GLAD YOU FOUND ME AND WELCOME
This blog is intended to track my 100% whole food, plant strong experience and share what I have learned with others. My brother Bob will, from time to time, add things about his venture as well. You can participate in this blog by posting questions, advice, your experiences and successes, and anything else you think others may learn from this share in the Post Comments section after each of my Blog Posts. Please take advantage of the Subscribe For Updates Or follow us link link...your email address will not be shared. Also, feel free to click the Please Share It link and share it with the G+1 button in the top left corner to join our Google Circle and also add us to Facebook and Twitter.
24 May 2013
23 May 2013
OK, I know crepes have a certain lightness to them what with all of the egg you need. This is just a fast and delicious alternative that has lots of possibilities from sweet to savory. This particular one is for breakfast and is so easy. Use my recipe for Roti and you're on your way. By the way, just to have Roti on hand, the dough freezes well.
Bananas Ken Roti
Make the Roti bread
Add sliced bananas
Pour on some maple syrup
Sprinkle with ground flax seed
Add some cinnamon
Eat and Repeat
16 May 2013
14 May 2013
12 May 2013
11 May 2013
Sorry the photos a little blurry. I'll update it later but wanted to get the post out. After a long week out of town I wanted to whip something up for my sister and I quickly (her photo above). This is what I came up with.
1 pint of sliced baby crimini mushrooms
3 cups of Roasted Vegetable Stock
3 teaspoons of curry powder
1 tablespoon of cumin powder
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 head of fresh broccoli rough chop
1 cup beef seitan or rehydrated soy protein chunks (optional)
1/2 bunch of cilantro rough chop
1/2 cup non dairy milk (almond, coconut, soy)
Saute the mushrooms in a hot non-stick pan adding stock to keep from sticking. After about 5 minutes, add the remaining stock and tomato paste. Stir until mixed well. Add the spices, garlic, broccoli and seitan if using. Continue cooking until the broccoli is to your liking (about 7 minutes). Stir in the non-dairy milk and reduce 2 minutes. Serve over brown rice. Garnish with chopped Cilantro.
29 April 2013
This started out to be one thing but morphed into something altogether different than my original intent. But different can be good and this was great. This would feed about 10 people so you'll have lots of leftovers.
8 cups of Roasted Vegetable Stock
6 cups cold water
1 large onion rough chop
3 large carrots peeled and cut into coins
3 celery stalks diced
1 large Yam, cubed
2 large Japanese Eggplants, sliced about 1/2 inch thick (any eggplant will work)
2 whole tomatoes diced
5 cloves crushed garlic
2 tablespoons of cooking sherry (optional. If you don't use it, use stock to de-glaze)
1 tablespoon Not so Chicken Bouillon
2 cups soaked lima beans
1 cup textured soy protein chunks (If you can't find these use seitan)
3 tablespoons Braggs Amino
1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry tarragon
1 tablespoon dry sage
Ground Black Pepper to your liking
2 teaspoons chia seeds (for thickener, fiber and protein)
2 teaspoons Amaranth seeds (for thickener, fiber and protein)
3 tablespoons Arrow Root Slurry (1 tablespoon water mixed well with 2 tablespoons arrowroot)
Fresh Tarragon chopped (for garnish)
Fresh Basil chopped (for Garnish)
Heat a large stock pot. Add the onion and celery and keep stirring until they caramelize. De-glaze the pan with the sherry (or stock). Add stock, Braggs Aminos, Soy Sauce and Not so Chicken Bouillon. Add the carrots and dry spices (onion powder, garlic powder, dry tarragon, dry sage, black pepper). Add the textured soy protein and the water. Continue to a slow boil for about 45 minutes. Add the yams, eggplant and tomatoes and continue cooking until the yams are soft. Add the thickeners in the order given and continue cooking until the sauce is a light gravy consistency.
Serve with the garnishes on top.
24 April 2013
After over a hundred posts and a little over a year on this 100% Whole Foods, 100% plant strong and no oil journey, a little update on what's happening and what I've learned.
I've lost about 35 pounds going from 205 to 170 lbs. I've pretty much settled in at the 170 mark, which supports my theory that your body knows where it should be. Doesn't matter what I eat, as long as it's whole foods, I stay within 1 or 2 pounds of this weight. I was never really weight conscious to begin with, but now I'm curious just to see how the nutrition plan is playing out. Like I said in my first blog, as I got older the weight began creeping up as I became less active. I'm still no longer on any medication, including Prilosec as the acid reflux is still gone. The directions I gave in the comment section of my first blog, using Apple Cider Vinegar, got me off Prilosec, and the diet which didn't contain any animal fats or protein and includes no dairy seemed to help in keeping my body in a more alkaline state.
