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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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OUR FIRST PLANT BASED CLASS/DINNER

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This was my first plant based instructional class with dinner.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and there wasn't much food left over.  Here's a interactive menu of the food for the night.

Hors d'oeuvres

Hummus served on Sangak bread

Mushroom Sausage Pizza served on mini Roti

First Course

Split Pea Soup Served with Sourdough Bread with Cream Cheeze and Smoked Alder Wood Salt

Main Course

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ) Served over Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Lemon Haricot Vert (fancy green beans)

Dessert



During the night we also made Aioli Mayonnaise and Hummus

CELERIAC STEW (SO DELICIOUS, WELCOME TO FALL)

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Most people have never heard of this odd looking vegetable let alone tried it. It's actually a root vegetable that is sometimes called celery root.  It grows wild, has a bit of a celery flavor and is hearty and delicious.

I made this stew the other day and it was so good I ate it for five meals. I served it over brown rice, potatoes, rice and potatoes and with no rice or potatoes and it was delicious every time. The way I made it was very spicy, but you know what heat level you can take.

Ingredients:

1 large sweet onion chopped
2 pints sliced crimini mushrooms
1 large box low sodium (or no sodium) vegetable stock or RVS (or water)
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 carrots peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 cup brandy
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dark roast brewed coffee (leftover from breakfast)
1 large celery root peeled and cut in half
2 cups mixed cooked beans
1 cup dried lentils
3 Serrano chilies cut into circles (spicy)
1 jalapeño cut into circles (not as spicy, but spicy)
2 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups fresh peas
1 bunch cilantro chopped (stems are ok)

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly crush or pulse in a grinder all the fennel, coriander and cumin seeds

In a heated large Teflon style pan (I used my cast iron coated Le Creuset pan that you'll see a picture of in the last Sourdough blog) , sauté the onions and mushrooms until golden brown. Once they start to get brown, move them around to keep from sticking and add water a quarter cup at a time. When they're soft, add the garlic and carrots. Add the slightly ground spices. As soon as you smell the garlic cooking, add the brandy. When the brandy is reduced and the alcohol cooks off, add the tomato paste and stir. Add the coffee and let it reduce for about 3 minutes. Add the stock and all other ingredients up to but not including the peas and cilantro. Place the covered pan in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid, if too much liquid evaporated add some water or stock. You want a rich gravy at the end. Add the peas and cilantro and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Make sure the lentils and peas are soft.




SOURDOUGH THE BREAD (Part 3) (my 100th post)

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So here's where we get to see how all our hard work plays out.  This is my recipe for sourdough white bread and 100% whole wheat sourdough bread, both with no added oil.  As I've said before, during the slow fermentation process the yeast eats the sugars in the flour and even diabetics can eat this bread.

White Sourdough:

3 cups All Purpose Flour (plus 1/2 cup for kneading)
3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
4 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional, but I highly recommend after trial and error.  Adds to the bite)
1 Tablespoon organic honey or agave syrup
1 cup filtered water (or bottled)
1 cup active sourdough starter.  Stir the starter down before measuring.  If you're taking your starter out of the refrigerator, allow it to sit on the counter for a couple of hours to take the chill off of it.

(For a Wheat Sourdough alternative, substitute 1 cup of All Purpose Flour with 1 cup 100% whole wheat flour)

In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a mixer if you're mixing with a dough hook, add the first three (just the 3 cups of flour, not the extra 1/2 cup) dry ingredients of flour, salt and vital wheat gluten, and mix them together with a whisk.  Add the starter and water together and stir.  Add the honey or agave syrup to the water/starter mixture.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and begin either mixing with a dough hook or by hand.  If you're doing it by hand, knead it in the bowl for about 5 minutes before putting it on the counter or a cutting board to kneed it with the additional 1/2 cup flour.

If you're kneading it with dough hook, knead it for about 5 minutes.  Let it rest for about 10 minutes, then add half of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.  After about 3 minutes, if it still seems too sticky to the touch, add the additional 1/4 cup of flour.  It should be tacky to the touch, but not sticky to where it won't come off your hands.  Adding more flour is sometimes necessary because of the weather and humidity.  You'll get to where you can tell if it's ready by the touch, but this will come with practice.

Find the container you want to use for the rising dough.  I like to use a 4 quart plastic container with straight sides because it makes it easier to gauge when the dough has doubled, but a ceramic bowl works just as well.  I do lightly spray the inside of the rising container or bowl with either Pam or I lightly coat it with olive oil.  If you don't do this step you'll never get the dough out of the container once it's risen.  If you have a silicon bowl that you can rise it in, you don't need the lubricant.  Don't use a metal bowl for this as it may react with the starter.

