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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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SPLIT PEA SOUP

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I was trying to figure out a way to make this usually rich soup as flavorful as possible without the ham and oil that's associated with it.  This soup turned out even better than I imagined and I can't wait for the next bowl.

Ingredients:

8 carrots peeled and sliced into half inch thick circles
4 ribs of celery diced into quarter inch pieces
1 onion diced (it's about a cup to a cup and a half)
1/2 cup of brandy
2 Tbl garlic (finely diced)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 Tbl Better Than Bouillon No Beef Base
8 cups Roasted Vegetable Stock
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
2 cups split peas that have been rinsed (make sure you look for anything other than peas, like stones)
4 potatoes cleaned and diced
1 tsp Smoked Salt (optional, but I received a bunch of flavored salts for Christmas and one was hickory Smoked, you can use regular sea salt)
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
3 cups shredded brussel sprouts

Heat a stock pot.  To the pot add the carrots, celery and onion.  Keep moving them around so they brown but don't burn.  You may add water if they are sticking too much.  After about 7 minutes sauteing, remove the pot from the heat and add the brandy.  Return to the heat and stir the mirepoix continuously until the brandy cooks out.  Now add the garlic and stir it around a bit.  Add all of the roasted vegetable stock, vinegar, turmeric, white pepper, and split peas.  Cook covered for about 45 minutes.  Add the potatoes, bouillon, salt and liquid smoke.  Look at the inside of the pan and gauge where the original stock line was before it reduced.  You want to keep the liquid level at the original level so add water from the remaining 4 cups in order to achieve this.  Continue cooking  covered for another half hour and then add the brussel sprouts.  The soup is ready when the peas are soft.  Check for salt at this point and add more if you feel it needs it.

*Note:  Once the Soup is done and before you add the shredded brussel sprouts, you can blend everything together using a Cuisinart, immersion blender, Vita Mix or any other blender to get the same consistency as Split Pea soup.  Either way, it's delicious.

I served this with crusty whole wheat sourdough, my Cream Cheeze to which I added fresh lemon juice and red wine vinegar.  Sprinkled on the bread was Alderwood Smoked Salt.  I'm really having fun with the different salts.  The salt is more intense in these so added benefit is you use less and get more flavor.


HOLIDAY KITCHEN TALLY

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So far:

6 loaves of sourdough bread
1 banana bread
1 persimmon pudding bread
2 lbs of vegan sausages
1 3 lb seitan roast beef
7 gallons roasted vegetable stock
10 lbs roasted vegetable marinara
1/2 lb cashew creem Cheeze
1 1/2 lbs hummus

ROASTED VEGETABLE MARINARA

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6 Red, Yellow and/or Orange Bell Peppers
6 whole carrots peeled
1 whole onion, any color, skin on cut in half
12 whole garlic cloves
2 pints Crimini (baby Portabello mushrooms)
1 box Pomi tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes)
1 28 oz can or 2 14 oz whole or diced San Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste
Roast all vegetables on the barbecue (put the garlic cloves on aluminum)  
When the bell peppers are blackened, put them in a closed brown paper bag for at least ten minutes.  When you take them out, using a paper towel, remove the blackened skin, rinse and put in the bowl of a cuisinart. 

Break or cut all of the remaining vegetables into the cuisinart and pulse them until very finely chopped.  Add the vegetables and all of the remaining ingredients to a pot that can go in the oven.  Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours on 325 degrees.   Keep an eye on it after an hour and make sure it's not drying out too much.  It will reduce to a dark sauce.  
When you're done, boil your favorite whole wheat pasta (finally some good ones on the market).  Put a little sauce at the bottom of a serving bowl.  Drain your pasta and pour it directly into the the serving bowl and cover with whatever amount of sauce you like.  To up your vegetable intake, as if you need to,  Throw a ton of spinach into the pasta water for about a minute, then add to the pasta.  Use Nutritional Yeast Flakes for the Parmesan.  


  
(In the picture above, I chopped all of the veggies by hand then added all of the ingredients.  I used an immersion blender to blend it all together, but most people don't have those)


Happy holidays

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FUNNY DIETING VIDEO!

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I found this to be a thought provoking and poignant video.  It's short, funny in an ironic way, and says a lot.  As I've always pointed out, this Plant Strong, noil (no oil) eating program is not about dieting, it is about a way to better health.  One of the added benefits is that you'll lose weight and your body will equalize at the ideal weight for you.  This is for all of those people that spend money and time trying to diet when all they have to do is change what they eat.  As we go into the holiday season we gorge ourselves with the promise that our New Years Resolution is to get rid of that unwanted weight.

Hope you enjoy this (watch the video below).

