Breading for a Starch Meal
Try not to fry, instead brush or spray a cookie sheet with oil and “oven fry”. It’s important to use a flat sheet or cookie sheet rather than a pan with high sides, otherwise your food will bake, not “fry”. Even better, place a cooling rack inside a roasting pan. Spray rack with oil and place your food on the rack before baking.
- whole grain bread, crumbed in a blender or food processor
- whole grain flour
- For a thicker coating dip food in nondairy milk, veggie broth, or any other liquid (even water) before dredging.
These substitutions don’t work well for cookies, but are great for cookie bars, cakes and other baked goods. Since I don’t eat eggs very often I keep a couple cartons of frozen egg white in the freezer to use when baking.
- Two egg whites for one whole egg.
- Replace white flour with sifted whole grain flour for a Starch Meal, using 1/4 less than the recipe calls for.
- Replace sugar with Stevia , Splenda, Truvia, honey, agave nectar, pure maple syrup, pr any other unrefined sugar. You’ll have to experiment with the amount that will satisfy you and work with your recipe.
- Substitute cocoa powder and unsweetened or bittersweet (bittersweet does have some sugar though) chocolate wherever you can. Adjust the sweetener to compensate for the loss of sugar that would have been in the semi-sweet or milk chocolate.
Crusts for a dessert
- For a pastry crust use a whole wheat pastry crust. If you’ve got the time you could make whole wheat tortillas, adding in some ground nuts, flavoring extract and acceptable sweetener and use those in place of a pastry crust. Another idea would be to use a crumb crust, using store bought or home made natural cookies, instead of a pastry crust.
Crusts for an entree
- For a pastry crust use a whole wheat pastry crust. If you don’t have a recipe for one I’ll be publishing one on the Starch Recipes page sometime in the near future.
- Whole wheat tortillas.
- For a crumb crust make sure that the crumb mixture consists of whole grains or ground nuts.
Use the chart below to choose a potato that’s lower in starch. Keep in mind though that a potato’s starch content determines the best way to use it. The rule of thumb: the more starch a potato has, the less moisture it contains, which results in a fluffier texture when cooked. Note: new potatoes (which are often red potatoes) can be any type of potato that’s been picked before it matures. They have the same starch content of the mature potato.
I buy mostly low starch potatoes and use them in place of the more traditional Russet or Baking potatoes. They cost a little more, but what would you pay to lose a pound?
Diced or chopped: For the most part, as long as your serving this recipe with a Starch meal, (not a Protein meal) it’s okay to leave the potatoes in. However if you’ve had a lot of potato in your diet lately you may want to use one of the following substitutes:
- cauliflower is the most direct substitute for potatoes and one you can always count on.
- green beans
Pureed: Use cauliflower instead of potatoes.
Mashed Potato Crust or Topping
- mashed cauliflower
- whole grain biscuit dough
- brown or wild rice crust
- whole grain pastry dough
Here are some breads you can purchase:
- Ezekiel bread (made with sprouted grains
- whole wheat pita bread
- whole wheat tortillas (Since fat free whole wheat tortillas are difficult to find and generally taste horrible, I’ve included a very simple recipe.)
- Whole wheat lavosh. These are fat free and taste great. Many supermarkets carry them, and almost every health food store I’ve shopped at. Very cheap, very big, excellent for wraps. I use these in place of tortillas all the time.
- Whole grain naan.
Fat Free Whole Wheat Tortillas
You won’t miss the fat in this recipe, and they’re so easy to make. A really fun family project. You mix up the dough, and divide it. Then let one family member roll out the tortillas, another cook them, another fill them, another roll them, another stack them in a baking pan to keep in a warm oven. Because making tortillas will coats my kitchen with a flour residue I always make as many as I can at a time and freeze or refrigerate the leftovers.
- whole wheat flour
- salt to taste
- optional: herbs fresh herbs are best, but if you don’t have them use dried, just in lesser quantities: basil, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, sage, minced garlic, minced dried tomatoes, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, finely minced citrus zest … You might also want to try mixing a little flavoring extract into the water especially if you’re making a dessert tortilla. Vanilla, rum, coconut, chocolate, or orange extracts go great with cinnamon and/or citrus zest. I haven’t yet tried using flavoring for non-dessert tortillas but I’d like to try tequila, vodka, maybe even wine. Don’t worry about the alcohol, it burns off when you cook the tortillas. If you try it, please e-mail me with details of your experience.
Mix the flour with enough water to form a stiff, but workable dough. Cover dough and let rest for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate and proceed the next day. Cut dough into equal sized pieces, depending on how large you want your tortillas. On a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll each dough ball into a thin tortilla. Heat griddle or heavy pan. Place first tortilla in pan and let it cook while you roll out the next tortilla. When the tortilla bubbles on the top and has small brown dots on the underside, turn it over. It will cook very quickly on the second side. Continue cooking and rolling until all of your dough is used.
