Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Great Strategy: Healthy Water Sauteing

Yesterday I blogged about hearing Dr. and Mrs. Esselstyn speak about the dramatic impact that nutrition has on our health.  My friend and I left the lecture feeling like we had picked up some really big "nuggets" that we could incorporate into our everyday lives. "Nuggets" is the term we like to use when we get hit over the head with some new information that we know right then and there is going to change the way we do things.

The idea of using a liquid (any liquid, be it broth, water, wine, juice) to saute with instead of oil is something that I have to admit I have been exposed to. But I never tried it until yesterday because up until I heard the Esselstyn lecture, I was under the impression that olive oil was good for my health. So even though oil adds an inordinate number of calories to any dish you are making, I thought I needed the oil, or at the very least, it wasn't hurting me and, well, it did taste good.

But doesn't olive oil lower your cholesterol? Only when substituted for unhealthy fats, such as butter, hydrogenated oils (Crisco), and palm oil, olive oil can lower your cholesterol levels. It is false to say that olive oil lowers your cholesterol level; it just doesn't raise it as much.

Wow, that's REALLY different than "olive oil lowers your cholesterol." It just doesn't raise it as much as other oils. So really, all oil raises your cholesterol.

After hearing the Esselstyn lecture, I decided it was time to give water sauteing a try. The following is the Water Saute method as described on the Whole Foods website:

"We usually start with onions in our Healthy Sauté because they release their own oil, allowing them to be sautéed without adding any oil. The little bit of liquid we start with gives the onions a chance to start releasing. By the time they start releasing, the liquid is usually cooked off, so you get a great sautéed flavor.

Don't worry if your onions start to stick to the pan. Just keep stirring, and when you add liquid to your pan, it will release what little is stuck to the pan. This actually adds extra flavor to your dish. If the onions look like they are burning, simply turn the heat down and continue to cook.

How To Healthy Sauté

Start your Healthy Sauté by heating 1 to 2 TBS of broth in a stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Once the broth begins to bubble, add onions and sauté stirring frequently. After the onions have cooked for about 5 minutes, you can then add other ingredients, such as garlic or fresh ginger. Once they have had a chance to cook together for just another minuteor two, add other vegetables. This method enables you to have flavorful sautéed vegetables without heating oil."

For the full article on healthy sauteing, go here:

I have to report that the method was a success.  I made the Caribbean Black Beans with Mango Salsa over Brown Rice for dinner last night, straight out of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, so I cannot reprint the recipes here.

You will have to get the book to get the recipes. It's so worth it as the book is full of really quick and easy dishes that fit all of the Healthy Girl's Kitchen requirements. It's like a goldmine of recipes for us. And if you purchase the book through the link below, part of the profts go toward supporting Healthy Girl's Kitchen!

And please, if you haven't voted for me, Wendy Solganik, as the best mommy food blogger on or if you can vote again, here is the link:
Much appreciated!


Anonymous said...

Love your blog, just linked to it from Dr. Fuhrman's, Disease Proof. Keep up the fantastic work!

Wendy said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful compliment!

The Blissful Chef said...

Water saute is awesome and great for approaching warmer weather. I just did a cooking video on how to water saute which I will post tomorrow on You Tube.

Wendy said...

That's so great Blissful Chef--I will put your YouTube video up on my blog if you are up for it. BTW, I used to live all over West
LA and I was a potter for years at The Clay House in Santa Monica. Are there any raw restaurants cropping up in Santa Monica?

Claudia said...

Thanks for the tip -- I got the book you mentioned and made this exact same recipe and it was delicious!

Olivia Lane said...

Awesome! I had no idea what this was or how to do it. Google lead me here, now my question is answered and I have discovered a great new blog. Yay! Thanks.

Lou said...

Thank you for this post. I'm trying water sautéing right now.

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