Ken



CANDY BALLS (I MEAN PROTEIN BALLS)

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These are awesome.  These were introduced to me by my sister-in-law Janet and she got the recipe from a website called One Green Planet.  They are really high in vitamins (including B12) and protein, have a great taste, not too sweet (a requirement for me), and completely Raw (other than the Amaranth seeds that are popped on the outside).  Better than a candy bar and so much better for you. It's hard to find protein bars with no oil or sugar (this has agave and real cocoa, not milk chocolate),

The hardest thing about this recipe was finding the ingredients.  The amaranth seeds are an ancient food popular in the latin community since the days of the Ancient Peruvians.  I found them at Mother's Market, a great health food store in Southern California.  Cocoa Nibs also was a bit hard to find, but well worth the search and you can get these at Whole Foods.  Other than that, really easy.

I found a couple of changes in the recipe that you'll find make it easier.  First, they say use 4 scoops of protein powder.  I used Hemp protein powder and it didn't come with a scoop.  Anyway, it's approximately 30 grams (by weight) per scoop, so roughly 1 plus a tablespoon of protein powder.  It should be pretty thick, not runny at all.

The Recipe:

Protein Amaranth Balls
Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup oatmeal
  • 4 scoops raw protein powder (I use hemp)
  • 2 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp maca powder (optional)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp raw smooth peanut butter
  • ½ cup of raw almond milk
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ½ cup of raw cacao nibs
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup popped amaranth (avoid to make raw balls)
Preparation:
Line a cutting board with parchment paper.
  1. Pop the amaranth. Use a non-stick skillet and heat it on medium high until you get a quick sizzle when you drop some water in.  Pour 2 tbsp of dry amaranth into the skillet. It will start to pop like popcorn. Lift and shake the pot periodically so the amaranth doesn't burn. Pour popped amaranth into a bowl. Repeat until you have 1 cup of popped grain.
  2. In a food processor combine oatmeal, protein powder, chocolate powder, maca powder, salt, and cinnamon. Pulse until a uniform mixture is achieved.
  3. Add the banana, peanut butter, almond milk, and agave nectar. Pulse until combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  5. Add cacao nibs, ground flax seeds, and cranberries. Mix.
  6. Shape the mixture into golf-size balls and roll them in the popped amaranth.
  7. Place on the cutting board.
  8. When all of the mixture is shaped into balls, place them into the freezer for about an hour.


It also tells you to make the balls and freeze them for about an hour before putting them in the refrigerator.  I froze the mixture for an hour and it made making the balls easier.  I also just put the popped Amaranth seeds in a bowl and tossed the balls around in them when I was coating them.  Never did use a parchment paper.

Anyway, delicious, a great in between meals snack or fast breakfast (eat a few).  





BEST BOLOGNESE EVER

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I have to say this is one of my favorite recipes. I originally made this with ground turkey, beef stock and lots of oil. This is the "new" version. 

Read the entire recipe through to familiarize yourself with what you’ll be doing.  Next, get everything out that you need, cut it, chop it and measure it and put it all together in the area you’ll be cooking.  This is called  Mise en Place (meez n plos):  to put in place

You will need:

1 lb. ground Seitan or (equivalent amount of soy crumbles, rehydrated TSP or TVP)
Mirepoix (mirra-pwa) This consists of Carrots, onions and celery and is the base of many sauces and soups.
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
(Hint:  Trader Joe's...and many grocery stores, now sells it already chopped and in one container)



1 bag sliced Crimini mushrooms –approx. 1 ½ cups- (white are not as good as they don’t have much flavor.  Crimini are baby portabellas)
6 cloves fresh garlic thinly sliced (or more if you like…I would do 12. Today I did!)
1 ½ tablespoons Herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (if you can’t find it get 2 cans diced and put one of them in the blender)
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
½ bottle of very drinkable red wine
1 cup Roasted Vegetable Stock
2 tablespoons Tomato paste
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

Heat oven to 375 degrees

Heat a Dutch oven on the stove for 2 minutes (dry, nothing in it).  A Dutch oven is something that can be used on the stove or in the oven…usually heavy bottom.  They’re selling one at Costco, a Kirkland brand, for $49.99 right now also at TJMax HomeStore and it’s a great knockoff of the Le Creuset one I have that cost $350.00.



Add the mirepoix (carrots, onion, celery) in and stir it around and flash sauté it using some of the stock or ¼ cup water.  After about 6 minutes, add the mushrooms.  Keep an eye on this and don’t let it burn or get too brown, just golden.  Keep stirring occasionally for another 7 minutes then add the garlic.  You don’t add the garlic too soon or it will burn and become bitter.
For those of you that wonder how you can saute without oil, here's a picture.  After about 3 minutes if you put a cover on it you'll get lots of liquid (steam) built up that will keep it from sticking.


Pour in the red wine and Roasted Vegetable Stock and begin reducing the liquid.  Do not cover the pan.  Add the Herbs de Provence, fennel, crushed red pepper , tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and ground black pepper.  You are going to reduce it until it’s almost gone (the liquid evaporates and the flavor intensifies).  When it is halfway reduced (half is gone) add half of the salt.

