Since we’ve been home social distancing for the Coronavirus outbreak, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. A LOT. It makes me so happy trying out new recipes in the kitchen, especially when they’re healthy and made from mostly pantry staples. I’m trying to ration our fresh vegetables and fruits so they last as long as possible. Luckily we bought 4 Costco sized bags of potatoes before going into isolation (russet, sweet, yukon and fingerling) as well as a giant bag of onions. So I made this tasty Potato Breakfast Hash the other morning. It made enough to stretch for a couple mornings. You could also put it into a burrito with rice and beans and make a breakfast burrito.
You may be wondering why I cooked the potatoes in vegetable broth rather than in oil. Well, I watched the movie Forks Over Knives recently and it, along with additional follow on research I did elsewhere, convinced me to try changing my diet to be plant based and oil free. If you’ve spent much time on my blog, you know I developed hypertension at a relatively young age with a relatively healthy lifestyle. There is a TON of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and all kinds of chronic disease in my family. I feel like the high blood pressure is my body’s way of warning me that I didn’t hit the genetic lottery in this department and that I better take my lifestyle choices seriously.
So my husband and I decided to give the diet a try for 21 days. I was pretty apprehensive about giving up meat and dairy. Even though I have been cooking whole food, nutrient dense, often vegetarian and diary free, there is a big difference between a little meat and dairy and NO meat and dairy. But strangely enough I found after I started that I really didn’t miss it. I realized that I really like vegetables. And I’ve gotten pretty excited about finding new ways to cook them. My daughter jokes with me that I read cookbooks like they’re novels. It’s true! I love how they transport me to far away places for (kitchen) adventures unknown.
Anyway, cooking without oil takes a little getting used to. When baking, parchment paper is the go-to cheat. And when sauteing, a little vegetable broth is. You can even freeze broth in an ice cube tray so you have a bag of broth cubes handy any time you only need a wee bit. While it is true that things don’t really crisp up as much on the outside the way they would with a nice coating of oil, it’s a trade off I’m willing to make for the sake of heart health.