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This blog is intended to track my 100% whole food plant based experience and share what I have learned with others. 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...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 me to Facebook and Twitter. Ken Carlile



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WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED QUOTE
Stop worrying about dieting. Just eat whole foods that come out of the earth and not the foods that fertilize it. Ken Carlile, Blogger at www.ieatplants.com


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Thoughts!?!

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Stuffed Bell Peppers - Not too difficult to adapt to Vegan plant based

I spoke with a lot of people over the holidays when asked about the way I eat.  I hear lots of excuses about why people are the way they are; how difficult this is; I'm allowed to cheat now and then (though the definition for cheating varies, it seems that cheating becomes more frequent the more you allow it).

I'll admit, during my birthday I probably cheated.  I say probably because I don't know for sure that I did.  I ate at a wonderful vegan restaurant but I didn't say everything had to be oil free as I usually do.  I didn't go out and have a big steak and fries either.  If the food had oil in it, I was OK for that day.  My thinking is, don't even allow the option of cheating into your thoughts until you reach whatever goal you are trying to achieve.  Once there, you will be able to adjust your eating to your lifestyle, though I think the habit of eating this way and the extra energy and pep in your step will forever change the way you view food.

I guess I have to ask the question "why do we wait for something dramatic and life changing to do something good for ourselves".  The fact that you read this blog tells me that you're already questioning the way you ate up to this point.  Don't you want the future to be more about living your life rather than re-gaining your health after a crisis?  People want to do things to keep their brain more active, I say do this plant based food program.  If you think it's difficult, use your brain to transform the foods you already know how to cook into foods that you know are good for you....it's not that hard.

If you had been able to eat the food that I made for Thanksgiving, didn't know I made it, didn't know it was oilfree plant based and vegan, you would never have thought twice about it.  From the turkey to the gravy, it was delicious.

I hear a lot of great success stories as well.  One person told me he didn't realize that he was allergic to dairy until he cut it completely out of his diet.  Another said his diabetic numbers haven't been this good in years.  A couple of women that have lost 20 or more pounds told me once they got in the groove of the program they sit back and watch the weigh poor off of them.  Blood pressure is down, cholesterol numbers have not been this low for years, I can finally get rid of my fat pants, these are all things people have told me and thanked me for pointing them in this direction.

Be repetitive.  If you find something you love to eat, eat it often.  I was going to Subway for their Veggie sandwich (see the eating out tab above) 2 and 3 times a week.  I eat oatmeal almost every day.  It doesn't become monotonous if you like it and don't feel like thinking of something else to have.  Find a few things you like and make them well and often.  The Engine 2 avocado pasta in the recipe tab is wonderful and easy.  Ask me for ideas, I'll get back before your next meal.  Most of all, enjoy your new-found health....you'll never look back once the mirror looking back at you changes.

Ken




Butternut Squash Soup

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Time to bundle up and have a nice warm bowl of fall roasted butternut squash soup.  I bought the squash at Costco so it was already cubed and ready to go.  I just roasted it in a 375° oven until they are a bit brown around the edges.  

Next you want to cut the carrots, onion and celery into smaller chunks and either put them in the pot with the squash and 8 cups of  My Roasted Vegetable Stock, 4 cloves of garlic and 1 tablespoon of herbes de Provence (mixture of thyme, rosemary, sage...lavender if you have it) 1/4 teaspoon cinammon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and cook everything together.  After about 1/2 hour, use an immersion blender, or if you don't have one, blend it in batches in your Cuisinart or blender...but be careful of the hot liquid.  Add more stock if it's too thick for your liking.  

Put the soup back in the pot and taste for salt and pepper.  Start with 3/4 teaspoon salt and a teaspoon of freshly crushed black pepper.  Serve with some great crusty whole grain bread.  

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Leftover Lasagna

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This is a really great tasting dish that I NoOilized from Oh She Glows website

I left out anything having to do with oil and instead of the fake cheese on top, the white you see is mashed garlic potatoes (leftover from Thanksgiving), that I dolloped on to make it look like Ricotta.  I also don't use oil when I saute.  Instead of meat crumbles I ground up some of the leftover seitan turkey.  For the tomato sauce I used a pound and a half of fresh tomatoes that I cut in half and roasted in the oven.  I added the roasted tomatoes to two large cans of Italian San Marzano plum tomatoes.  I put all of the tomatoes in a Cuisinart with several cloves of garlic, a small handful of fresh basil and a tablespoon of crushed red pepper. I cooked this on the stove for about an hour.  I sprinkled on about 3 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast after I took the picture below.

I also used no boil whole wheat lasagna to save that step.  I served all of this with a Kale and avocado salad.  I took the spine out of the cleaned kale, cut it into small pieces, added avocado and the juice of a lemon, salt and pepper to taste.  Easy and delicious, thanks to Engine 2 recipes.




