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How to sauté veggies without oil

If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I eat nearly the same thing every day for lunch: a big bowl of rice, potatoes, or pasta with sautéed veggies, avocado and tomato. These veggie-packed bowls, full of healthy carbohydrates, are always oil-free.

I don’t use oil in my cooking at home because it’s very processed, high in calories (120 calories per tablespoon!) and low in nutrients. Plus, I’d rather taste the veggies instead of tasting the oil in a dish.

Cooking without oil is quick and easy. Skip the oil and use water or veggie broth instead. It’s that simple. You don’t need to worry about anything sticking to the pan, either. If veggies start to stick, add a splash of water or turn down the heat slightly. Stirring often also helps.

Here are some examples of my favourite oil-free meals. These meals are easy to prepare, healthy and filling. Kuba does all the prep and I do all the cooking. 😉

Here are some tips to help you create your own lunch bowls.

Choose your starch

Our typical lunch consists of rice, potatoes, or pasta with sautéed veggies. Brown, black, and jasmine rice are our favourites, but any rice will work fine. Regular pasta or gluten-free pasta are both tasty options. Lately, I prefer the texture of regular pasta. We usually pick up organic spaghetti or penne from Aldi. Couscous or quinoa would be good additions as well.

Choose your veggies

Our favourite veggies right now are mushrooms, carrots, sweet potato, bell peppers, and zucchini. Sometimes we add in onion, broccoli, or cabbage for a change. We don’t eat all of these veggies every single day because the pan would certainly overflow. Our veggie mix just depends on which veggies look the best at the frutería that day.

Choose your seasonings

Lately, I season our veggies with dried thyme, oregano, black pepper and tomato paste. Tomato paste is optional but it really adds a nice richness to the veggies. Sometimes I add in nutritional yeast but it seems to kill the tomato flavour. It does make a creamier sauce, though, and it’s still delicious!

You can use any seasonings or herbs you like. Try paprika, garlic, turmeric, curry powder…the possibilities are endless. And for sprinkling on your veggies after cooking, try chili flakes, black sesame seeds, or a dusting of nutritional yeast. Yum!

Salt is the only seasoning we don’t use. Veggies contain plenty of sodium on their own, so we don’t feel the need to add additional salt to our food. Excess sodium causes dehydration, water retention, and bloating, so we avoid salt as much as we can. That being said, we aren’t super strict about it as we snack on lightly salted corn cakes from time to time and most tomato pastes contain a small amount of salt as well.

Let’s get cooking!

In this video, I show you how I cook my typical lunch bowls of sautéed veggies and brown rice. My brown rice always ends up a bit sticky but never dry. If you’ve struggled to make it before, check this out!

Thanks for reading and watching. 🙂

What are some of your favourite go-to meals?

By Lisa

In Oct. 2014, I quit my job and started downsizing my life by selling and rehoming all my belongings. Even though I’ve moved around all my life, I officially left the States in Dec. 2015 and have been travelling abroad ever since. I hope to inspire you to simplify your life so you live with intention. I’m an avid writer, videography enthusiast, and a major foodie with a passion for sustainable living.

5 replies on “How to sauté veggies without oil”

Thank you, you are I life saver!
I’m 15 and giving the vegan life a try, your recipes have been a big help.

You’re so welcome! I’m glad you are giving veganism a try. You won’t regret it! 🙂

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