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


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


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Taking Lunch to Work

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Lunch at work

My friend Deanna asked about lunch ideas for taking lunch to work.

You all know about the Subway Vegi sandwich that I blogged about in the eating out page.  If you don’t have time to go during work, go the night before or morning of (they do sell breakfast, so they’re open), and ask them to make you a deli sandwich all vegies and have them put the vegis just on the paper that they usually make the sandwich on, bread on the side (have them slice it as they normally would).  Wrap that up, stick it in a Ziploc and off to work.  Keep some Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar at work.  Neither has to be refrigerated.  My brother does this and Subway doesn’t mind.

I like to use lunch as my way of getting lots of greens and other vegetables.  If you don’t like chopping and cutting, Deanna mentioned there’s not always time, Trader Joes has lots of already prepared vegetables right in the refrigerator section.  I also recommend getting all of the other toppings prepped and ready so it’s like having a salad bar in your refrigerator.  Drain and rinse any vegetables and beans you buy canned as they include a lot of salt.  I like artichoke hearts (packed in water, not oil), corn, garbanzo beans, black beans, sliced black olives, roast beets chopped into one inch pieces, peas (frozen then thawed are better than canned), roasted bell peppers (again, packed in water, not oil), sliced mushrooms and onions (you could sauté a bunch and have them on hand), broccoli, tomatoes, raw red or yellow bell pepper, radish sprouts (adds a nice bite) or radishes, sliced roasted potatoes, cucumber, shredded carrots, raw or cooked green beans.  Then add fresh herbs like basil, mint or cilantro.  Rinse it all and cut a little of the stems off then place the stems in a glass of water to keep fresh, and buy already cut up bags of lettuce and other greens arugula, spinach and kale.

For the dressing I would make a lot of one of your favorites.  Remember, if you make my aioli mayonnaise it makes a great base for a creamy salad dressing.

The other thing to remember is that the Trader Joes Lavash make great wraps.  Dip into your salad toppings and bring some that you think will go well in a wrap.  Make some of the hummus from the blog and bring that with you as well.  When at work, put a Lavash in the micro for 30-45 seconds to soften it up to make rolling easier.  Spread a generous amount of hummus on the Lavash and add your fillings.  Roll it up and cut it in half.  Your co-workers will be wishing they had some.  Even mashed up boiled sweet potatoes or regular potatoes make a good filling. 

I also like the frozen Boca burgers from Costco which you can definitely cook in the microwave.  Add sliced cucumber, tomatoes and spinach and make a wrap (add a little ketchup, mustard and aioli mayo and sprinkle some nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor)

We’re coming into fall which is a great time to get back into comfort foods that also travel well to work.  Soup:  Minestrone, butternut squash, creamy corn chowder, even gazpacho since there’s a plethora of tomatoes around, all served with a nice chunk of wheat bread. 

Make a huge batch of chili with beans and use lots of different beans for fun.  Freeze them in serving size portions and warm at work. 

The rice and bean dish in the recipe section can be made ahead and lasts at least a week.  You can try freezing a serving size amount and see how it is after it’s thawed.

Rice Bowls are a great option.  Sauté a bunch of vegetables ahead of time.  Costco sells brown rice in bowls already, but it’s cheaper to make your own.  Add different things together to add some variety.  You can make a Mexican flavor bowl by adding fajita style veggies, any number of salsas, corn, bring an avocado, mash some pinto beans for the refried beans or black beans (or both), lime, and cilantro, throw it all in the bowl and heat it.  Bring some corn tortillas and make mini tacos.  Go Asian with snap peas, mung bean sprouts (those are the thicker sprouts usually served in stir-fry), red peppers, carrots, water chestnuts (Costco has a great bag of already chopped stir-fry vegetables.  I bought them when I was on my trip in Sacramento last week and use them a lot).

These are some of my ideas based on things I’ve eaten for lunch.  If anyone can think of things that they do at work, please leave the idea in the comment section and I’ll it add to the blog.

