How to sauté veggies without oil ・create your own plant-based lunch bowls

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?

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Vegan sushi to start the weekend

Happy Friday! We started our weekend right with vegan sushi for dinner. I like making sushi at home because it’s cheap, healthy, and filling. It’s pretty easy to make one you get the hang of it. 😉

Homemade sushi is much cheaper than sushi at a restaurant. I buy 10-sheet packs of nori from Matthews in Dundee for £1.68. We also buy jasmine rice in a large 10-kilo bag from Matthews for around £14. An avocado costs around £1 and a large cucumber costs £0.70. I usually make 10 rolls at a time and use 2 cups of dry rice. The combined cost of all these supplies is £17.38. You’d easily pay more than that for 10 sushi rolls at a restaurant. And the best part is you still have 10-kilos of rice to make more sushi! A 10-kilo bag lasts us a month even if we use 2 cups of dry rice per day.

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Avocado and cucumber is my favourite combo. Carrots, bell peppers, and steamed beets are nice as well!

I’d like to think the sushi I make at home is healthier than sushi made at a restaurant because I know exactly what goes into it. My sushi rice is simply plain jasmine rice without oil, vinegar, salt or anything extra added. Not that these ingredients are unhealthy in small amounts, but I try to avoid them when I can. Sushi tastes great with only veggies and rice, so I don’t feel the need to add anything to it. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll whip up a dipping sauce made of tamarind concentrate, light soy sauce, coconut sugar, and lime juice.

Rice keeps me full for a while so sushi makes a perfect high carb meal. We already ate dinner but now I’m hungry for more!

If you’d like to learn how to make sushi at home, check out my video:

What’s your favourite sushi combo?

How to cook oatmeal on the stovetop

I’ve been having oatmeal almost every day for breakfast or lunch. It’s cheap, filling, and tasty. I also enjoy it because it allows me to be creative with plating. 😉

Making oatmeal on the stovetop is easy and only takes a few minutes. I use a ratio of one cup of oats to two cups of liquid. Lately, hemp milk has been my milk of choice but soy milk is nice too. I’ve made oatmeal with two cups of soy milk before but it was too rich for me. Instead, I use one cup of milk and one cup of water.

I heat up one cup of hemp milk and one cup of water in a large pot (or medium-sized pot, if you have one!) until it starts to steam. Then I add one cup of oats, turn down the heat a bit, and stir with a rubber spatula. I stir the oats only for a few minutes, just until they’ve absorbed most of the liquid. I transfer them into a bowl, let it cool slightly, and decorate it with my favourite toppings.

That’s all it takes! You can modify your oatmeal anyway you like. Try cooking it in other non-dairy milk or even a fruit smoothie. Stir in a scoop of jam or peanut butter into the milk as it warms. Throw in a handful of fresh or frozen berries into the milk as it warms or into the oatmeal once it’s cooked. Drizzle some agave syrup on top or sprinkle on some coconut flakes, chia seeds, or cocoa nibs. And don’t forget to decorate it with some sliced bananas or berries. 😉 The possibilities are endless!

Alternatively, if you don’t have time to whip up cooked oatmeal in the morning, try making overnight oats instead. The night before, set aside a cup of oats and your favourite non-dairy milk in a jar or sealable container. Let it sit in the fridge overnight. By morning, the oats will have softened after absorbing some of the milk. The amount of liquid you add depends on how creamy you want your oats to be. Overnight oats won’t absorb as much liquid as oats cooked on the stove top, so try using less than a 1:2 ratio of oats to water and see how you like it! Try adding some cinnamon, nutmeg, dried ginger, dried cranberries, or chia seeds into the jar. Yum!

Oats are so versatile and incredibly cheap! I buy a kilo bag of oats from Tesco (the cheapest bag they have!) for £0.75. These are just as delicious as the pricier varieties. 😉 I expect to get ~13 servings out of this kilo bag, so we’ll see if my math holds up. A litre of Good Food hemp milk costs £1.10 and gives me just over 4 servings. So each meal (not including my toppings) only costs around £0.34! And even with a few strawberries and banana slices on top, it’s still incredibly cheap.

Tag me in your oatmeal photos on Instagram if you’re oatmeal-obsessed like me. 😉

What are your favourite ways to eat oats?

I haven’t experimented with savoury oats yet. Have you?