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!
I keep looking for convenience foods that are vegan and also completely free of oils. For the category of crackers and snacks, there are shockingly few products available when I get the munchies. I love JJ Flats Everything crackers because they are a good all around dipper with enough body to hold a chunky salsa, but also just the right amount of flavor to enhance a dip or eat plain. FYI, depending on where you look on the internet, there are different ingredient lists published for this product. I go by the actual packaging, which indicates no oil used in production. I get mine locally at Fred Meyer.
I often use fruit to sweeten my desserts and breads. Hey, it is no-fat and it’s vegan! One of my best fruit friends is St. Dalfour. The company makes a variety of nice fruit spreads and conserves. Their many flavors have inspired a number of new recipes in my kitchen. Today I want to highlight the orange marmalade! With its sunny flavor and fruity texture, it makes a great foundation for several of my staple no-fat vegan treats, including my own version of Aussie Bites, as well as a beautiful vanilla-orange mousse that can be finished with a marmalade glaze. St. Dalfour uses only grape juice concentrate for sweetening, with a bit of lemon juice and fruit pectin. The result is a bright, juicy spoonful of sweetness to go with your morning toast and french press, or to inspire your new culinary effort of the day! I get mine at Whole Foods, but some Walmarts also carry it.
St. Dalfour Orange Marmalade
Grilling vegetables is a delicate business. I want my no-fat vegan dishes to taste great and when it comes to charcoal, I don’t want any chemicals infused into my nutrition or the flavor of my precious veggies. I’ve used a number of hardwood products from chips to pellets to lump charcoal. This product burns clean and fast, which works well for short-grill-time veggies of all types. I buy it at Fred Meyer in Seattle, and I believe you can also get it at Sam’s Club.