The pizza I made a few blogs back is great as a leftover either cold or heated in the micro.

Be creative and more importantly, have fun.  Others may look at you oddly for not just grabbing a sandwich and chips, but your health and attitude are what’s important!

Still on the road, unfortunately

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After one of the worst 24 hours I've spent, I want to shout out to some people that took me out of my head for awhile. Rich and Richard, thanks for dinner and getting me to focus on anything other than the day. Carrie, thanks for the drinks and positive don't find that often. I do believe that you meet people in life to keep pointing you in the right direction.

I finally decided I had to eat so I made my Dreamy Creamy avocado pasta and added some balsamic vinegar. Easy, tasty and filling, not to mention my new comfort food.

Road food

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First night in the hotel was very tired so easy was the way to go. I know not everyone travels with their chef knives, a spice rack and heirloom tomatoes, but hey, that's the way I roll. This meal consists of Costco purchased tofu, crumbled, Costco frozen stir fry veggies, brown rice, cumin, soy sauce, curry powder, juice of a lemon, garlic salt, red pepper flakes and sliced Mr. Stripey tomato.

Fat free vegan protein bars

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I'm on the road for work for a couple weeks.  I decided to do a little research to see what fat free vegan alternatives are available and could find none. I came across this website that created a cool formula to make a ridiculous number of possibilities for protein energy bars. They created 8 categories of ingredients, came up with the quantities you use from each category, so all you have to do is measure, mix and bake.  Enjoy. If you come up with a particularly good combination, please share. Click here pro No Meat Athlete

Vinegar Potato Salad

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Vinegar Potato Salad
3 pounds baby red potatoes, quartered and cooked (boiled).  Make the sauce while the potatoes are boiling.  When you have finished cutting the vegetables and herbs, add to a bowl and pour over about 1 cup of the sauce.  As soon as the potatoes are done, drain them and put the hot potatoes directly into the bowl with the sauce and vegetable mixture.  Hot potatoes will absorb more sauce.  After you mix it together, you can add more sauce as you see fit.  It's great to make potato salad the day before you're going to eat it so the flavors can marry and marinate.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  You will probably have some of the sauce left makes a delicious salad dressing.

For the sauce
Juice of 2 oranges
Zest 2 limes
Juice of 4 limes
2 tbl Dijon
3 tbl sherry wine veinegar
4 tbl rice wine vinegar
1 tbl apple cider vinegr
1 tbl red wine vinegar
1 tbl Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
6 cloves garlic (grated)
2 tbl fresh ginger (grated)
S&P to taste (I like a lot of cracked black pepper in this)
½ block drained silken tofu
Blend for about 2 minutes in a blender or Cuisinart

For the vegetables and herbs
red bell pepper finely diced
yellow or orange bell pepper finely diced
4 ½ ounces sliced black olives
½ cup radish Sprouts (optional)
Jalapeno finely diced (remove or leave the seeds and membrane in for as much heat as you can take)
Scallions finely sliced on the diagonal
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley finely diced

Pizza, Pizza

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My sister wanted to make pizza for few of her friends, so I said let's try it out ahead of time to see how it goes.

For the base we used a sangak bread which is a Persian national bread.  It is basically whole wheat flour, water and yeast with sesame seeds on top right before baking.  It's kind of fun to watch them make it at our local store.  It's a very wet dough and is pretty much poured on the hot grill.  It's about three feet long, 14 inches wide and works great for pizza.  This is what I used, but you can use any whole wheat, oil free pizza dough you would like.

We made two different kinds.  The top one is a roasted tomato sauce with grilled veggies.  For the second one we call it sausage and onion.

