I find it tricky to bake with out eggs and butter. Yes, you can do it if you’ve adopted a no fat vegan lifestyle, but there is always a slightly different taste and texture to the final product. I’ve come to terms with this, but I’m still always on the lookout for new methods and products that better approximate baking done with traditional ingredients. I love this cake mix. It is fast, affordable and easy to make. It is wheat and dairy free. The package calls for eggs and oil, but I very successfully substitute 1 TBSP flax meal plus 2 TBSP water for each egg and the oil. I end up with a no fat or animal vanilla cake that can be dressed up in a hundred ways. It is a real convenience food for no fat vegans! You can find this with other Bob’s Red Mill products in most markets that have a natural food section.
If you are cooking vegan with no fat, you are probably always looking for new protein strategies. I love this product for two reasons. First, it is an ingredient that forms the protein foundation for many recipes, taking on the flavor of whatever you put it in. For example, it can be the basis of different ethnically flavored burgers, from French mushroom, to Spanish adobo, to Asian terriaki. You can really have fun playing with your protein. Another reason I love this stuff is that when I don’t have a big cooking project in mind, I can whip up something quick that may not have adequate dietary protein and add this on top. It has a great crunchy texture that enhances most vegetables and no real inherent flavor, so you can roast a potato, or saute some beets and just sprinkle this on for a full dose of protein. You can get this in any market now that has a natural foods section.
This is a fantastic convenience food, and one that meets the no-fat vegan guidelines of Dr. Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Frieda’s makes several flavors, including Sun-Dried Tomato & Garlic, Garlic & Basil, Mushroom & Onion, Green Chili & Cilantro, and Traditional. You can buy this product in local supermarkets here in the Pacific Northwest, and online at Amazon. It is worth a trip to Frieda’s own website, where they’ve got a nice searchable array of interesting new recipes that can be adapted for no oil, such as their Sauteed Vegetable Polenta which I’ve adapted for this blog. In any event, this is terrific stuff, and easy, affordable and convenient.
Today, I’m cleaning and reorganizing my pantry. My new no-fat vegan lifestyle requires some major changes in there! Away go the convenience foods that contain a formidable array of fats used in food manufacturing (oils of all types, lecithin, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated). It is stunning to realize that practically every baking mix, cracker, canned soup and salad dressing – virtually every single jar, bag or can in my pantry – contains fat. I am truly getting a sense of how the food industry’s manufacturing processes can contribute to heart disease and obesity without awareness on my part as the consumer.
Imagine my surprise and delight though, at the discovery of a jar of completely fat-free fruit-sweetened fudge sauce! I immediately went after it with a spoon, and (uh-0h) I’m in love. Wax Orchards is a local Washington company who makes 5 amazing flavors of fudge sauce, 4 beautiful fruit syrups, and a fruit-based sugar/honey substitute called Fruit Sweet. I’ll get back to you on the Fruit Sweet after I’ve had a chance to use it in some baking, but in the meantime, for your morning mocha, your evening berries, or anything you eat that would be enhanced by warm fudge (which is everything, right?) get yourself a jar of Wax Orchards Fudge Sauce.
I use meat substitute products infrequently, but there are a few excellent products on the market that I’ve found really enhance what I can produce in the kitchen. Fieldroast is a Seattle-based company that is now distributing their amazing products worldwide. Their Quarter Loaf is a great product for the Esselstyn lifestyle, because it has no fat in the recipe (most of their other products contain added fat). Quarter loaves come in 3 flavors: Smoked Tomato, Wild Mushroom, and Lentil Sage. Each one is a delicious combination of rich flavors and can really add interest to a soup or vegetable dish. Not inexpensive, but potent when sliced or chopped and used sparingly. I buy mine at several stores locally, including Whole Foods and Central Market.
If you are a no-fat vegan, and you are anything like me, you are eating constantly. I eat three meals a day, but often I snack in between. I love a good dip or salsa, and that requires a good sturdy chip or cracker. These crisps are really just a flattened pretzel, but unlike most of their standard cousins, contain no oil. If you know of a brand of pretzel that contains no oil, please let me know and I will feature it in this blog! Pretzel crisps come in several flavors, but only the Original and Everything types have no fat listed in their ingredients. I buy mine at Fred Meyer or Target here in Seattle.
I’ve been looking for a fresh local pita that contains no oil in the recipe. Basson is a local bakery in Lynnwood and I buy their delicious product at Costco. It is perfect as a dipper for hummus or pico de gallo, and for any other use where you need a firm bread.
It works beautifully on the grill over very low coals as the foundation for individual pizza. Try spreading each pita with a fresh or uncooked tomato sauce and sprinkle with broth-sauteed fennel root and red onion, chopped garlic, cherry tomatoes and chopped parsley. Slow grill with a nice lump wood charcoal until crisp and infused with smokey summer flavor!