For the Sourdough people out there I've put all three links to directions for the perfect Sourdough bread under the Daily Bread tab at the top of the blog.
It's still a little frustrating that so many people read the blog and so few comment. I have had some great responses to the blog, but it's usually by word of mouth, email, Facebook etc. I'm not sure how to make posting comments any easier and if people let me know about problems they are having posting comments, I can address them.
I hope to have a couple of blogs about some people that have amazing stories to tell about their journey down this path and how it has saved or changed their life for the better. That's what makes doing this worth while.
So, aside from the obvious aging, here's me from the 80's through the 90's and to the present so you can compare the heavier and lighter me.
23 April 2013
Another reason to consider organic over commercially processed fruits and vegetables. As I pointed out in an earlier blog, eating organic hasn't been shown to be nutritionally better for us, but the fact that you're not ingesting pesticides is a pretty big impetus. Check out this article on the 2013 list of the 12 dirtiest foods.
The 2013 twelve dirtiest foods
Don't cut out eating lots of fruits and vegetables. As the article points out, the benefits of eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables far outweighs the negatives of the pesticide you're ingesting, so clean it well or just buy these organics.
21 April 2013
Woke up this morning and was really feeling like some pancakes. Pancakes that fit into my 100% whole food program with no dairy or oil that is. I admit there was a bit of a cheat here in that I used Bob's Red Mill Organic 7 Grain Pancake & Waffle Whole Grain Mix. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but the instructions include 3/4 cup of milk, an egg and a and a tablespoon of oil.
When you make this whole foods n(o)il version you never know how it's going to turn out. Basically, I followed the recipe to a point...the one cup of mix.
To the mix I added:
1 cup mix
1 cup almond milk
egg replacer equal to one egg which is 1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer and two tablespoons water, mixed
2 tablespoons flax-seed meal and 1 tablespoon water, mixed
Mix all of the ingredients together until just mixed...don't over mix.
Heat a non stick skillet such as Teflon. When the pan is hot pour out about 1/3 cup mix per pancake. When the pancake is covered in bubbles, flip and continue cooking for about 1 minute longer. Serve with 100% maple syrup (those imitation syrups are mostly just sugar).
Oh, did I mention that these were banana pancakes? When you put the batter on the skillet, add sliced bananas to the pancakes. When they are done the bananas will be caramelized adding a layer of flavor to the pancakes.
18 April 2013
This is a simple and delicious dish...especially if you took my advice and froze some of the Roasted Vegetable Marinara. This meal was a combination of "I don't feel like cooking, what do I need to use in the refrigerator before it goes bad and what do I have in my pantry that will tie it all together".
This is creamy, and if you choose to go there, spicy.
2 cups marinara
4-6 cloves fresh garlic sliced
1/4 pound 100% whole wheat thin spaghetti
1 15 oz can cannellini beans rinsed
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Boil the water for the pasta. Begin cooking the pasta according to the instructions.
Heat a saucepan for 1 minute. Add the sliced garlic and keep it moving around until it browns. add the marinara and beans. When there is one minute left on the pasta, transfer it directly from the water to the sauce to continue cooking. Add the spinach one half at a time. After the first batch wilts, add the second batch and serve while it's still uncooked. Add the red pepper flakes if you're using them. Serve immediately. Serves two.
14 April 2013
Pronounced fô (think fox without the x), this is a Vietnamese street food usually consisting of broth, meat and rice noodles, garnished with lots of herbs and veggies and sauces served on the side. Our plant strong version will be made with Roasted Vegetable Stock and Japanese Buckwheat noodles.
This turned out to be delicious, however, I would definitely get some deep dish bowls to serve it in. I made this for 8 people and the bowls were definitely not deep enough, but we made it work.
5 quarts my roasted vegetable stock
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon cumin seed
5 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
Ginger, about 2 inches, peeled and chopped
1 onion roughly chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic peeled
1 large shallot roughly chopped
5 pods of green cardamom (to be used separately from the other spices)
4 carrots peeled and sliced into rings
For the bowl:
Baby Bok Choi
Firm Tofu slices (fresh if you can find it....so much better)
Carrots (cooked in the stock about 15 minutes before serving)
buckwheat noodles (prepare according to the package)
Fresh brown mushrooms such as baby Portobello or shiitake
1 bunch Thai basil (I used purple as that's all they had)
1 bunch mint leaves
1 bunch Cilantro
sliced Serrano chilies
red chili paste
light soy sauce
Place all of the dry spices in a heated stock pot and keep them moving around until they are toasted. Remove from the pan (put them on a plate or something that can withstand the heat)
You'll know they are done as soon as you can smell them. In the same hot stock pot, dry saute the garlic, onion, ginger and shallot. What you're doing caramelizing the vegetables. When the veggies are done, add in the roasted vegetable stock.
