“No-Oil” Vegan Cooking & Gingered Collard Greens Recipe

Gingered Collard Greens Made With No-Oil

Gingered Collard Greens Made With No-Oil

The goal of Vegan American Princess is to be a fun resource for all things vegan, because Ellen and I believe that veganism is intertwined with every major world issue. These issues include (but certainly are not limited to) animal cruelty, the environment, world hunger, world peace, and health. Actually, the list can go on and on and on. However, if your main concern is to be the healthiest vegan possible, we suggest following a “no-oil” whole foods vegan diet based upon the extensive research done by the Forks Over Knives team of physicians (including Drs. Campbell, McDougall, and Esselstyn).

Ellen & I are not doctors, nor are we trained in nutrition. But we believe in science, and the strongest bodies of existing research and evidence points us towards the work of Drs. Campbell, McDougall, and Esselstyn.

I admit that Vegan American Princess does post vegan recipes containing oil because everyone has a different reason for being vegan, and we love to provide delicious vegan recipes of all sorts. Personally speaking, I don’t always stick to “no-oil” veganism (but I really try to), and it’s always my goal to stay oil-free. Achieving this goal will always be a “practice” for me.

In my current efforts to pursue “no-oil” veganism, I decided to collect and use more of my favorite vegan “no-oil” cookbooks and other books containing “no-oil” vegan whole foods recipes. Luckily, I already own the following books: The Forks Over Knives Cookbook, The Starch Solution, Prevent and Reverse Heart DiseaseThe McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook, The Engine 2 Diet, and My Beef With Meat.

Image 7-12-14 at 1.36 PMChef-AJ-with-kale_opt1

When it comes to “no-oil” vegan cooking, a special shout out must be given to the wonderful Chef AJ. I just ordered her cookbook “Unprocessed” which contains amazing vegan oil-free, salt-free and sugar-free recipes. In fact, Chef AJ’s Hail To The Kale Salad and Savory Vegan Lasagna are two of VAP’s most popular recipes.

Click here to order Chef AJ’s book “Unprocessed”.

UnknownSpeaking of no-oil vegan cooking, I must mention that The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook by Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn will be in stores on September 2, 2014, but it’s also available for pre-ordering. I’m pretty excited about this cookbook, and I’ll be ordering mine soon.

9781583335581_p0_v3_s260x420While poking around Barnes & Noble the other day, I spotted The China Study All-Star Collection by Leanne Campbell, PhD on the shelves. When I flipped through it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that its simple no-oil vegan recipes required so few ingredients. Since the cookbook contained recipes from many of my favorite vegan chefs, including Laura Theodore, Christy Morgan, Dreena Burton, Lindsay Nixon and Chef AJ, I decided to buy it.

18467774When I returned home, I decided to make Lindsay Nixon’s Gingered Collard Greens since I had the ingredients on hand. The result clearly proved that, with the right ingredients such as garlic, ginger, onion and crushed red pepper, vegetables can be amazingly delicious with no added oil.

These Gingered Collard Greens are an Ethiopian dish, and the fresh ginger complements the greens’ unique taste. I will post Lindsay’s recipe exactly as it appears in the cookbook, although I found that the 2 tablespoons of fresh minced ginger were a bit too strong for me. Next time, I will use only 1 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger for the 2 cups of chopped collard greens called for in the recipe. You may want to play around with the amount of fresh minced ginger you use when you make this dish.

Let me add that tongs will be very useful to have on hand to enable you to flip and move the collard greens while sautéeing. My brother Matt couldn’t believe that I didn’t mention tongs in my post listing 10 Kitchen Essentials For Vegan Cooking. I think he may have been right. Oops!


Recipe by Lindsay Nixon from The China Study All-Star Collection

Makes 2 Servings


Pinch of crushed red pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 cups chopped collard greens

Salt and pepper to taste

Hot sauce (optional)


1. Line a large pot with a thin layer of water-the thinnest layer possible. Bring to a boil and sauté a good pinch of crushed red pepper for 30 seconds.

2. Add garlic and onion and cook for another minute.

3. Add ginger and then collards, using tongs or a spatula to flip and move the greens around. Add splashes of water as necessary and continue to cook until the collards are bright green, or cook them longer if you prefer a well-cooked and soft green.

4. Season generously with salt and pepper.

5. Give it a good stir and serve with hot sauce on the table.

TIP: You can also substitute any greens you like here, but Lindsay likes collard greens the best. So do I!

After making this dish, you will learn that it’s possible to make vegetables taste good without using any added oils for cooking. All of the cookbooks mentioned in this post provide delicious recipes for vegetables sautéed with water or vegetable broth, and made in a variety of other tasty ways without the use of oils.

ANOTHER TIP FOR AVOIDING OILS: Use flavored vinegars on your salads (with no oil). There are so many great flavored vinegars to choose from such as pear and fig, but my absolute favorites are peach-flavored balsamic vinegars. They are so tasty that there is absolutely no need to add oil to your salads. I like the brands from Arlotta Food Studio (which I found at my local Farmer’s Market), The Filling Station (at The Chelsea Market in NYC), and Olive-n-Grape in New Hope, PA.



Click here for 10 Simple Recipes For No-Oil Vegan Salad Dressings

Click here for 11 Simple Recipes For Delicious No-Oil Vegan Meals

Click here for Ann Crile Esselstyn’s “No-Oil” Vegan Safe Food List

Click here for Chef AJ’s Hail To The Kale Salad recipe

Click here for Chef AJ’s Savory Vegan Lasagna recipe

Click here to read Tweaking My Vegan Diet The Esselstyn Way

Click here to read Reasons Why I’m Thrilled With Engine 2’s New Product Line

Click here to read When It Comes To Veganism… Who Do You Believe?

Click here for Laura Theodore’s Rocky Mountain Toast recipe

Click here to see Debby’s Current No-Fat Vegan Snacks

Click here to see recipe for Better-Than-Mom’s Banana Bread From Forks Over Knives Cookbook

Click here to see recipe for Isa’s Peanut Butter Granola Bars From Forks Over Knives Cookbook

Click here for Engine 2’s One-Dish Baked Oatmeal Crisp recipe

If you insist on cooking with a spritz of oil, you may want to check out the Gourmé Mist products

Debby xoxoxo





  1. Thanks for the shout out!

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