.  To achieve the brown color, as well as to flavor your foods, place 1 1/2 cups of chopped onions in a large nonstick frying pan with 1 cup of water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Continue to stir for a minute, then add another 1/2 cup of water, loosening the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook until the liquid evaporates again.  Repeat this procedure 1 or 2 more times, until the onions (or mixed vegetables) are as browned as you like.  You can also use this technique to brown carrots, green peppers, garlic, potatoes, shallots, zucchini, and many other vegetables, alone or mixed in a variety of combinations.

BAKING WITHOUT OIL

Eliminating oil in baking is a real challenge because oil keeps the baked goods moist and soft.  Replace the oil called for in the recipe with half the amount of another moist food, such as applesauce, mashed bananas, mashed potatoes, mashed pumpkin, tomato sauce, soft silken tofu, or soy yogurt (keep in mind that: tofu and soy yogurt are high-fat foods).  There are several new fat replacers in the market, for example, Wonderslim Fat and Egg Replacer and Sunsweet Lighter Bake.

Cakes and muffins made without oil usually come out a little heavier.  For a lighter texture use carbonated water instead of tap water in baking recipes.  Be sure to test cakes and muffins at the end of the baking time by inserting a toothpick or cake tester in the center to see if it comes out clean.  Sometimes oil-less cakes and muffins may need to be baked longer than the directions advise, depending on the weather or the altitude at which you live.

SAUTÉING WITHOUT OIL

To sauté implies the use of butter or oil, but in McDougall cooking, oil is eliminated.  Instead, we use other liquids to provide taste without the health hazards.  Surprisingly, plain water makes an excellent sautéing liquid.  It prevents foods from sticking to the pan, and still allows vegetables to brown and cook.

For additional flavor try sautéing in:

  • Soy sauce (Tamari)

  • Vegetable broth

  •  Red or white wine (alcoholic or nonalcoholic)

  •  Sherry  (alcoholic or nonalcoholic)

  •  Rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar

  •  Tomato juice

  •  Lemon or lime juice

  •  Mexican salsa

  •  Worcestershire sauce

For even more taste, add herbs and spices, such as gingerroot, dry mustard, and garlic.

CHOOSING COOKWARE

An easy way to eliminate oil from your cooking is to use pans coated with nonstick surfaces.  Acceptable materials for cookware include glass, glass coated with silicon (called Arcuisine), stainless steel, iron, nonstick-coated pans and bakeware (such as Dupont's Silverstone or Teflon), silicone-coated bakeware (such as Baker's Secret), solid silicone bakeware, and porcelain.  A light oiling when you first get a Teflon or Silverstone implement will help to prevent sticking.  Cast iron pans and woks should be oiled before they're first used and then "seasoned" by heating.

When buying cookware, pay particular attention to the surface of the pot on which your food will be cooked.  Cooking will cause your food to pick up molecules from the pot or utensil's surface, so choose your cookware carefully, and buy quality.   Aluminum cookware should be avoided because of the association between aluminum ingestion and Alzheimer's disease. 

Use parchment paper between the metal and your food when using cake pans, loaf pans, and baking sheets.  Parchment paper also keeps food from sticking to the surface of the pans.  It can be found in most grocery stores.  Parchment paper can also be used under (or over) aluminum foil to prevent the aluminum from coming in contact with the food.  Place a layer of parchment paper over the food in a baking dish, then cover with foil.  Turn the edges of the paper over the pan to hold in the steam. 

If vegetables stick while cooking in a pan or baking tray, allow them to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Once cool, they should loosen easily.  Cooling will also loosen muffins from the tins.

RECOMMENDED COOKWARE

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saucepan 2 qt. (stainless steel)

saucepan 3 qt. (stainless steel)

saucepan 4 qt. (stainless steel)

6 qt. stockpot (stainless steel)

8 qt. steamer/pasta cooker (stainless steel)

12 qt. stock pot (stainless steel)

griddle (nonstick coating)

large frying pan (nonstick coating)

electric wok (nonstick coating)

9 1/4 X 5 1/4 in. loaf pan (silicone coated or pure silicone)

9 X 13 X 2 in. oblong baking pan (silicone coated or glass)

8 X 8 X 2 square baking pan (silicone coated or glass)

muffin tin (silicone coated)

baking trays (silicone coated) or non-stick

2 qt. covered casserole dish (glass)

3 qt. covered casserole dish (glass)

6 qt. square covered casserole dish (glass)

9 X 13 oblong uncovered baking dishes (glass)

7 1/2 X 11 3/4 oblong uncovered baking dish (glass)

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