Once the dough has doubled in size, deflate it.  Put it back in the plastic container and put it in the refrigerator for another 5-6 hours.  When you're ready to bake it, take it out of the fridge a couple hours before.



This is the dough with a view from the top and the side.  Notice that it's just below the 1 quart line.

This is the dough after it has risen to the 2 quart line.  Roughly doubled in size.

At this point I put the dough on a cutting board with additional flour to keep it from sticking and I shape it into the type of loaf I want.  I'm doing an oblong loaf and I will bake it in my LeCruset cast iron pan (see pic below)




At this point I preheat the oven to 450°, with both the pan and lid for the pan in the oven.  While it's preheating, you can deflate the dough a bit and shape it as seen above.  Cover it with a towel or cloth as the oven will take about a 1/2 hour to preheat.  Once the oven is ready, using oven mitts, remove the pan and lid from the oven.  Carefully add your dough to the pan, seem side down.  Cut a 1/8th inch deep slit along the top of the loaf using either a razor blade (I prefer this) or very sharp knife.  Make the cut about 7 inches long.  Cover the loaf and place it back in the oven.  Set your timer for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, remove the top of the pan, reduce the heat to 375° and bake for an additional 25 minutes.  After the total bake time of 50 minutes, remove the loaf from the pan to a cooling rack.  With my pan I can just flip the pan over and the loaf will fall out.  Tap the loaf on the bottom and if it sounds hollow, it's done.  

***Let the bread cool for at least an hour.  It continues to set up while it's cooling, so though you may want it warm out of the oven, this is a crucial step.


To Continue with the 100% whole wheat recipe, see Read More? below.....



100% Whole Wheat Sourdough  (Mostly the exact same as the white flour sourdough, but I'll repeat here as well)

 Before the Rise


After the rise

3 cups 100% Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (plus 1/2 cup for kneading)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional, but I highly recommend after trial and error.  Adds to the bite)
1 Tablespoon organic honey or agave syrup
1 cup filtered water (or bottled), heated to between 100° and 110° Fahrenheit
1 cup active sourdough starter.  Stir the starter down before measuring.  If you're taking your starter out of the refrigerator, allow it to sit on the counter for a couple of hours to take the chill off of it.


In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a mixer if you're mixing with a dough hook, add the first three (just the 3 cups of flour, not the extra 1/2 cup) dry ingredients of flour, salt and vital wheat gluten, and mix them together with a whisk.  Add the starter and water together and stir.  Add the honey or agave syrup to the water/starter mixture.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and begin either mixing with a dough hook or by hand.  If you're doing it by hand, knead it in the bowl for about 5 minutes before putting it on the counter or a cutting board to kneed it with the additional 1/2 cup flour.

If you're kneading it with dough hook, knead it for about 5 minutes.  Let it rest for about 10 minutes, then add half of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.  After about 3 minutes if it still seems too sticky to the touch, add the additional 1/4 cup of flour.  It should be tacky to the touch, but not sticky to where it won't come off your hands.  Adding more flour is sometimes necessary because of the weather and humidity.  You'll get to where you can tell if it's ready by the touch, but this will come with practice.




With the whole wheat bread,  I like to let the bread rise in the same container I'm going to bake it in.  I do lightly spray the inside of the rising container or bowl with either Pam or I lightly coat it with olive oil.  You might also want to cut out a piece of parchment paper to place on the bottom of the pan so the loaf doesn't stick.  Whole Wheat dough is stickier than White dough.  If you don't do this step you'll never get the dough out of the pan once it's baked.  If you have a silicon bowl that you can rise it in, you don't need the lubricant.  Don't use a metal bowl for this as it may react with the starter.  Whole Wheat sourdough doesn't rise as easily or nearly as much as the white bread, so you're only going to get one rise out of it, which is why I let it rise in the container I'm going to bake in.

Unlike the White sourdough bread, you start this bread with a preheated 425° oven.  Place a metal pan in the bottom of the oven when you're preheating (more about this later).  When you're ready to bake the bread, using either a razor blade or sharp knife, cut a 6 inch long, 1/8th inch deep slit along the top of the bread and place the pan on the middle rack of the oven.  Grab about a 1/2 cup to a cup of water and pour it into the heated pan in the bottom of the oven.  Be careful as it will steam up immediately.  Close the oven and you've created an atmosphere similar to bread baking ovens.  Immediately turn the oven down to 375° and after 25 minutes, rotate the pan 180 degrees.  Bake an additional 30 minutes.

