Fat Free Cooking

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Hello folks, I'm hoping I can get some help on this.  Hubby has gallstones and is scheduled for surgery to remove his gallbladder in a few weeks.  Until then he has to eat a completely fat free diet.  Lean meats, no oils, no butters, only fat free dairy, he can't even eat an egg yolk.  I have no clue how to cook like this so basically we're doing a lot of steamed rice, steamed veggies and poached chicken breast.  Some ideas could really help easy the rigidity of this diet.
 
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First thing that comes to mind are a few hundred soup recipes....

My other question is if cooking spray is okay or not.

And may DH have a speedy recovery.
 
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Thanks, I did make an oil free lentil soup but he didn't like it.  We've been told that margarine is ok but he and I both have turned our nose up at that.  I"m sure we'll cave in eventually.
 
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I'm confused. Margarine is ok? So does that mean that some vegetable fats are okay? When you said fat free I took it to mean all fats.

Gee, if vegetable fats are allowed then that opens up plenty of possibilities.
 
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do you have a wok?  the chinese style stir-fry I make usually uses a tablespoon of oil for 6 or 8 servings.  or put just enough oil in pan to keep stuff from sticking then steam/simmer with flavored stock.  ex.: 1/2 cup stock  1 teaspoon dark soy  1 teaspoon Hoisin sauce  hot sauce to taste if you like.   
 
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I'd get a second opinion on the whole thing. Margarine is one molecule away from plastic and isn't the "improvement" over butter that it was claimed to be years ago.  I suppose because it's not technically a fat that the gallbladder doesn't come into play during digestion. 

As for cuisine, I'd start with seasoning the food more with fresh herbs, lemon juice, etc. At least you'll get some flavor. 

     Not that I need to know any of your husbands health concerns, but I'm very skeptical when the doctors' recommendation is surgery, especially weeks away. So not exactly life threatening? Any chance a different doctor would have different answer for his condition? 
 
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For the past few years I've been cooking for people with special diets. So for me just knowing what the parameters are is the big thing.

After that? I just see the potential, I guess. ;) I have no problem cooking for your hubby once I have a list of likes/dislikes/diet/allergy/any other pertinent info....but.... you have to be straight with me as to all of this and no 'editing food' b/c you chose not to share a minor dislike of (fill in the blank) or a special condition. After that? Its easy. :D
 
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Hello folks, I'm hoping I can get some help on this.  Hubby has gallstones and is scheduled for surgery to remove his gallbladder in a few weeks.  Until then he has to eat a completely fat free diet.  Lean meats, no oils, no butters, only fat free dairy, he can't even eat an egg yolk.  I have no clue how to cook like this so basically we're doing a lot of steamed rice, steamed veggies and poached chicken breast.  Some ideas could really help easy the rigidity of this diet.
There are fat free ideas in Asian cooking. Their salad dressing is often a mix of an acid and a sugar. For example Fish sauce (wait, is that too fatty?), lime juice, garlic, chili, palm sugar. 

Also they often serve a bowl of rice or rice-noodles with quick pickles (daikon and carrots marinated in vinegar+sugar), raw herbs (cilantro, scallions, cucumber, bean sprouts, mint, basil, chilis...) and grilled lean meats that once again were marinated in acid+sugar. I find it very satisfying. A few crushed peanuts for crunch, if that's not too fatty? 

  
 
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There are fat free ideas in Asian cooking. Their salad dressing is often a mix of an acid and a sugar. For example Fish sauce (wait, is that too fatty?), lime juice, garlic, chili, palm sugar. 

Also they often serve a bowl of rice or rice-noodles with quick pickles (daikon and carrots marinated in vinegar+sugar), raw herbs (cilantro, scallions, cucumber, bean sprouts, mint, basil, chilis...) and grilled lean meats that once again were marinated in acid+sugar. I find it very satisfying. A few crushed peanuts for crunch, if that's not too fatty? 

  
The peanuts are too fatty but yes, this is helpful.  I'll give it a try.
 
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do you have a wok?  the chinese style stir-fry I make usually uses a tablespoon of oil for 6 or 8 servings.  or put just enough oil in pan to keep stuff from sticking then steam/simmer with flavored stock.  ex.: 1/2 cup stock  1 teaspoon dark soy  1 teaspoon Hoisin sauce  hot sauce to taste if you like.   
No oil is permitted, not even the most teensiest amount.  But I am sauteeing with water and find that it's going ok in a nonstick pan.
 
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I'd get a second opinion on the whole thing. Margarine is one molecule away from plastic and isn't the "improvement" over butter that it was claimed to be years ago.  I suppose because it's not technically a fat that the gallbladder doesn't come into play during digestion. 

As for cuisine, I'd start with seasoning the food more with fresh herbs, lemon juice, etc. At least you'll get some flavor. 

