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February 19th, 2011


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saikogrrl
09:05 pm - Fat Free Vegan Recipes?
Hey vegan peeps :)

Sooo, my dietitian has suggested (in the way that many do - follow my advice unless you want to be unhealthy) that I cut most of the fat from my diet. This means no cooking with oil, fat free desserts if I must, and minimal nuts and tofu/tempeh/soybean products. I'm totally down with the cutting out oil and minimising cakes etc, and I guess I don't eat that much soy anyway...

SO, what I'm asking is, what are people's favourite fat-free or very low fat recipes? I've been scouring the fatfreevegan blog site and found some nice ones, like Jamaican pumpkin soup, but just wondered what other people suggested? I'm especially stumped for snacks that aren't just veggie sticks or *more* fruit (supposed to eat at least 2-3 pieces per day)...

Thanks all!

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:kivrin_9
Date:February 19th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
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http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/11436?section= ("cheesy" kale chips)

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/10174?section= (open faced chutney and veggie sandwiches)

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/10172?section= (fruit and oat bars)

A quick foray into Vegetarian Times online produced those- and a lot else that looked awesome. I shill for them so much I should be on their payroll, I know.

I work in the alternative health industry, and I am not a dietitian (my mom is), and I feel I should mention something, though. You do need some fat. Not as much as most of us get, true, but it IS important. One of its more routine purposes is signaling your brain that you have, in fact, eaten. So low fat= tendency to eat much more. Also, I notice your list is asking you to cut out some serious amino acids, so I'd proceed with caution and maybe get a second opinion from somebody who's not a stranger on the interwebs. Sorry to be such a bummer.
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From:saikogrrl
Date:February 19th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I have seen other dietitians before, but the problem is this one is the only vegetarian specialist in Australia, and I have a feeling most others would be all skeptical about a vegan diet.
From:kivrin_9
Date:February 20th, 2011 06:20 am (UTC)
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So the problem, then, is that you can listen to this person give dubious advice or you can listen to anyone else probably tell you you're unhealthy BECAUSE you're a vegetarian, which is nonsense if you do it right. I see your dilemma, and will quit with the whole "but some fats are good!" thing.

My weight loss advice is only based on experience. When I became a vegetarian, I spent a few years as a starchivore. Carbs are not the devil but too much of just about anything can be, and I was at university at the time so I ate a lot of side dishes. So my "stranger on the internet so take it for what it's worth" advice, based on myself, is when in doubt eat a fruit; if you're hungry, drink something first, THEN find a snack; remember that a good vegetarian meal probably has LOTS of color in it, and if you want something bad enough you should probably go ahead and eat it once in a while since life should be fun- and stress itself causes weight gain.

Onto more of your initial question, though: what kinds of foods are you looking for? are those recipes I linked above the sorts of things you'd be interested in? If not, what would you like? I am drowning in cookbooks.
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From:summer_mommy
Date:February 19th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
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It seems to me that cutting most of the fat from your diet would be unhealthy? Especially if you cut healthy fats like good oils and nuts. Your body NEEDS fat to operate properly. How much fat does the dietitian say you should have?
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From:saikogrrl
Date:February 19th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Yeah I did feel she was a bit obsessed with it (even suggesting fat free soymilk, which I don't feel I need, because my rice milk is 99% fat free anyway), but I do take some of her points like if I do actually want to lose weight, things like oils and too many nuts etc are not my friend.

I'm going to try mostly following her advice for three weeks (habit breaking period) and see how I feel. Realistically, I doubt I could carry on a totally fat free diet long term, but maybe this will help me trim the unnecessary ones from my diet.
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From:saikogrrl
Date:February 19th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
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And the reason I'm willing to try this is that a regular vegan diet was not really helping me lose weight (and I am technically in the BMI obese range), so we'll see how this goes.
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From:mansikka
Date:February 19th, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
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I recommend the Engine 2 Diet, which is full of good recipes and is a good starting point for you to come up with your own oil-free vegan food ideas. Note, though, that (as the other commenters have pointed out, fat, to a certain degree, is important) oftentimes he'll call for for food that has fat in it naturally. Not to say that everything calls for half an avocado - but don't let that turn you off from tweaking as you see necessary.

Guessing you're not in the US, but good to know anyways - if you are near a Whole Foods, they've been rolling out, in some places, a wide variety of "vegan no oil" items on their prepared food bars, some of it quite tasty, really.
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From:saitenyo
Date:February 19th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
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I have to second the other concerns about cutting most fat from your diet. I am not a certified nutritionist but have been studying the subject for a few years now, and every logical argument I have read suggests that it is very important to have some fat in your diet.

I'd be really skeptical of any dietitian that claims you need to cut most fat, including good fats, from your diet. Perhaps you misinterpreted what they said? Were they saying cut out fatty foods like cakes and cookies? Or did they literally say cut out most/all foods that contain any kind of fat in them, including things like olive oil and avocados?

If they said the latter, I would strongly recommend getting a second opinion because I really have to question the logic behind this dietitian's advice. Even trained "qualified" medical professionals can be wrong.
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From:saikogrrl
Date:February 19th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
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She didn't say *never* have nuts or tofu or avocado, but that if I wanted to lose weight (which I need to, since my BMI is in the obese range), they are not my friend.

