Glorious One-Pot Meals Reader Question:
For health reasons, I am on a plant-based diet and I avoid oils, refined foods, and salt. I’d be thrilled to find a recipe for the pot that is consistent with my healthy lifestyle. What do you think? I eat veggies, fruits, beans, whole grains in limited amounts, nuts and seeds. I focus on getting as much nutrition per calorie as possible, which means daily intake of dark leafy greens like kale, collards, mustard greens… I use citrus juices and spices to make things tasty without salt. I don’t mind a little oil on the inside of the pot to keep things from sticking, but wouldn’t add any more than that. I think it would be interesting to try using greens for a base instead of grains. I use convenience foods like canned beans and tomatoes, but only if they have no added salt.
– Michelle from Bethesda, MD
That’s great that you are on a plant-based diet – congratulations!
A quick leaf through the Glorious One-Pot Meals cookbook brings up a number of recipes in the vegetarian section that you’d be able to follow pretty much as written (look at Aloo Gobi on p. 164, Curried Veggies on p. 170, and Turkish Eggplant on p. 189 for starters), and of course, every single recipe can be tailored to meet your (or any other!) dietary requirements.
You can always experience GOPM success when using parboiled brown rice instead of any of the white rices, too. Parboiled brown rice subs in perfectly for any white rice in recipes. It’s always your choice!
In terms of using greens as a base, check out the Fish Florentine recipe on p. 32 for the technique. Of course, you can use this technique with greens in any recipe, whether or not you choose to add fish. Your instinct for this is right on.
Personally, even though I try to use only organic canned goods like tomatoes and beans, I always rinse the beans before using them, to get rid of any extra preservatives left over from canning.
Even though I don’t like the added salt to canned foods, I do like to use a little sea salt on my food. Unlike table salt, sea salt contains 80+ trace minerals and other nutrients, won’t cause bloating or water retention or raise blood pressure. Your body needs some salt to maintain intracellular homeostasis, particularly if you are working out and sweating. It’s the sodium added to processed foods that is the problem, not natural salts.
Once you get the feel for your pot and how this techique works, I predict you’ll be off and freely layering your greens, veggies, and whole grains for your own delicious and unique meals. 🙂