Turkey Day

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Turkey (dark meat of course), mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce

OK, I'm a little late for Thanksgiving, but I did make and eat on that day.  I made Turkey Seitan, Mashed Garlic Potatoes with Portabella mushroom gravy, whole wheat sourdough sage stuffing, Sourdough rolls and of course cranberry sauce, canned of course.



After months of trying different seitan recipes, I found one that closely resembles what you can get at Native Foods.  This is moist, has the texture of poultry and is a great faux meat substitute.  I even had leftover turkey that I put in the Cuisinart and turned into ground meat for my next meal of lasagna.

Here's my recipe for seitan


If you want any of the other recipes, let me know.  Can't wait to have my favorite post Thanksgiving sandwich:  Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce and mayonnaise




Au Lac Restaurant - Au-some

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Ventured out to a new restaurant in Fountain Valley California,  (new to us, but they've been around for 13 years, 16563 Brookhurst Street, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 ).  They call their cuisine "Humanese" and it consists entirely of Vegan or Raw selections.  Very reasonable, very friendly staff and great service.  We allowed them to pick the items with the knowledge that they "pick favorites from customers so we'll want to come again" we said tongue in cheek.

Our first item were spring rolls.  Raw julienned vegetables in a wheat paper roll.  Delicious, off to a great start.  Then we had the Humanese Soup.  Very simple and simply delicious which consisted of avocado, cilantro, coconut meat, onion, tamari and flax.

I'll show you some pictures below of some of the dishes.  The dessert was of course the cake above, all raw.  It was Tiramisu on the bottom left, coconut chocolate cake and the sauce in the bowl is a coffee sauce.

This was the raw Paella


Raw Mashed Potatoes consisting of cauliflower, broccoli, and avocado with a Teriyaki Gravy, no potatoes at all.

Dragon Roll

A closeup of the Paella

I highly recommend this restaurant and will be back often.  The prices are very reasonable, so well worth the drive.



Fall Pumpkin Porridge

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I tried this recipe today and it was really good!!!!

I made it in a rice cooker as follows

1 cup steel cut oatmeal
1 dash cinnamon
1 Dash nutmeg
4 cups water
2 cups almond milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons maple syrup (more if you like it sweet)

Combine all dry ingredients and mix together
Add wet ingredients and stir

Set rice cooker for brown rice

Enjoy!!!!

Bob Carlile

Bob's Story!!!!

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In early February of this year, I overheard my wife Janet watching Forks Over Knives while I was reading in bed.  She fell asleep with her iPad, I took it from her and watched the entire movie.  I was very intrigued by the way a plant strong diet had changed so many people's lives.  That day I decided to give up all meat, dairy and fish for lent.  I decided to do it right, so I got my blood tested first.  I had been eating mostly fish at this point anyway so I expected my numbers to be pretty good.  I was absolutely shocked when I got my numbers and my cholesterol was 247!!!! I had also read Dr. Esselstyn's book, How to Prevent and Cure Heart Disease, in which he prescribes no oil of any kind. Over the past year, I had been eating popcorn almost daily using what I thought was heart healthy coconut oil. Those numbers spoke for themselves, and popcorn had to go. So on February 22, I started what I thought would be 40 days of a new way of eating. After 10 days, I thought I am really feeling better. Not eating oil turned out to be more difficult than I thought.  You just can't imagine how many things have added oil.  The amazing thing is that it is completely unnecessary and really doesn't add flavor.  I learned that restaurants really don't want to change their cooking for the needs of one person.  They will however, bend over backwards for you if you tell them you are allergic to oil. Each week I felt better and better, and although I was eating more than ever, weight began to fall off of me. At the end of 30 days, I had my cholesterol tested again, and when the results came in, this time I was shocked in a good way. My cholesterol had dropped to 181!!! Needless to say, 40 days came and went long ago and I have been plant strong ever since.  This way of eating may not be for everyone, but it sure has worked for me!!!!

Reality Check

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*This picture has nothing to do with this post, just wanted to add a typical dinner shot.  Taco night!

I've been doing this for 7 months now and last week I thought it was time to check in with myself and see how I'm progressing

When I started back in April, as I've posted before, I was taking medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and acid reflux.  I weighed about 205 pounds, which isn't a lot since I'm 6'2".

2 months ago I had my blood work done and my cholesterol overall was 187, well within very good range.  I was still taking my cholesterol medication at the time and was weening myself, with my doctor's approval, off of the blood pressure medicine and was going to do the same for the cholesterol now that I had my blood work done.  At that time I was about 180 pounds.