Just like the white sourdough, once you remove the bread from the pan, a tap on the bottom of the loaf should indicate whether it's done.  Let it cool on a cooling rack for at least an hour before cutting.

SPICY THAI MINT CHIKN

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Had this at a vegan restaurant recently and wanted to replicate it.  I don't know if it's exactly the same, but it is tasty.

You'll need:

2 cups TVP or TSP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
2 cups Shiitake Mushrooms (dried)
3 cups water
3 cups RVS (roasted vegetable stock)
1 lemon grass stalk cut into 3 inch pieces
2 bunches of fresh mint (remove thick stems and chop the leaves)
1 bunch fresh cilantro (remove thick stems and chop the leaves)
1 lime juiced
4 Serrano peppers (remove seeds and membrane in two and keep them for two, slice all)
3 Jalapeno peppers (remove seeds and membrane and slice)
8 cloves garlic roughly chopped
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon agave syrup

Boil the 3 cups of water and pour it over the shiitake mushrooms.  Let them stand for at least a 1/2 hour.
Boil the RVS with the lemongrass for about 5 minutes.  Add the TVP or TVS to the liquid.  It will quickly absorb a lot of it.  Add the Soy sauce.

When the shiitake mushrooms are done soaking, squeeze out as much water as you can and put the mushrooms in a Cuisinart (or any food processor).  Pulse the mushrooms until they are about the same size as the TVP.  Add the mushrooms and the mushroom stock to the pot with the TVP.  Add the lime juice, garlic, agave syrup to the TVP/mushroom mixture.  When most of the liquid has cooked off, add half of both peppers and half of the mint and cilantro.  Let it continue to cook the liquid off.

About 5 minutes before you're ready to serve (over brown rice of course), add the remaining mint, cilantro and peppers and let them cook.  This will give you added freshness and texture as opposed to putting everything in at once.


ENJOY

SUNDAY BRUNCH

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What'd you have for breakfast.  This was a little spinach scramble (onions, firm tofu, tumeric and baby spinach) with O'Brien Potatoes (saute of onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, potatoes, rosemary, salt and pepper).




SOURDOUGH BREAD (Part 2 of 3)

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 A TALE OF TWO STARTERS


Prepping your Starter:

As I said in the Sourdough Starter (Part 1 of 3), you need to feed your starter.  On the right is my 100% whole wheat flour starter and the left is white flour starter.  You add 1 cup of flour and 2/3 cup of of water.  Notice the different units for measuring I'm using.  For those of you that don't know the difference, the ones with the flour are the type you always use for dry ingredients and the glass cup in the middle is the one you always use for wet ingredients.  It DOES make a difference.

I'm going to show you, in pictures, the rest of the process for getting your starter to become "active".


These are the two starters once I have added the water and flour.  I mark the sides of the container with tape as it helps me to know when they have approximately doubled in size.  I like to use a rubber spatula to clean off the sides of the container on the inside so that I can watch the rising process.

White flour starter after the feeding.

100% whole wheat starter after the feeding.

White flour starter after it becomes active.  Note that it looks like pancakes right before you need to flip them.

100% whole wheat starter after it becomes active.  The whole wheat takes a little longer than the white.


This is where the two starters are after about 4 hours.

It helps to maintain a warm temperature of about 78-88 degrees Fahrenheit   It's been really cold here since it's winter, so to cheat the climate I turn on the oven for about 2 minutes and let the starters rise in there.  You should have a removable oven thermometer in order to make sure you're not letting the oven get too warm.  Ovens don't go low enough, but ideally it should be a temperature that's warm but that you would be comfortable in, if that makes sense.  If it's too hot it will kill the starter.

Click on the active starters and notice what they look like from the side.  They are pretty spongy at this point.  I'm putting them in the refrigerator to stunt the activity and will remove them, wait a couple of hours, and bake with them tomorrow.

I could go into the many different ways to get a starter started, but if anyone is interested, I am drying out some white flour starter and will sell it here for $20 each batch and that includes shipping in the Continental United States.  It will include what would be a half cup of starter that is dehydrated and I will include the instructions on how to re-hydrate it and re-activate it for baking.  I will also include directions on how to convert it to 100% Whole Wheat.  Just let me know if you're interested and I will send a PayPal link for the order.