Fat-Free Whole Wheat Bread
Stir 2 packages yeast into 2 cups warm (not hot) water and 1 cup low-fat or non-fat rice or nut milk. Allow 3-4 minutes for yeast to dissolve, then add 1 tablespoon salt, 1/4 cup date or maple sugar and 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, and any of the optional ingredients below. Knead for 2 minutes, adding a bit more flour to keep the dough from being too sticky. If using a food processor mix ingredients in processor, knead for 10 seconds. Let rest for 10 minutes. Add another cup of flour, kneading the dough for 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to keep dough from being too sticky. Using food processor mix for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until dough is elastic. At this point you can either continue to make the bread or freeze all or half of it. If you’re using frozen dough, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight, then proceed. Oil the bowl, place a towel or plate over it and set to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Or you can set the oven to warm, turn off, and place dough bowl in oven, uncovered. Punch down the dough. You now may add anything from the list below. Divide the dough in half and place in nonstick or lightly oiled loaf pan. Cover with towel or oiled saran wrap and let rise 1 hour. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes until browned and sounds slightly hollow when you thump the bottom of the loaf. Let it cool on a rack or towel before slicing.
You may add at least 1 cup and up to 2 cups of any of the wonderful ingredients below:
- green or black olives (don’t bother slicing them, but make sure they’re pitted!)
- roasted onions
- roasted garlic
- any fresh herbs you have on hand (rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram …)
- chunks or shredded soy or nut cheese
- minced dried tomatoes with roasted onion, roasted garlic and fresh herbs
- 1 cup ground or minced nuts
- substitute chicken, beef, vegetable broth, water from steamed vegetables, or from soaking dried tomatoes or mushrooms for the water
- minced veggies: carrots, broccoli, spinach, onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell peppers
I prefer to bake all my breads in shaped bread tins (order tins). They come in several different shapes and while that’s fun, it’s really the texture of the loaf that I’m after. Because these pans have a cap on both ends, the bread turns out very compact and can be thinly sliced, which makes for wonderful sandwiches and “holders” for bruschetta and other spreads. If you have kids you may find you have more luck getting them to eat whole wheat bread if you serve it to them in these fun shapes. As an alternative (to the kids turning up their noses dilemma) you can make their sandwiches and then use cookie cutters to cut them into shapes. Depending on the sandwich filling I save the discards in a plastic bag in the freezer and use them later to make bread pudding or strada.
When using shaped bread tins don’t allow the bread to rise beyond what it normally would while defrosting. If using bread dough straight from the bowl, let it rise 30 to 60 minutes, punch down, shape into a thick snake and slip into lightly greased bread tins.
Sometimes it’s handy to have a substitute for whole grain pasta, such as when you are wanting to get more veggies into your diet. This is actually a “Neutral” recipe, suitable for either a Starch or Protein sauce.
Using a vegetable peeler or the slicing side of a grater make long, thin strips of any of the following:
- broccoli stalk (first peel and discard tough outer portion of stalk and 1/4 inch off end of stalk)
- carrot (first peel and discard tough outer layer and don’t forget this is a starch)
- beet (first peel and discard tough outer layer and don’t forget this is a starch)
- sweet potato (don’t forget this is a starch)
- taro root
- bamboo shoots
- spaghetti squash
- tofu: freeze a block of firm tofu, then cut into noodle size strips. Heat through or saute to brown.
Don’t risk scraping your knuckles by worrying about getting the very last bit of each vegetable. I save the “bits” and use them in other dishes, eat them right then, or freeze them and use to make a vegetable broth.
If you’ve used the slicer section of the grater to make your veggie strips you’ll need to stack the slices and cut them into 1/4 – 1/2 inch wide strips. Lightly steam or dry saute the veggie strips until “al dente”. Top with butter and a sprinkling of soy Parmesan cheese, shredded soy or nut cheese, or any of your favorite pasta sauces.
Puree in blender 1/2 a package soft tofu, juice from 1/2 a small lemon or lime, sea salt & pepper to taste. When tofu is smooth, you may have to stop and scrape down the sides once or twice, with the blender still running drizzle in 1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil until mayo is desired thickness. Also taste the mayo – if it tastes a bit floury add more oil.
If you don’t like the strong taste of extra-virgin olive oil you could use canola oil or nut or seed oil instead. Be aware that olive oil and canola oil are the most hearth healthy, but an occasional foray into nut and seed oil won’t be harmful and you may relish the change every now and then.