Last week I went in and had my blood work done again and it was 181.  That doesn't sound like a huge shift, but considering that this is AFTER I stopped taking Cholesterol medicine, it's big.  I was between 260 and 280 when I went on cholesterol medicine, so it's actually a drop of between 80 and 100 points.  I was, to say the least, thrilled.  Oh, and I now weigh what I did in college 170, which is about 5 lbs. less than where I would like to be.  I did stop drinking any alcohol for 2 months, so maybe I can attribute the last 5 pounds to that.

All in all, I feel great.  I'm not craving foods I used to eat....I don't even really think about them.  I just go about my life the way everyone else does, just with a plant based bent to my eating.  Lots of energy and good health are the payoff for me.  I did drink wine for the first time the other night as I was out with people celebrating our fall birthdays in the family.  Since I am one of the fall birthdays, I decided to have some wine. The next day I had the worst allergy attack I've had in years.  My nose just would not stop running.  I think my body might have been telling me something.  What I heard was listen to your body!

Black Rice and Beans

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I first really discovered this delicious rice in the summer with a dish that would usually have had ground meat.  It added a bit of crunch and texture to a pasta dish with eggplant that would have had no body otherwise.  Now they sell it at Costco, so I had to give it a try.  

It is extremely high in Antioxidants and has 18 essential amino acids.  It cooks faster than brown rice, has a nuttier and firmer texture, and, I think, brings more to a dish than brown rice.  

According to WEBMD "Just a spoonful of black rice contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants," Zhimin Xu, PhD, of Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, says in a news release.  "If berries are used to boost health, why not black rice and black rice bran?"

This dish was really good, and really different.

I used my rice cooker to make a one pot meal.

2 cups black rice (cup that they give with the rice cooker)
water to the 2 cup fill line
one 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
one 14 oz can fava beans (rinsed)
one 14 oz can garbanzo beans (rinsed)
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 of a 7 oz. can chipotle peppers with adobo sauce
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
Cilantro chopped for garnish.

Caramelized Onion Chik'n

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I used to make this back in the day with chicken, but you can adapt it to include any protein or just serve it over rice or quinoa.  The trick is getting the onions caramelized   Since I don't use oil when cooking, I am able to achieve the caramelization using flash saute/steam.


Ingredients
1 Maui onion thinly sliced
1 Pint of Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
5 cups raw baby spinach
Protein, cubed (either seitan chicken, firm tofu with the water drained, soy protein chicken pieces, or none)
3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
juice of 2 lemons
Cracked black pepper

Method
First, thinly slice the onion (I used Maui onion for this one).  Put the onions in a scalding hot non stick pan.  Also, to the pan, add a pint (one of the smaller containers mushrooms come in) of sliced crimini mushrooms (brown or aka baby portabella mushrooms).  With a non stick pan friendly utensil, keep the onions and mushrooms moving in the pan.  The point is to get them to brown up completely (caramelization).  As they begin to stick to the pan, add water at increments of about 1/4 cup at the time until they are a deep brown.  At this point add add 4 cloves of diced or minced garlic.  Usually didn't add spinach to this, but it's a nice addition and gets lots of greens in the dish.  Add the spinach and more water.  Cover the pan until the spinach wilts and then uncover it to allow the liquids to evaporate.  Add the soy sauce, pepper and lemon juice.  Serve over brown rice, black rice or quinoa.





Tuna-no or Tuno

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MOCK TUNA SALAD (TUNO)




My brother came up with an idea the other day regarding making mock tuna.  TSP (Textured Soy Protein), when it's re-hydrated, looks just like tuna.  He thought that if we soaked it in some liquid with seaweed we would get the ocean taste, which made sense.  First time out was a failure.  The dried seaweed fell apart and I had tuna with seaweed.  The best way to do this is to create a seaweed broth by one of several methods.  Essentially, what you want to do is soak the seaweed in hot water and then strain it out so you have a seaweed flavored broth.  After that then you soak the TSP in hot seaweed broth until it's re-hydrated.  Then you need to squeeze out the excess liquid.  Sounds like a lot of work, but actually, all told, it took about 10 minutes.  The best way to squeeze out the excess liquid is to put the hydrated TSP in a cheesecloth and squeeze it either by hand or tightening the cheesecloth by twisting one end.

Once you have your Tuno, use your favorite recipe to make a tuno salad

1 1/2 cups of your ready to go Tuno (mock tuna)
1 1/2 tablespoons of vegan mayo or Ken's Mayonnaise or Aioli
1 finely diced celery stalk
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon of vinegar (choose either rice wine, red wine, apple cider or champagne)
1/4 small onion, diced
1 tsp fresh tarragon (optional)
1 or 2 tablespoons pickle relish, sweet or dill
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste






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