I went a little crazy at the Japanese market and I purchased one small metal mesh tea ball and one large one for the purpose of putting spices in something that I will be removing later. At this point you are going to crack the pods of cardamom and put them in the stock for about an hour. While you are doing this put half of the remaining herbs in a spice grinder. What I did was put all of the spices, whole and ground, into my large tea ball.
Simmer the stock for a couple of hours. When it's done strain it using a cheese cloth lined colander. You should be left with a rich, dark stock. Add about 2 teaspoons of sea salt and 3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce to begin with. Remember, you want to keep the sodium count low. There are a lot more flavors coming with the garnishes and you can put some soy sauce on the table.
About 15 minutes before serving, put the carrots in the stock to get them to the al dente state. You can also add your bok choy directly to the stock, which I should have done since my bowls weren't that deep. When preparing the bowl, put the noodles on the bottom and then add the tofu, mushrooms and bok choy in any order. Cover these with the hot stock and add your garnishes.
10 April 2013
Didn't have much in the house to cook so went to the pantry and this is what I came up with.
2 14 oz. cans pinto beans
2 14 oz. cans black beans
1 14 oz can fava beans
1 14 oz. can cannellini beans
1/2 7 oz. can (3.5 ounces) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
6 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoon Chili powder
1 Tablespoon Cumin powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups roasted vegetable stock
Cilantro for garnish at the end
Rinse the beans thoroughly to remove as much salt as possible.
Put all of the remaining ingredients in a pot and simmer for a half hour uncovered. Taste for salt and if you need it, add it. The crunch will be the cumin and coriander seeds.
I've served this over brown rice, baked potatoes, on corn tortillas, with steamed vegetables, with my sour cream. Lots of different ways for a quick meal so be creative. You can put these in serving size containers and freeze them as well. You could add textured soy protein to up your protein, but not really necessary.
07 April 2013
Gyros are Greek street food consisting of a pita filled with shaved meat, usually lamb but can also be pork and beef or any combination thereof. It also has Tzatziki which is Greek yogurt with dill, cucumbers and garlic. Throw in some tomatoes and red onion and you have a great sandwich wrap. In my plant strong, n(o)il version I use thinly sliced seitan (I'll provide a recipe soon), sour cream instead of yogurt and two different wraps. The picture above is a whole wheat pita and the remaining pictures on the post are made with 100% whole wheat Roti.
Thinly sliced Seitan - heated either by steaming or putting it quickly on a hot, non stick pan
Thinly slice red onion
1 cup vegan n(o)il sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves chopped garlic
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice)
sea salt to taste
Blend well and you've got a great Tzatziki sauce
05 April 2013
03 April 2013
OK, even I'll admit this isn't the prettiest plate I've put out there. I didn't even intend to blog this, but it was so good and so easy, I had to share.
I was walking through my local international food market, though nothing I make here is difficult to find, and I was watching a lady grab a head of beets, three tied together, and rip off the tops and put them back taking only the beet portion. Besides the fact that she was throwing one of my favorite parts of the beets away, I think she thought she was saving money by not having to pay for the weight of the greens. Obviously she doesn't read because one bunch of beets, greens and all, was a flat price of 99¢. I almost grabbed her greens to throw in with mine but thought that a bit tacky.
So in preparing my dinner last night I went through an inventory of what I had in my fridge and came up with this uniquely Eastern European inspired dish. If I had to pick a country I would say Poland, though it could be anywhere that they eat a lot of root vegetables.
Beginning to end this took 5-10 minutes of prep time and 45 minutes to an hour to cook. The cooking was done mostly in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
When I roast something in the oven I often roast way more than I'm going to eat at one sitting, knowing that the vegetables can be used in a variety of meals, including salads, in the future. I removed the greens from the beets and cleaned the beets, some turnips and russet potatoes. I didn't peel the beets or turnips. After I cleaned the potatoes I poked a couple of holes in them. Once you've opened your oven after a potato explodes (or microwave), you'll never forget this step.
I wrapped the beets in aluminum (three to a packet), the turnips in aluminum two to a packet, and the potatoes straight in without aluminum. Into the oven they went for 45 minutes to an hour, dependent upon the size of your vegetables.