Add the ground seitan and the remaining salt.  Once most of the remaining liquid is gone, add the tomatoes to the sauce pan and mix well.  

Cover the pan and place it in the oven for an hour.  Check on it half way and make sure it’s not evaporating too quickly.  This would be caused by a lid that’s not very tight.  If it starts to dry out add more stock or water.


Taste for salt and you’re finished.  Add this to Whole Wheat Noil Pasta.  In the pictures included here I used no boil whole wheat lasagna noodles.  I just broke them into pieces and added them to the sauce.  Place the broken noodles at the bottom of a pan, single layer.  If you pile them on they will stick together.  Add some sauce then more noodles, sauce etc.  It's easier than boiling a huge pot of pasta.  When the noodles are al dente  your meal is ready.

Make a large batch of the sauce as it freezes well.


ASIAN SOUP

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Get to know your local Asian market.  The prices are ridiculously low and the variety is amazing.  Figure out what you want to get before you go as it's not always that easy to get help.  The varieties of rice alone can be daunting but fun at the same time.

By now I'm sure you all have ample supplies of Roasted Vegetable Stock on hand, right?

6 cups Roasted Vegetable Stock
4 tablespoons light miso paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon No Beef Bouillon
1 cup crimini mushrooms sliced (baby Portabellos)
1 small packet enoki mushrooms
4 scallions, sliced both white and green
1 head of bok choy cut in quarters length wise
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups zucchini, chopped in 1/2 in slices
6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 lime cut into quarters

Bring the first four ingredients to a light boil.  Add the mushrooms and garlic.  After 10 minutes, add the broccoli   After 5 minutes add the zucchini, scallions and bok choy.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve with fresh fresh cilantro and mint leaves.  Garnish with fresh lime quarters.

NAME THAT GADGET

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This was made in Europe and actually works quite well. If it was available in the US, it began to lose it's popularity after 1928 when an American inventor from Iowa invented a replacement that forever changed the way we bought food.  In fact, this new invention was so popular that inventions that followed are often compared to it.  Give up?

Click Read More for the answer!

Cream Cheeze and Sourdough

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There's nothing better than being able to eat decadent food without the repercussions, and it's good for you.  Here I've baked 3 different loaves of real sourdough.  A good deal of what you buy at the store is made of flour, a citric acid for the sour, yeast for the rise.  True sourdough is a longer process.  You need to have a Mother Starter (I've got 2 and they're almost three years old...one for wheat and one for white) which is used in place of yeast.  All of the breads made prior to the invention of commercial yeast 100 years ago and which most bakers use today,  were made with bread with a Starter.  The quick explanation of a starter is it's a combination of flour and water that ferments over time, needs to be fed regularly, and pulls yeast into it from the air.  The yeast eat the sugar in the flour causing it to bubble and become sponge like and this is what's used to make the bread.  The bread becomes sour because of the fermented yeast starter, and the dough which usually has an 8-12 hour rise period at which time the sourness is intensified.

If anyone wants more information about making sourdough bread I'd be more than happy to share it with you.  One of the things that I have learned while researching sourdough over the years, is that white sourdough that is made the slow fermentation way using a starter is OK for people with sugar issues to eat as the sugars in the white flour are gone by the time you are done baking so your body won't treat it in the same manner as other simple carbohydrates.  These pictures have 2 different versions of 100% whole wheat, no oil sourdough and one loaf of 100% white flour, no oil sourdough.




I read a lot of recipes for making cream cheese and after much experimentation have perfected this one.

5 oz. by weight raw cashews  (approx. 1 cup dry measure)
1/3 cup water

(A little side note here:  I am a firm believer that everyone should have a good kitchen scale.  When a recipe gives you measurement by weight it is much more accurate than cup measurement or by volume.  5 oz. by weight is roughly 1 measuring cup of cashews even though 8 oz by volume is actually a cup.  See the difference?  This way, no matter how you measure using a measuring cup, you'll never get the same amount twice...that's why I like using measurement by weight)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt (fine grind)
7 oz. volume Non GMO silken tofu, water squeezed out (it will be about 5 oz. by weight after you squeeze out the water.  Roughly half a block as it usually comes in 14 oz blocks.)

Soak the Cashews for at least an hour but preferably overnight.  Using a blender, magic bullet or Vitamix, blend all ingredients except the water until they become creamy.  If you think the consistency is too thick, add water a little at a time.  You're going to drain out the water anyway, so add the amount you think will aid you in getting it out of the blender, but not too much that will make it impossible to put in a cheese cloth.