For the roasted tomato sauce, roast the tomatoes as I showed you on my previous post a couple of days ago, along with the onions and garlic.  Put it all in a Cuisinart or blender and whir it up.  Use about a cup and a half of the sauce and to it add 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (more if you like it spicy), and s&p to taste.  Pour the sauce and cover the bread leaving about an inch around the edges with no sauce.  We grilled up some zucchini, yellow squash, red, yellow and orange bell peppers and eggplant.  At the end add sliced black olives.  Put it on a sheet pan lined with silpat (previous post) or parchment paper, or a pizza stone if you have one.  Put it in a 500 ° preheated oven for about 5 minutes.  Just keep an eye on it.  It's done when the edges start to look dark brown or black.

For the second one I took no fat meat crumbles (you can use TVP textured Vegetable Protein if you can't find the ready made crumbles.  Just rehydrate it with equal parts hot water to TVP) and to the crumbles added 1 tablespoon no beef bouillon, 1 tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire, 2 tablespoons fennel seed, half crushed, half whole, 1 tablespoon dry rosemary crushed, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper.  Heat all of it in a non stick pan.  Put about 6 large handfuls of spinach in it and add 1/2 cup water.  Cover so the spinach will cook down.  Once it's all cooked down, stir it up and you're ready to go.

For the pizza we made a cashew cheeze sauce using 1 cup cashews, ground fine, the juice of 2 lemons, 1 cup of basil firmly packed, 1/2 cup of the extra roasted tomato sauce.  Blend this all in your Cuisinart or blender (taste for S&P)  and you're ready to go.

The Cheeze is the base of the pizza  followed by the sausage mixture.  To that add grilled mushrooms, grilled onions sliced and rehydrated sundried tomatoes (rehydrate by putting the dry tomatoes in a cup of water in the microwave for one minute.  Let them soak about 5 minutes then thinly slice them).  Bake the same way as the vegetable pizza, 500° preheated oven about 5 minutes.

As an added feature, though I don't have any pictures of this, I added chopped kale mixed with one avocado and the juice of one lemon and 1/2 tsp of salt together.  Mix everything up with your hands (that's right, squish it all together). This is the topping that will go on the vegetable pizza when it comes out of the oven.

For the sausage pizza, take about 2 cups of arugula (rocket if you're from Europe) and squeeze the juice of one lemon on it with a little salt.  Put this on top of the pizza when it comes out of the oven.

Roasting Vegetables

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This can also go in the tools and gadget section.

Why roast anything?  Roasting adds a layer of flavor and intensity to vegetables.  By slow roasting in the oven (or on an outdoor grill) you will get a caramelization and sweetness that you can't get by quick sauteing in oil on the stove.  To accomplish this without the burden of cleaning the baking sheet when I'm done, I use a silpat sheet.  Silpat is a product that is made of silicone and can withstand the heat up to 450° (sometimes up to 800°, but read the label when you buy it).  You can bake with it, roast with it, buy it shaped like a muffin tin or bread pan.  It's a wonderful product, and not all are called Silpat...that was the original manufacturer that invented it.  Just search the internet or go to your favorite kitchen supply store.

Here's what mine looks like.  Sorry it's a little worse for wear, but I use it a lot.  I've also included some tomatoes and onions that I sauteed in the oven at 350° for 1/2 hour the 250° for another hour to 1 1/2, just check on them every half hour for doneness.  You'll notice that I didn't add the garlic when I originally put it in the oven.  Add the garlic for the last 45 minutes so it doesn't burn and shrivel up to nothing.  This is great as a salsa, roasted tomato sauce, to use in soups....

Dreamy Creamy Avocado Sauce

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Avocado Pasta Sauce

Saw this on website and looked SO EASY, had to give it a try.

1 Avocado (medium to large)
1-3 cloves of garlic
1/4-1/2 cup fresh basil (packed)
1/2 tsp salt
lots of cracked pepper
Juice of one lemon (zest the lemon first to use as a garnish, then juice it)

Blend it all together in a Cuisinart or blender (Cuisinart works best)

I added my own touches to it with 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper and fresh tomatoes.  But go crazy and add spinach as well.  Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on with the lemon zest at the end.  This is served over Whole Wheat Spaghetti.  You'll easily have the sauce done by the time the pasta is done cooking.  11 minutes start to finish.