I did have a bunch of seitan that I made previously so I sliced off a piece of that as well. Clean the beet greens well. One trick I learned is to fill your sink with water and float the greens on top, moving them around. This works for lettuce, herbs, spinach and any other greens that you need to prewash. You'll be shocked to see how much dirt and sand are left at the bottom of the sink. The leaves float above and the heavier dirt and sand sink below. Chop the greens into about 4 inch pieces.
When there's about 8 minutes left on the vegetables in the oven, put a pot on the stove with about 1 1/2 inches of water and a steamer basket above (if you don't have one of these, use a metal colander. Add the greens and seitan to the steamer basket and cover.
Everything should come out at the same time. Using a dry paper towel, or several, remove the skin from the beets being careful not to drop them on anything as they STAIN. Use the same procedure for removing the skin of the turnips.
To eat I love sour cream on the potatoes and lots of Grey Poupon Dijon mustard on the rest. Before I ate this I squeezed some fresh lemon on all of the veggies including the greens but not on the potato. Salt and pepper to taste. Delicious, comforting and I at the whole thing.
01 April 2013
If you haven't started your summer garden and your nights are above 55 degrees, time to get on it. This is a sure fire way to avoid those nasty GMO's and the high prices of Organic Vegetables.....GROW YOUR OWN.
It's not as difficult as you think and the rewards far outweigh a little work. Besides, the vitamin D you'll get from the sun is an added benefit.
This year I'm planting these vegetables for my starter. I will fill in with others later, but these are all from seeds. You notice I say planted by the number. Starting from the packets of seeds I number each one. When I put my seeds in the starter tray I number them to coincide with the seed packets. When I move them to individual pots I number them as well. I keep using this method all the way to the final planting.
What I do is plot out where I'm going to plant what type of vegetable and then each hole is numbered. When I actually plant the vegetable I assign the plant number to the whole number. For example if the first five holes are tomatoes I would put the hole number with the tomato type number. Holes 1-5 (3) for Black Krim. That's just the way I've been doing it so I don't have to buy stakes every year. I've also gone so far as to do an elaborate plot map (example at the bottom of the page) wherein I put everything on the map the way it is situated in the garden. A lot of work but I had fun doing it. The reason I want to know the names of the plants instead of just "tomato" is that the prolific and great tasting ones will be used again. I always like Mr. Stripey so I always plant it.
Have fun, keep it organic, baby it, learn to cook with it and best of all, eat it.
31 March 2013
I love this dish....very British Pub food. It's got peas, carrots, baby onions and most of all mashed potatoes. Also known as Cottage pie it was originally made with beef or lamb (mutton). Since we don't eat that way anymore, we're using seitan (here's a link to a link), but you can use TSP or TVP.
1 1/2 cups of ground seitan or hydrate's textured vegetable protein
1 cup fresh or re-hydrated mushrooms (portabello or shitake)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 1/2 cups carrots diced
2 cups RVS (Roasted Vegetable Stock)
2 Tbs tomato paste
1/2 cup dehydrated onions
2 Tbs no beef bouillon
1/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tsp dry thyme
2 Tbs Annie's Worcestershire
4 large russet potatoes
2 cups almond milk
Fine Sea Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
Put your peeled potatoes into a large pan of cold water and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until fork tender, then drain the water and leave the potatoes in the pan until all of the water evaporates. Mash the potatoes and add the almond milk, about 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 teaspoon white pepper. If they're too dry, add more almond milk. If they're too wet, they'll be able to dry out in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you're using seitan, put the seitan and mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until you get the consistency of meat crumbles. If you're using TSP, TVP or ready made meat crumbles, only pulse the mushrooms. Add the meat crumbles, mushroom crumbles and all remaining ingredients except the Roasted Vegetable Stock in a large bowl. Now you can slowly add the vegetable stock until you get a wet, sticky consistency but not runny, if that makes sense. The variable here is how wet your meat substitute is.
Put the meat mixture in a 9 X 12 casserole (that's what I used, but you can use whatever you have). Spread evenly and cover with the mashed potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15.
28 March 2013
It's also delicious to use on baked potatoes!
25 March 2013
And now something to go on the Whole wheat oat burger bun....black bean hummus burgers. Hummus burgers you ask? Well, I decided to combine crushed garbanzo beans with whole black beans to create this unique and extremely flavorful burger. It's a little spicy, but if you've followed my recipes you know I like things a bit on the hotter side. Remember though, you can always leave out the heat and it will still be delicious. As I always say, you know your own heat tolerance.