The picture with the tomatoes is the Cream Cheeze right after I finished making it.  The picture below is after I took the cream cheeze above and put it in a cheese cloth, pulled it together in a satchel that I closed with a rubber-band and then I hung it over a bowl in the refrigerator overnight (I used a chopstick to support the cheeze over the bowl with two high bowls holding it up.  Next time I'll add a picture of this process)



Oh Brother How Art Thou!

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This is a picture of my brother today visiting the Grand Old Opry with his wife Janet.  He's been doing 100% plant strong no oil since the beginning of April 2012.  He's pretty proud of his achievement, as he should be. More importantly though, he's never felt better and doesn't see any reason to go back to the same old eating habits.  Great job Bob (and Janet, though you always look great!)



Where he began his journey.  He did vegetarian with low protein for a couple of years before he went full plant strong...but this is him at his worst hanging out with buddies he's known since high school .








Enchiladas Cheat

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OK, this was so easy because I cheated the whole way.  I just wanted to make something quick, easy and delicious.  I went to my favorite grocery story and checked out the backs of several types of taco seasonings and enchilada sauce packets.  I had a couple things in mind when comparing brands and they were no dairy (some actually had some), no oil (even though these are dry packets, some still listed oil) and not too much salt.  After that, I followed the instructions on the packets.

Preheat the oven to 350°

For the filling I used TVP (or you can use TSP).  I rehydrated it in boiling water for about 10 minutes.  I wanted to end up with about 3 cups, so I would start with about 1/2 cups of dry and just cover in the boiling water.  I also cut up one whole onion and added it to a hot non stick skillet.  When the onions begin to stick, wait about a minute more then add some water.  Once browned, follow the instructions on the taco seasoning packet for the meat.  Squeeze out as much water as you can from the TVP and add it to the onions and spices.  If it starts to dry out, just add water or vegetable stock.

Follow the instructions on the Enchilada sauce.  When that is done you're ready to assemble the Enchiladas.

You will need about 15 corn tortillas, a large can of Rosarita Fat Free Refried Beans, sliced black olives (as many or as few as you like, 15 oz can of corn (drained and rinsed), Cilantro for garnish, nutritional yeast for garnish (and that cheezy taste).

Pour some of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch pan.  Fill each tortilla with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of refried beans, 1 1/2 tablespoons of TVP Taco mixture (you can also use meat crumbles which is basically the same thing only more expensive), about a teaspoon each of the corn and olives.  Fold them either in half or in a circle and place in the pan on the sauce, seam side down.  Continue until the pan is full and cover them with the remaining enchilada sauce.  Cover pan and put it in the oven for 15 minutes covered.  When you uncover it  sprinkle sliced olives and nutritional yeast on the top and continue baking for another 15 minutes uncovered.

When you take it out of the oven, garnish with chopped or whole cilantro leaves.  Serve it with guacamole and you'll be in heaven.


Pumpkin Ravioli Dumplings

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Pumpkin Dumplings in a Miso Broth

Well, it's not what most would think of when considering pumpkin.  I used a Kabocha Squash, which is the Japanese pumpkin.  You've probably seen them in the store and didn't know what to do with them.  I cut this in half and roasted it in a 400° oven for about 45 minutes.  Until it was caramelized and a knife inserts easily.


To the pumpkin pulp I added the following:

1/2 cup walnuts (they'll be crushed when you put them in the Cuisinart)
2 tablespoons flax seed
1 tsp crushed sage
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp white pepper (if you don't have any and don't care about the black flecks, use cracked black)

Put everything in a Cuisinart and puree.  We are going to use the final puree to fill our ravioli/dumplings.
I used Gyoza skins for the dough.  They are dairy and oil free and made of wheat.  Just check the labels as not all of them are egg and oil free.


I used a piping back to fill them, but you can certainly use a spoon or rubber spatula.  You want to get the edge wet on one side, put about a tablespoon of filling on the same side, keeping it close to the middle.  Fold the dry edge over to the wet side, making sure to keep the stuffing from oozing out.  It's a lot easier than it sounds, and after the first one you'll be a pro.  I think using the theory of production lines is easiest, meaning lay out your skins, put the water on all of them, put the stuffing in and then fold.  Do about 6 at a time as you don't want the water to absorb.

You can make these ahead of time and store them on a cookie sheet covered with corn meal.  You don't want them touching or they will stick together.  You can then freeze them.  Once frozen, put them into a zip lock back and keep them frozen until you are ready to use them.

To cook the ravioli/dumplings, bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Try one first just for practice.  Drop it into the boiling water.  It will sink.  When it's done, it will float.  Take it out and eat it to check make sure they are done, then cook the rest.

SINKING 

FLOATING


The recipe I made I used Miso Broth, but anything you think will work with this dish, including a spicy tomato marinara will work.  

For the Broth I used 4 cups of Roasted Vegetable Stock, about 3/4 cups of white miso paste and I garnished with sliced scallions.  It's that easy.  Enjoy!





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