I was so used to adding olive oil to my pan before cooking and roasting veggies, that I freaked out a little. I thought my food would just be mushy, flavorless, and gross! But after I learned how to water sauté my veggies, I realized that I didn’t need oil as long as I used my non-stick pans. I realized how much unnecessary oil I was using to cook with.
For roasting, I either used my silicone Silpat mat or parchment paper to prevent sticking, or I cooked things whole, like sweet potatoes. If I wanted a crispier texture, I used my air fryer – it was great for potatoes and tofu! I also did a lot of steamed veggies.
As for sauces and dressings, I gave up my creamy sesame salad dressing and used a really good balsamic vinegar coupled with fresh fruit like sliced strawberries, grapes, or blueberries. Or sometimes I used salsa, which sounds weird, but is amazing with a green salad that has corn, tomatoes, and black beans. When reading labels, I realized how oil is added to everything like tomato sauce, hummus, veggie broth, some plant milks, cereal, and bread. So I just had to spend a little extra time grocery shopping to find oil-free versions. I definitely ended up buying less packaged foods!
Going oil-free also inspired me to get crafty in the kitchen. This was the first time I made my own tomato sauce (with tomatoes and basil from the garden!), refried beans, oil-free hummus, and my baking recipes also got an oil-free makeover (thank you, applesauce!).
After a couple weeks, I had new recipes and products down and eating oil-free was much easier. I will say that I randomly had the urge for vegan butter on toast, but I was equally enjoying crunchy peanut butter or smashed avocado. My tastes definitely changed over the course of those six weeks.