1 14 oz can or black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 14 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and thoroughly rinsed
1/2 onion chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 pint of crimini mushrooms chopped
1 to 2 Serrano chilies chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 handful of parsley (any kind) stems removed, leaves only
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup to one cup water or roasted vegetable stock for the sauteed vegetables if needed
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon xantham gum (optional, adds firm texture and is natural)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
In a food processor add the rinsed garbanzo beans, tomato paste, parsley, salt and pepper. You should have a stick paste the consistency of peanut butter. Put the mixture into a bowl and combine the remaining ingredients of rinsed black beans, the saute' mixture of onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic and chilies, and all remaining spices (cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika) and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix completely. If using the xantham gum, sprinkle it over the top of the mixture evenly, then thoroughly mix it into the mixture.
Now, put the entire mixture in the refrigerator and let it set up. This is a very stick mixture and it will be easier to form burgers if it's cool and firm.
To heat the burgers, heat a Teflon or other non stick skillet until water dances off of it. Carefully put the burgers into a hot pan and don't move them. As with meat, people have a tendency to play with their food too much while cooking. Leave it alone and let it develop a crust. When it has a good crust, it will release from the pan cleanly with n(o)il.
Serve these burger on your homemade whole wheat burger buns. Throw on a slice of tomato, some lettuce, maybe a little avocado, some dijon mustard and ketchup, some n(o)il french fries and you've got a great comfort meal.
24 March 2013
It's hard to find 100% whole flour anything with n(o)il. I've been testing a couple ideas for buns that can be used for different burgers and sandwiches. These are easy, contain n(o)il, do not use sourdough starter...oh, and they're delicious.
4 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 cup oat bran
2 cups water
2 packets of active dry yeast
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons organic honey or agave syrup
When I'm making bread, especially when it's still cold outside, I like to turn my oven into a warming oven. I turn the oven on for about 3-5 minutes and let it heat to around 75-85 degrees. I don't actually measure this, I just put my hand in and if it's comfortably warm, it's ready. Turn off the heat
Heat the water to between 110º and 115º Farenheit(about 1 minute 15 seconds in the microwave). If it's too hot you'll kill the yeast. Now, in a large bowl pour the water in and sprinkle the yeast on the top. It should be fully active in about 10 minutes. The water will get cloudy and form a foam on top.
Add 2 cups of the flour to the yeast and water and stir until well mixed. Cover the mixture with plastic kitchen wrap and put it in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. When it's ready you'll see lots of gas bubbles.
If you're using a mixer with a dough hook, put the remaining dry ingredients and the honey or agave syrup in the bowl of the mixer. Add the yeast water mixture to the dry and begin the kneading process. After about 5 minutes of kneading, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and continue kneading for another 10 minutes. The dough should not be sticking to the sides of the bowl at this point. The dough will be sticky and firm at the same time. Wet your hands and remove the dough to a bowl that has a scant mist of cooking spray to keep it from sticking, or if you're using a silicon bowl, not necessary. Cover the dough in plastic kitchen wrap and return it to the oven for an hour and a half.
If you're doing this by hand, use the extra 1/2 cup of flour to dust your kneading surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
21 March 2013
Being on the road can be a bit stressful for plant strong eating. You don't know the area. There aren't always obvious choices. If you're staying in a hotel you're forced to eat out.
I try to stay in hotel suites that have some sort of kitchen, be it only two burners or a regular stove. If I'm driving to the location I always bring my own knives, a cutting board and spices.
I was recently in Las Vegas for 5 days for a convention, so when I arrived I hit up the local Trader Joe's and went to town. I got canned black beans, fresh peas, lentils, brown rice, tomatoes, green chilies, cilantro, potatoes and diced crimini mushrooms.
The first night I made a big batch of brown rice. I brought my own onions, fresh garlic and as I said spices (I used the ones I told you about in this post.
The room came equipped with pots so I was set. I sliced the onions and put them in a hot pan along with the mushrooms. I flash steamed/sauteed them until nicely browned. I added about a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds. After about a minute add about 7 cloves of chopped fresh garlic and two diced green chilies (or to your spice level) and saute for another minute. I then added 4 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of lentils. Bring to a boil and after 5 minutes I added 4 peeled and cubed potatoes. Now add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix from the same post I linked to above. Let this boil away until the lentils and potatoes are cooked. Add 1 teaspoon (or salt to taste).
I added 1 cup of fresh peas right before serving. You can add freshly diced cilantro as a flavorful garnish. During the next nights I added drained and rinsed black beans one night. On another I added sliced firm tofu and on the last I made whole wheat burritos by adding fresh avocados and salsa.
Easy, inexpensive and fulfilling. I did also make my own oatmeal every morning as well.