Mexican Dining made plant strong

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 Grilled tofu and steamed veggie burrito, ask
for a whole wheat tortilla.  Rice, Beans, Veggies and tofu
They have a big salsa bar to add more flavors to this filling burrito

Naked chicken fajita bowl, hold the chicken or replace it with tofu, hold the sour cream, comes with
brown rice, roasted corn, lots of other veggies and guacamole.

Almost anything you order here can be made without meat protein or dairy.  Just add tofu and
lots of salsa.  Ask for Whole wheat or corn tortillas and the combinations are endless.


Remember to KISS

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Sometimes you've just got to "keep it simple stupid".  It was still really hot at dinner time and I didn't feel like adding fuel to the heat by using the oven or stove.  On top of that I was just craving a really big salad.  Funny thing about this salad; in the past this would have been added as a side dish for about 6 people....but no, just me.

1 head romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 medium sized cucumber, peel on or off, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup brine soaked and rinsed kalamata olives, chopped (not the kind packed in olive oil)
1 whole red bell pepper (love my summer garden) chopped
1 cup chickpeas cooked or canned (aka garbanzo beans)
1 large tomato, chopped
2 cups cooked kale chopped

Ken's 2-Of Salad Dressing

2 tbl of Ken's Aioli or Mayo
2 tbl of dijon mustard
2 oz. of apple cider vinegar
2 oz. of rice wine vinegar
2 tsp of herbs de provence
2 pinches of sea salt
2 grinds of black pepper
Shake vigorously twice and enjoy

OMG Meatloaf (I mean Wheatloaf)

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One of my favorite things to eat is a well made meatloaf....and people loved mine.  I had to figure out a way that I could make it so that it was so good I would look forward to meatloaf sandwiches as well.  Here's what I came up with.

The first ingredient I used was leftover pastrami.  Pastrami, you is that possible.  Well, this is a link to Pastrami Seitan that I used to make Reuben Sandwiches.  I had some left over so I turned it into ground meat (wheat).   Here are some photos of the process.

This is the leftover Pastrami Seitan.  I cut it into big hunks and put in in the food processor as seen below.

I actually added it through the feed tube a couple pieces at a time so as not to stop the blades.  This pic is for visual only.

This is what it looked like at the end.  I pulsed it until I got the consistency I desired.

Preheat oven to 375°.   Here are the rest of the ingredients:

4 cups of the seitan (you can buy this if you don't want to make it)
1/2 cup oat flour (if you don't have it and can't find it, take whole oats and put them into the Cuisinart until you create a flour)
1 1/2 medium onions (chopped)
6 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (strain out half the juice)
1 14.5 oz. can of black beans (rinsed and drained or make your own) mashed
1 Tbl herbes de provence (if you don't have this, use dry, crushed,  rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley) 1/2 tsp. each
2 Tbl Annie's Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (or any vegan Worcestershire)
2 Tbl Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Crushed black pepper
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Mix All ingredients well and put in a teflon loaf pan.  Cover with Aluminum and bake for 1 hour.  After the first 1/2 hour, remove the aluminum and put some ketchup on the top.  Let it rest a bit when you're done baking.

Meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, salad with vinaigrette 


Meatloaf Sandwich.  Yum!


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Just thought I would post the inspiration that started this blog.  My brother, his wife and a group of friends went to Paso Robles for a little wine tasting back in July.  We stayed at a great B&B and had the first night meal catered.  The caterer was more than happy to do a vegan meal for my brother, sister-in-law and me, while the others ate the non vegan food.  As is usually the case, people were intrigued by our eating so conversation about it ensued.  Why, is it easy, don't you miss meat and dairy, especially cheese?  I said it was for health reasons, I was a huge carnivore and loved expensive cheese.

Over the course of the next couple of days, one couple we just met was particularly curious about our eating habits.  They said cheese would be a real problem, and were also curious as to how we got our protein.  While explaining the usual about getting protein from all sorts of places, they flat out didn't believe us when we said spinach was one of our best sources.

