Brooklyn Farm Share Recipes 2 – Oil Freedom

Nov 3, 2011

Oil Freedom
(How to kick the fried habit and get the benefits from plant -based oils)
by rachel bolden-kramer

I am a Micky D’s French fry fiend in recovery.  This addiction dates back to the 80s when my family found it oh so cheap and convenient to feed us on fast food.  The feeling of comfort and satiation from cooked oils has stayed with me into adulthood.  I even own a deep fryer, especially purchased for my tostones (fried green plantain) obsecion.  But since embarking on a culinary healing journey and starting a business in universal wellness (nutrition, yoga, trauma awareness), I’ve had to face my fry demons.

It’s only natural for us to enjoy fried foods.  Our human tongue is predisposed to seek and enjoy fats, sugars, and salts, the primary ingredients of a fried potato!  However, there are a number of good reasons to remove cooked oils from the diet.  First, reducing the amount of animal fats (butter, cheese) is a sure way to decrease bad cholesterol.  And second, consuming plant-based oils that have not been heated and otherwise chemically changed, introduces myriad essential fatty acids (EFAs) that protect our cardiovascular health, not to mention boost brain function.  Additionally, including good plant-based oils in the diet is one strategy for targeting chronic illnesses, since EFAs reduce inflammation, the primary cause of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, menstrual pain, and obesity.  Just remember that even good oils can become bad when heated and reheated, and when rancid.

Here are my oil-free recipes from the past two weeks shares:

Chili Garlic Collards (oil-free)
1 bunch organic collards
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ onion chopped
2+ tablespoons low sodium vegetable broth
½ teaspoon chili garlic sauc or ½ teaspoon chili flakes or 1 dried red chili
pinch sea salt
Braggs liquid aminos, soy/tamari sauce to taste

De-stem collards, stack leaves in same direction, roll up, cut ½ inch pieces off the roll so that you end up with long strips.  Chiffonade, tada!

Toss strips into rapidly boiling water and blanche for a couple minutes until bright green.  You can optionally refresh the chiffonade by straining the greens from the boiling water and bathing them in ice water, but sometimes time and space in the kitchen is limited….

Heat skillet, add chopped onions, veg broth, and cook until soft or translucent.

Add garlic and cook briefly.

Add blanched collards, additional veg broth, and chili garlic sauce.  Sautee briefly, until desired consistency is reached.

Note:  Blanching should soften the leaves and maintain most vital nutrients.  The shorter the leaves are cooked in the sauté, the more nutritious they are.  The end product should be juicy and slightly crisp, yet easy to chew.

Turn off heat, finish with Braggs/soy sauce/tamari.


Salad of the Season – Ensalada Califas

From “Evolution of Salad as a Meal” in My Food Stamps Cookbook by rachel bolden-kramer

2 hearts of romaine or 1 romaine head, chopped
½ – 1 red pepper
handful of cilantro leaves
1 medium onion chopped
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
2 tomatillos, chopped
sprinkle of sea salt
fresh juice of ½ lemon
1 large ripe avocado, chopped
bed of arugula and radish slices for garnish (inspired by CBCSA)

Toss all ingredients and mix until avocado becomes creamy and less chunky (alternately, mash avocado with lemon juice and add to salad after tossed). Serve with arugula and radish garnish.  You can optionally add a tablespoon of cold-pressed grapeseed oil for more EFAs if desired.

4 regular servings, or two Salad Meals

Oil-free Root Hash

Like home fries without the fry, this recipe works for any root veggie.

Preheat oven to 425.  Thinly chop turnips, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes.  Toss in favorite seasoning (I’ve tried Spike, Adobo, curry, Italian herbs, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper, etc).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Distribute veggies evenly across sheet  Bake for around 20-40 minutes, taking a peek every 10-15 min.  Remove from oven and flip veggies with spatula half-way through for even cooking.   Note:  Thinner slices make crispier hash.  Experiment!

How to Avoid Cooked Oils

  • Water, or any liquid, will keep your food from sticking to the pan when “frying.”  Try veggie broth.
  • Applesauce can be substituted for butter and oil in baked goods.

How to Get Good Oils

  • Avocado chopped or blended in a dressing will give your salad a decadent buttery richness.
  • Olives in salads and other recipes donate fabulous richness and can reduce the need to add salt.
  • Raw nuts (not roasted in oil, check the labels!) are packed with EFAs.  I have a number of sauces and dressing recipes that use raw nut butters of almond, cashew, and sesame.
  • Coconut is creamy and delicious, and no longer considered a dangerous oil.
  • Try Earth Balance soy-free spread for a familiar buttery taste when the craving arises.

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