It's a lot of fun and the starter becomes like a pet, though not as needy.  I have given starter to a lot of friends and relatives and most of them think that they killed it.  It's pretty hard to kill and it can get nasty looking if you don't tend to it, but it's really hearty and I'm sure I could have gotten each one to live again.

CHECK THE OIL PLEASE!!!!!!!

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The Myth of Moderation Pt 2: The Impact of “Just A Little Oil!”
The Myth of Moderation, Pt 2: 

The Impact of "Just A Little Oil.
Jeff Novick, MS, RD
The following question is one I am frequently asked. It is about he impact of "just a little olive oil."
Q:  I know that it is best to order (or make) steamed vegetables. If I were to order (or make) vegetables with a 'little" olive oil, how much olive oil do you think is usually used in proportion to the vegetables and how bad would that be?  
A: No one knows for sure. And little amounts can have a big impact since oil is the most calorie dense food there is. And, while vegetables are the lowest in calorie density, the impact of even small amounts of oil on the vegetables can be huge.
In addition, in spite of all the health claims, olive oil is a very rich source of calories and, in addition, 14% of the calories in olive oil come from saturated fat. The current recommendation from the American Heart Association is to limit our intake of saturated fat to no more than 7% of calories. Personally, I think less than 5% is better.
Now, this is a great question because everyone always wants to know, "how bad is a little of this" or "a little of that."  Your question, will give us an opportunity to look at this issue in detail. 
So, let’s see how this works (and bear with me and all the math as I think this is very important)…
Let’s say you ordered a plain side of steamed vegetables. For every 1/2 cup serving of steamed vegetables, that would be about 25 calories. So, even a larger 1 cup serving would be only 50 calories.
Olive Oil, like all oils, is 40 calories per tsp.
So let’s see the impact.
If the serving of veggies is 25 calories (1/2 cup), adding even just 1 tsp. of oil would raise the total calories from 25 to 65 and the majority of the calories (62%) would now be coming from oil. Since most of the calories are no longer coming from the vegetables, this technically is no longer a side of veggies but a side of oil, with some veggies added.  :)
In addition, in regard to saturated fat, the vegetables would have virtually none. But by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now about 10% saturated fat.
As we can see, the impact of the oil on the vegetables, at this level, is dramatic and that is just for a tsp. of oil.
If we add 2 tsp. of oil to a 1/2 cup serving of steamed vegetables, we would raise the total calories from 25 to 105, and the majority of the calories (76%) would now be coming from oil. This side dish is also now 11% saturated fat.
If we add 3 tsp. of oil (which is the same as one tablespoon) to a 1/2 cup serving of steamed vegetables, we would raise the total calories from 25 to 145 and the majority of the calories (83%) would now be coming from oil. The side dish is now also 12% saturated fat.
For those of you who eat more than a serving of vegetables at a time, let’s see the impact of the oil on the vegetables if we double the side dish of vegetables to 1 cup, which, according to traditional serving sizes, is 2 servings of vegetables. 
If the serving of veggies is 50 calories (1 cup), even just 1 tsp. of oil would raise the total calories from 50 to 90 and almost half of the calories (45%) would now be coming from oil.  In addition, in regard to saturated fat, the vegetables would have virtually none, but by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now 7% saturated fat.
If we add 2 tsp. of oil to the 1 cup serving of vegetables, we would raise the total calories from 50 to 130 and the majority of the calories (62%) would now be coming from oil. The dish is also now 9% saturated fat.
If we add 3 tsp. of oil (which is the same as one tablespoon) to one serving of vegetables, we would raise the total calories from 50 to 170, and the majority of the calories (70%) would now be coming from oil. The side dish is also now 11% saturated fat.
As we can see, the impact of even a little oil on typical serving sizes of vegetables is dramatic. 
Now, remember, this analogy is with olive oil, which is supposed to be one of the healthier oils.  Imagine the negative impact a little coconut oil, which is over 90% saturated fat (with about 30% of the calories being the worst saturated fats), would have in the same scenario. 
But, I know, some of you say you REALLY eat lots of vegetables.  :)
So, let's look at the impact of even a little oil on a large amount of salad and/or vegetables. Let's use a pound of steamed greens, which, for the record, would be about 3.5 cups of steamed kale.
A pound of steamed kale is 125 calories and is 1.4% saturated fat.
Adding 1 tsp. of oil would raise the total calories from 125 to 165 and 25% of the calories would now be coming from the oil. In addition, in regard to saturated fat, by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now 5% saturated fat.
Adding 2 tsp. of oil would raise the total calories from 125 to 205 and 40% of the calories would now be coming from the oil.  In addition, by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now almost 7% saturated fat.
Adding 3 tsp. (1 TB) of oil would raise the total calories from 125 to 245 and almost 50% of the calories would now be coming from oil.  By just adding 3 tsp. of oil to a pound of veggies, almost half the calories now come from the oil.  In addition, by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now almost 8% saturated fat.
In my personal and professional opinion as both a RD, a former chef and a frequent visitor of restaurants, a TB of oil, if not more, is what many people are using (or getting) per typical serving of food/vegetables, which as we can see, can have a huge impact.  But, you actually may be getting much more.  So, let’s do one more example with 2 TB of oil. 
Adding 6 tsp. (or 2 TB) of oil would raise the total calories from 125 to 365 and 65% of the calories would now be coming from oil. In addition, by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now 10% saturated fat.
And this is playing out in homes and restaurants every day under the mistaken guise that oils, like olive oil are healthy for you.
For example, I was in an Italian restaurant a few weeks ago that is supposed to be known for its "healthy" food.  One of the members of the party I was with was trying to order a "heart healthy" meal.  She ordered pasta primavera with a plain tomato sauce and specifically requested it be cooked with "as little oil as possible."   When the dish came out, there was so much oil in the plate, she asked for a second plate so she could lift out the pasta and veggies from all the oil and put them in a new bowl.  After she did this, we looked at the remaining oil in the original plate and there had to be over 1/2 cup if not more, of oil left in the original bowl.   A 1/2 cup of oil is the equivalent of 8 tbsp.  Imagine the impact this would have had on someone trying to eat "Heart Healthy."  Even though she removed the pasta she was going to eat from all this oil, we still have no idea how much oil was still left in the pasta, veggies and sauce. 
Instead of using oil, try sprinkling some balsamic vinegar and/or some lemon juice on your veggies along with some fresh herbs/seasonings.  Balsamic vinegar has only about 5 calories per tbsp. and has no saturated fat.  It will also add lots of flavor without adding any of the extra calories, fat and saturated fat that is in olive oil.

