There are several vegan advocates who also advocate for a low-fat, largely oil-free diet, such as Happy Herbivore, the folks at Forks Over Knives, and Engine2 Diet. While I have not tried to cut out oil completely, I have played around with eliminating it from some dishes and realized it is surprisingly easy. Matt complains that sauteing onions in water instead of oil smells bad, but he hasn’t said that it affects the taste at all. And I haven’t been able to tell the difference in either smell or taste.
My primary way of making greens used to be sauteed. Here is a way to saute the greens in water — which is basically like steaming them but with less dishes. Don’t expect to enjoy these greens by themselves; they will be too bland. Serve them under a high flavor dish such as roasted delicata squash, roasted vegetables, chili or other stew, a curried dish, etc.
- 1/2-1 lbs mixed greens such as kale, chard, spinach and arugula (or, just one type of green — although arugula by itself may be too strong), torn/chopped and rinsed clean
- 1-2 teaspoons chopped or minced garlic (approximate – a few cloves would work fine)
- 2-3 teaspoons capers (optional – it adds a nice salty flavor)
- 1/4-1/3 cup water
- pinch of chili powder (optional)
- salt/pepper to taste
- Using a medium to large saucepan or saute pan that has a lid, heat the water at medium-high heat (A little higher heat than you heat olive oil or other saute oil)
- Add the garlic and capers, stir and cook for a couple minutes
- Add the greens, stir around (using tongs, ideally), then cover with the lid. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. This is important for getting rid of the bitterness in greens like kale.
- Uncover and season with salt, pepper and chili powder if using. Cook for about 3-5 minutes more, or longer, until only a little water is left in the pan.
- Serve by mixing with a high flavor dish such as roasted delicata squash, roasted vegetables, chili or other stew, a curried dish, etc.