I did mention the "but don't we need some fats", and she suggested having flax seeds for their omega 3s.

I do see the point of no oils though, when extracted they lose most of their nutritional value...
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From:saitenyo
Date:February 20th, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)
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Honestly I feel the "cut out fats" methodology of losing weight is a bit outdated. Some people still ascribe to it, but it places too much emphasis on one nutrient and dismisses the fact that this nutrient is actually important to health. So cutting out too much of it can lead to health problems, and actually hinder weight loss progress if you're left too hungry all the time.

I lost 30 lbs about a year ago (over the course of 1-1 and 1/2 years) with limited exercise and still a healthy amount of fat in my diet. So I definitely do not think it's necessary to cut out all fats. I still ate things like cheese, milk, avocados, olives, and occasionally cooked in small amounts of olive oil.

The more recent discoveries in nutrition are suggesting highly processed foods may be responsible for a lot of obesity and diet-related health problems. I'm not sure what the level of processing in supermarket foods is like in Australia, but here in the US it's gotten pretty bad. I believe I recall reading of similar problems with commercial food in Australia.

The main things I did to lose weight were focusing on varied, whole-foods, especially vegetables. I limited carbs to mostly complex carbs (like whole grain bread vs. white bread) and tried to include veggies with every meal, as a large portion of each meal. I stuck to lean veggie-based proteins like beans, with the occasional dairy and eggs, and kept my fats mostly to beneficial ones like avocados, olives, seeds, basically anything containing mono- and poly- unsaturated fats vs. saturated fats or trans fats (which is a type of unsaturated fat, but one found to have significant health risks, so not necessarily a good replacement for saturated fats). I homecook a lot of my food, and what few processed foods I do buy, I purchase from a store we have around here called Trader Joe's which specializes in foods that don't use artificial preservatives, or as many processed fillers.

There's a book I found profoundly helpful in understanding nutrition, the current state of the food industry, the effect processed vs. whole foods have on our bodies, and the best tactics in designing a healthy. vegetable-focused diet, if you're interested. I highly recommend it: http://www.amazon.com/Defense-Food-Eaters-Manifesto/dp/B004J8HUDY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298164814&sr=8-1

This is another by the same author that I have not personally read, but from what I've heard, it's basically a condensed, simplified version of the above book, focusing mainly on helpful guidelines for healthy eating, if you want something that gets straight to the point: http://www.amazon.com/Food-Rules-Eaters-Michael-Pollan/dp/014311638X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1298164814&sr=8-2
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From:p1nk5pider
Date:February 20th, 2011 08:23 am (UTC)
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Just re-voicing all the concerns about cutting most of the fat from your diet. Cutting things with added fat and oils, and cutting things high in saturated fats like cheese and butter (which, being vegan, won't be in your diet anyway) would be beneficial. But avoiding things like avocados and nuts because they contain fat (the good fats that your body needs) is depriving you of some really good nutrients that your body needs, like the protein and iron from nuts that you'd otherwise be lacking in a strict vegan diet. Avoiding refined foods, foods with added sugars/fat, and processed food in general, and eating a good variety of whole foods to ensure you're not deficient in any vitamins or minerals, and trying to maintain a fairly active lifestyle, would be most beneficial to your health than just avoiding fats altogether.
Saitenyo above has many good points too.

Buuuut, to answer your initial question, here's a really easy recipe i make often: http://theangryveggie.blogspot.com/2009/08/black-bean-soup.html
Can't say it's 100% fat-free, but if anything it's very low fat (the beans i think have 0.5g of fat a serving..) And very delicious! :)
And you can make really delicious vegan pita pizzas that would be pretty low fat- just buy some whole-wheat pitas for your crust, then spread pasta sauce on top (preferably an all-natural one with no added sugars) and top with thinly sliced onions, veggies, and minced garlic and pop it under the broiler for a couple minutes until it's crisp. :)
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From:dextra
Date:February 20th, 2011 10:49 am (UTC)
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vegan chili:
-put some kind of product into your pot that will prevent the ingredients from sticking. 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil is fine (and gets lost in the rest of the recipe)
-over medium heat fry up some diced onion until starting to soften then add grated carrots and garlic and keep stirring
-add some soaked or canned beans (i prefer red kidney, but black are good too), corn kernels, tinned diced tomatoes* and spices
-spices: i've been grooving a tex-mex spice given to me, brown sugar and cinnamon to make a sweet, cinnamon chili akin to what i tasted in the american mid-west years ago. my hubby prefers a more savoury chili with no sugar, piri-piri, and cilantro
-simmer away for awhile until all cooked down.

*you may want to add some tomato paste and extra liquid: i always keep some home-made vegetable stock in the fridge, and this works well.
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From:dextra
Date:February 20th, 2011 10:51 am (UTC)
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ps- i went to see a holistic nutritionist for a few months, and my conclusion was that while the science behind a lot of what she was saying was bunk, the act of making a drastic change and sticking to it for a month was beneficial for me. it forced me to be more mindful of what i was eating, and broke me of some bad habits.

pps- "if it's white, don't bite" has worked wonders for me. never eat anything with processed flour, white rice, potatoes, or white sugar. very healthy for a diabetic diet, btw.

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