SOURDOUGH BREAD (part 1 of 3)

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Sourdough bread has been an obsession of mine for the past couple of years.  I've enjoyed growing, feeding, killing (didn't really enjoy that) and growing again, my sourdough starter (the mother sponge(s)).  I'm going to attempt to break this down in a couple of parts.  If you're at all interested in this baking art form, you'll probably find this fascinating.  I'm going to give information that's not as much scientific as it is knowledge I've gained by reading and experimenting over the course of two years.

Sourdough is the yeast that was used in leavened breads (breads that rise)  for longer than, I think, even historians can pin point (perhaps as early as Ancient Egypt).   Modern day yeast (dry active, instant, rapid rise etc.) which are used commercially and in most home baker's kitchens has only been around for about 70 years.  Prior to that bakers got their yeast from beer brewers.  Sourdough is a leavened bread that has a distinctive sour taste created by the fermenting of the starter and then the actual dough.

The initial work on sourdough comes from the creating of the starter.  It usually takes about a week of feedings before you get a starter that is able to support the work needed to create a risen bread.  After you have your sourdough you need to feed the dough that you store in the refrigerator.  The general consensus is that you need to feed it at least once a week, though I have left my starters much longer with no disastrous consequences.



In a nut shell, what sourdough starters do is pull naturally occurring yeast from the air into the starter and it feeds on the sugars created from the flour that you use to feed the starter.  Once my starters became active, I generally keep two cups of whole wheat and two cups of white starter on hand at all times.  When I feed them I stir down the starter, pour out 1/2 of it and feed it again with one cup of flour and 2/3 cups of water (this creates 100% hydrated starter).  The one cup flour to 2/3 cups of water are equal quantities by weight. once the starter has doubled in volume I stir it down and use it in my bread.  To create the 100% whole wheat starter I started with white flour starter and only fed it with whole wheat flour.

I'm sure the jury is out on this next point, but research is beginning to support studies that show white sourdough bread (the kind I'm talking about here that is the truly fermented bread that takes 8-12 hours to make as opposed to commercially made sourdough that uses dry yeast) may show lower spikes in blood sugar.  This article touches on that and I'm sure it will continue to be discussed and argued.  The long and short of it is that they've proven diabetics do fine if not better eating truly fermented white sourdough bread than even whole wheat (though I think they mean whole wheat dry yeast bread as I don't think the study covers whole wheat sourdough).

