GLAD YOU FOUND ME AND WELCOME

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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NOT SO CHICKEN STEW

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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.

REALITY CHECK

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My Dad and Me March 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.

My Grand Nephew and Me April 2013

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.

The recipe section of the blog now contains links to over 50 of my recipes.  Not a bad number considering I've only posted 133 blogs.  That's almost one recipe every 2 1/2 days.  Considering I eat a LOT of leftovers and also test recipes before I post them, I'd say I'm doing pretty well.

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.

THE DIRTY DOZEN FOOD LIST 2013

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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.

7 GRAIN PANCAKES

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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 (This now contains (make sure it doesn't contain buttermilk powder.....you can also use Buckwheat Pancake 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.


CANNELLINI BEAN AND GARLIC PASTA

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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.

Ingredients:

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.


PHỞ

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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.

Ingredients:

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

Garnishes
1 bunch Thai basil (I used purple as that's all they had)
bean sprouts
1 bunch mint leaves
1 bunch Cilantro
lime wedges
sliced Serrano chilies
red chili paste
hoisin sauce
siracha sauce
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.

Cardamom roasted with the other spices and cracked exposing the inner seeds.
Use the mesh tea ball or put your spices in a tea filter (bag)

Browning Veggies


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.
Already prepared Roasted Vegetable Stock fresh out of my freezer





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.







MIXED BEANS (WITH A CRUNCH)

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Didn't have much in the house to cook so went to the pantry and this is what I came up with.

Ingredients:

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.




GYROS

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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.


Ingredients:

Thinly sliced Seitan - heated either by steaming or putting it quickly on a hot, non stick pan
Thinly slice red onion
sliced tomatoes
lettuce (optional)
Tzatziki

Tzatziki Sauce:

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




MACHO NACHOS

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MMMM Nachos.  That gooey, spicy, tasty treat that you can have as a snack, appetizer or meal.  Usually consists of ground meat, refried beans, tortilla chips, nacho cheese, salsa and sour cream.  Here's my oil free vegan version. 

Ingredients:

I start with my own chips.  I cut the corn tortillas into six chips each using a pizza cutter.  I put them on a cookie sheet into a 200° Fahrenheit preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

1 can fat free refried beans
1 cup meat crumbles (or rehydrated soy protein)
1 cup fresh, oil free low sodium salsa (preferably home made)
1 avocado diced
vegan sour cream as much as you like
vegan oil free cheeze from our Mac n' Cheeze recipe (I added 1/2 teaspoon of jalapeno powder to it)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion (or 1/2 a small onion diced)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
cilantro leaves for garnish and flavor

Heat the meat crumbles in a non stick pan and add all of the dry spices and onion.  Stir to mix and add the vegetable stock.  Continue to heat until all of the liquid has absorbed and cooked off. 

Warm the beans and cheeze in the microwave

Layer the nachos on a plate with chips, beans, crumbles, cheeze then repeat.  When you're done with the last layer add the avocado, salsa, sour cream and cilantro.  









EASTERN EUROPEAN FAST FOOD

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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.


IT'S PLANTING TIME AGAIN

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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.


2013 seeds planted by the number.  

1       Basil Genovese
2       Black Beauty Zucchini
3       Black Krim Tomato
4       Bloody Butcher Tomato
5       Boxcar Willie Tomato
6       Buran Pepper
7       Cajun Tobasco Pepper
8       Cherokee purple Tomato
9       Diamond Eggplant
10    Early Prolific Straight Neck Yellow Squash
11    Hillbilly Tomato
12    Italian Heirloom Tomato
13    Jalapeno Pepper
14    Lacinato Kale
15    Matina Tomato
16    Minnesota Midget Melon
17    Moskovich Tomato
18    Mr. Stripey Tomato
19    Pasilla Bajio Pepper
20    Rose de Berne Tomato
21    San Marzano Tomato
22    Stupice Tomato
23    Suyo Long Cucumber
24    Tarragon
25    Thessaloniki Tomato
26    Thyme
27    Tsakoniki Eggplant
28    Violet of Sicily Cauliflower
29    Waltham Broccoli 

My 2011 garden plot map

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