     Not that I need to know any of your husbands health concerns, but I'm very skeptical when the doctors' recommendation is surgery, especially weeks away. So not exactly life threatening? Any chance a different doctor would have different answer for his condition? 
Unfortunately no, all tests are conclusive and we've seen a couple of doctors.  We are however trying very hard to move the surgery up sooner.

I agree with you about the margarine, I don't understand why it would be ok and we're avoiding it so far.  Hubby's just getting really sick of rice and poached chicken.

I did make some oven fries for him which he enjoyed.  I sliced up the potatoes and drizzled touch of oil and seasoned thoroughly.  It turns out that even a little bit of oil can't be used moving forward though.  

I'd like to steam some fingerlings for him but I don't know how to dress them beyond that.  I was also thinking of cooking a corned beef, it's boiled meat so it can't be so bad if he removes the obvious fat from the top right?  He's nervous about it though.  
 
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The suggestion by French Fries is a good one. Asian cuisines in general rely on much less fat, especially, in my experience, Thai and Vietnamese. 

Would pasta be acceptable? It's made with egg yolk but everyone always complains about the carbs so that has me wondering. 

If you can, find some local, homemade sauerkraut. Probiotic and tasty with no fat. My most recent batch came out well and is destined to be several Christmas gifts. 

Mustards are a good seasoning for various things. 

If you haven't already, wander the aisles of the local market. There might be pre made items that could add some variety. I don't know how many alternative names there are for fat listed in the ingredients but worth a look. 
 
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Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes to snack on. If you've got an ethnic market near you that gives some diversity in the types and flavors of sweet potatoes that can be rotated for variety. I do a spicy small-medium diced potatoes (Yukon Golds add a nice amount of sweet to the taste) snack that's just baked and tossed with salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder, other red powders etc., no added oils

Saw above that you're doing a saute with water, was going to say that there's 'steam frying' (not sure if it's functionally the same as what you are doing).

Steel cut oats for breakfast w/ nutmeg, maple syrup, and fruit.
 

pete

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Big bowls of Udon come to mind immediately as do other Asian style clear soups and noodle bowls.  We make a lot of Dashi around our house.  If you have an Asian grocery near by, the ingredients are easy to come by and it is simple to make.  There are a couple of recipes here on Chef Talk.
[article="27176"]Dashi  [/article][article="29155"]Udon Noodle Soup  [/article]
The nice thing is, they are pretty variable by adding different vegetables, noodles, meats, etc.  You can also use the dashi, or de-fatted chicken stock as a base for some Thai inspired soups, flavoring them with curry pastes and adding all sorts of vegetables and/or seafood or chicken.  They even make a great breakfast. I could definitely survive a couple of weeks on these types of dishes before I started to really crave fatty foods once again.
 
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I would definitely look Asian. I am reading a book about Chinese techniques at the moment and there is a fair bit about steamed food in there.

Someone here recommended this book a while ago. Can't remember who though.... It might have been @phatch

It's called "Phoenix claws and Jade tree". Might be worth getting your hands onto

Something else to look at is grilling/bbq-ing.

If you have a charcoal bbq, you can throw potatoes in the embers, either just as they are, or wrapped in foil. REd and yellow peppers can also go in the embers, peel afterwards, dress with balsemic vinegar and eat as is

You won't need fat for grilling meat. You can also grill things like eggplant, corn etc.

And maybe you can do some stove top smoking?

Line a wok with aluminium foil, put some wood chips in the wok (or even tealeaves), put a trivet or whatever inside the wok and a plate with fish or chicken or steak and put on the fire. When you see some smoke coming, close the lid.

Fish will cook easy this way, especially fillets. Steak will look a bit grey, so you might want to sear it afterwards (bbq/ griddle pan?). Chicken will work best when thinly sliced, otherwise it may not cook through.

You can soak wood chips in water and then you use a combination of steaming and smoking (in that case don't wait for smoke before you close the lid)

A nice marinade would be ginger, garlic, chili and soy.

Hope this helps somewhat and good luck !
 
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P pete we're looking into making dashi, heading out to a Japanese market tomorrow. Thanks!

butzy butzy I got hubby a rotisserie attachment for his Weber grill and we want to cook something out soon. A chicken perhaps to start with. Good idea.
 
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Update: Hubby is still plodding through this impossible dietary restriction but he's making the best of it.  He's taking a leading role in the kitchen and coming up with interesting things and I'm helping, advising, and putting finishing touches on his dishes.  Here are a couple of highlights.  These dishes use proteins that are extremely low fat, and there is no oil at all in the preparation.

Poached cod, root veg, vegetable broth with lemongrass, ginger, turmeric.


Turkey burger made with garlic, sage, parsley and scallion.  Grilled in a dry non-stick pan, with a little water to help with the cooking. Topped with onions, tomato, alfalfa sprouts.

 

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