Coming up in the next part I will share step by step instructions on how to create whole wheat and a white sourdough bread (pictures of both are shown here) including feeding the starter, knowing when the starter is ready to go and baking the bread.  Oh, by the way, the bread I make is n(o)il, though I do use a little Pam or olive oil if I am allowing the dough to slow rise in a container overnight so that it doesn't stick.


VEGGIE CLEANOUT TIME

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It's that time once again when being a single person that loves to shop at Costco causes overwhelming large amounts of vegetables to scream at me every time I open the refrigerator to make something good out of them before they wilt and die.  This is one of those days when I'm winging it with what I'm going to make.  I have no plan so I'm pulling everything out and putting it in a pan.  There is no recipe here...just ingredients.

Red Bell Peppers
Onions
Carrots
Brussels Sprouts
Spinach
Asparagus
Roasted Golden Beets
Garlic
Fresh Ginger
Zucchini (last one from my summer garden)
Mushrooms
Firm Tofu
Roasted Vegetable Stock
Indian Bhartaa Masala Spices
Crushed Coriander
Lite Soy Sauce
Cracked Black Pepper
Black and Brown Rice

Put the longest cooking vegetables in first gradually getting to the ones that need to cook the least.  I will tell you that I didn't cook the spinach or the asparagus.  I put the hot rice in the bowl, the spinach and asparagus on that and the Saute of Vegetables with on top of that.  By the time I sat down to eat they were perfectly cooked.




MASHING THE POTATO MYTH

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video

The Irish in me gets fighting mad when people question whether or not you can include potatoes.  Though this guys approach might be a bit extreme, it begs the question "where did the potato get such a bad rap".  It's NOT, I repeat NOT, a simple carbohydrate that turns into sugar the moment you eat it like white flour.  It's a whole food, nutritionally amazing, addition to any diet.  It goes back to "it's not the potato but what you put ON the potato!"

Check out my gadget section for amazing French "Fries!" using the Super Wave Oven.

A Quick Recap of Why Whole Foods, Plant Based N(o)il

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I know a lot of people don't have a long attention span when it comes to things educational, especially health related informtion.  Iin the past, I've recommended that everyone watch the film Forks Over Knives, read the books The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, or  Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn.  Here is a 5 minute quick review of why I do the Whole Food, n(o)il way of eating.  They say they are going to break for commercials about halfway through but it's only about a 3 second pause and then they continue the discussion.

It occurs to me that we are all procrastinators when it comes to our health.  We wait for some bad news to happen to us or a loved one before we take care of business.  If more people would get into the preventive health mindset, many, if not all Western Diet related disease would be lowered if not eradicated, including the obesity rate, the numbers of people with Type II Diabetes, those who are suffering from various cancers, and finally vascular diseases (which is the most prevalent cause of many illnesses in this country). 

Take the time and give this a quick watch....maybe it will inspire you to watch the film, read the books, and get your health under control.  You'll feel better, look better and wonder why you didn't do this a long time ago.

CHILI SIN CARNE

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Sin means without in Spanish for those that aren't bilingual.

This is one of those staples that you can make a huge bat of and freeze.  It's good for lunch, dinner or even snacks.  You could throw it in a tofu scramble for breakfast as well.  Very versatile, very delicious and very easy.  Also, one of those dishes that keeps getting better with age.  Serve it along side some brown or black rice for the perfect food.

Ingredients:

2 Onions diced
1 Sweet Bell Pepper diced (red, yellow or orange)
8 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 bottle hearty red wine or 2 beers, full bodied
4 cups roasted vegetable stock
1 tsp Mexican oregano (or regular if you don't have it)
3 Tbl Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Coriander Seed crushed
1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 cup Dark Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (or more to your own heat index)
2 14.5 oz cans diced Tomatoes (low sodium or no sodium)
8 cups cooked beans (or canned).  I used 2 each of pinto and red beans and  4 cups Fava Beans
1 Cup TVP, TSP or meat crumbles.  I used leftover seitan roast from Christmas that I ground into meat crumbles (this step of the faux meat is optional)
2 1/2 Tsp fine sea salt

Into a heated large pot or skillet, add the onions and peppers.  Keep them moving around.  When they have browned to your liking, add the wine or beer to deglaze the pan.  Add all of the dry spices and let it keep cooking until it is almost evaporated.  Add in the roasted vegetable stock, tomatoes, beans, meat protein and salt.  Cover and cook over low heat for an hour.

Click here for the Sour Cream topping


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