Welcome to our fourth installment of Ask Jack, featuring the prodigious culinary talents of professional holistic chef Jack McNulty answering food-related questions generated by you, our community. Check out the show notes below that dig deeper into the topics covered on this episode. Set your dials to this station for this season’s final episode, Ask Jack #5, premiering on November 10, 2021, just in time for the holidays. Beat the rush and submit your questions for the next Ask Jack early by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this episode, we have received a smorgasbord of questions from all over the world on all sorts of saucy, nutty, oily yet all delicious topics. So, let’s see what food- and cooking-related questions are coursing through the culinary minds of the OMS community.
Questions 1 + 2
Our first question is about vegan cheese. Rebecca from Scotland is wondering about tips for making a fermented cashew cheese. She’s thinking about using probiotics or cider vinegar. Her main concern is how to know if it's gone bad to ensure eating it doesn’t make her ill.
Pro tip from Jack: for those who are interested in pursuing the art of making vegan cheese at home, Jack recommends Artisan Vegan Cheese, by Miyoko Schinner (available through all major book outlets). For a more in-depth dive into the world of Vegan Cheese, visit Berlin-based Cashewbert - they offer online information and instruction, as well as supplies to those based in Europe.
Rebecca also wanted some tips on eating out and how to make decisions about what to compromise on? What if she’s really stuck while out somewhere and one option contains coconut oil and another contains palm oil and another is fried in a small amount of vegetable oil, how is she supposed to decide on the lesser of all evils in a pinch?
Questions 3 + 4
Emma in the UK had a couple of questions for our resident foodie: firstly, what is your best recommendation for a halloumi replacement? Secondly, what’s your best recommendation for OMS-friendly takeaway food (that’s takeout for our listeners in the US)?
Let’s talk veggie fritters. Kay in New Zealand used to love vegetable fritters of many different sorts. Some just with the vegetables, some with flour, maybe herbs or spices, etc. They were one of her favorite lunches. She’s tried to make them by baking them in the oven but finds they come out dry and a bit leathery compared to frying in oil, meaning they lack that lovely crispiness. Is there a solution or something she could do to improve the crisp factor in her fritters in an OMS-friendly way?
Pro tip from Jack: have a look at Jack’s recipe for making OMS-friendly vegan sweet corn fritters.
Here’s a saucy question from Nicola in Canterbury. She was wondering whether you have any good ideas for a bechamel type sauce. She’s experimented with various recipes to use in a lasagna but hasn’t found anything yet that tastes great. What’s your secret bechamel replacement?
Pro tip from Jack: there are several recipes that will make you forget what dairy-based bechamel sauce ever tasted like, include Jack’s eggplant mushroom lasagna, Jack’s vegan bechamel, and Jack’s Sicilian tomato sauce. Try one or try them all and let us know what you think!
Belkis from Istanbul just got a machine called a Thermomix and there are a lot of recipes which makes cooking much easier. Plus, there are lots of recipes in their database. Many of these have you add extra virgin olive oil while cooking with other liquid and the machine shows the temperature and often it is not above 120 C. So, if you’re cooking with some other liquid like vegetable stock or water or chopped tomatoes, plus you add olive oil, is it OK to cook under 180 C, just like with the baking and oven rules? Is what they recommend OMS-compliant?
Fran from New Zealand is going to open a can of legumes for us. She doesn’t tolerate this food group well, though many OMS recipes call for lentils and such. So, what’s your suggestion for getting around legumes but still retaining the substance they bring to cooking?
Question 9 + 10 + 11
We’re going to end on an oily note with some questions from Tania in Australia that relate directly or indirectly to oils: firstly, is it OK to “sweat” onions and garlic with oil free vegetable stock instead of water? And other than olive oil, what’s the next best oil to have in one’s pantry?
Lastly, from Fran is a question about air fryers, which we delved into on a previous episode. She’d like to know if using one if healthy on an OMS diet. She’s concerned they may release some sort of emissions.
In addition, Jack has started a newsletter publication called VeganWeekly that shares three vegan recipes weekly to try at home. Subscribe to it here.
Coming up on our next episode:
Join us on September 20 for the 22nd installment of our Coffee Break series, where we “travel” to Montreal, Canada to meet Jen DeTracey: marketing expert, author, certified life coach, and founder of Women Thriving with MS. We hope you’ll be inspired by her story!
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