The next morning before breakfast we found out that they googled what we said and confirmed that it was correct.

When we said our good-byes I didn't think any of the 15 people took to heart anything that we said, only believing that our plant strong diet was more of a curiosity than anything anyone would want to partake in.

Fast forward 2 weeks later and I received an email from the couple, whose names I will leave out as this is their journey, not are the emails from them and responding emails from my brother and I.

Friend:  Well we have been vegan since the Sunday we left Paso.  I have lost 10 pounds and feel good.  My husband has lost 8 and had to use suspenders to hold his pants up.  We are without a kitchen since the granite is being installed so it has been difficult but we go out to vegan restaurants.  It is really hard to think of things to eat.  Eggs aren’t considered dairy, but an animal byproduct.  Why don’t you eat them?  You may have just changed my life in a good way!!!  I am hoping to stay off Simvastatin. 

Ken:  WOW!  That's AWESOME!  As if it's not challenging enough to find a new way to eat, being without a kitchen has to be trying.

First, the reason we don't eat eggs besides the cholesterol reason, is the casein in them which is also the reason for no dairy or meat.  If you haven't already, Forks over Knives is a great way to see how and why we do it.  Engine 2 Diet with Rip Esselstyn is another one worth watching just for ideas about cooking and his book version of the same has great recipes.  That's where I got the Lasagne recipe.

Normally for breakfast I have 100% whole wheat toast, peanut butter (without added oil and sugar) and bananas, coffee and fresh squeezed oj.  Or Oatmeal with bananas or berries (the slow cooked kind as the instant cuts out all the benefits of the oats), or a tomato sandwich on whole wheat bread.  In place of eggs I take medium firm tofu (squeeze out all of the excess water by wrapping it in a towel and putting heavy weight like a heavy skillet on it), non GMO which means it's not genetically modified organic.  Most soy comes from california and is genetically modified so avoid that.  Mash up the tofu in your hands over a non stick skillet and add salsa, vegetarian refried beans (or any other beans), cilantro and broken up oil free corn tortilla chips.  Tastes just like chilaquilles if you've had them.

Lunch can be a huge salad with balsamic vinegar, or lemon, or dijon mustard with red wine vinegar.  Bean and Rice burritos with salsa and avocados are great.  Grilled veggie sandwich.  

Dinner can be all kinds of things.  Red beans and rice, Vegetable wraps with no oil hummus and assorted veggies and spinach.  Almost anything you're craving has been made by someone vegan style.  Nutritional Yeast is great for cheese replacement in recipes as it has the texture and taste of parmesan.  Braggs liquid aminos is great instead of soy sauce and has complete amino acids that you need in your diet.

Anytime you have a question or need guidance, please feel free to email or call.  Potatoes and whole wheat bread are your friend so enjoy them as well.  Just watch the added oils on the ingredient list of everything.  You'll be shocked at how much unnecessary oil they add to food.
Friend:  Great ideas thanks. So if a recipe calls for oil any oil do you just leave it out or use something else?

Ken:  I always leave it out, but depending on the recipe, I might add something in it's place.  To saute vegetables get yourself a silpat, put it on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven either chopped or whole or roast over the grill on a bbq.  

Snacks are tough but we found a way around it.   There is a hummus on the market without oil, however I make my own.  Trader Joe's has whole wheat lavash (Mediterranean flat bread) and I bake a sheet of it in the oven until crispy (275 degrees) and then break it up into chips.  Judy and I bought something by Mastrad at Bed Bath and Beyond for $20 that you can slice potatoes (they include a small mandoline) and stick in the microwave for 4 minutes and have the best chips you've ever eaten.  We soak them in straight vinegar for about 10 minutes after slicing, sprinkle a little sea salt on them and put in the microwave.  You can also use corn tortillas cut up.  Another great gadget is at some of the costcos for $70 and it's an air frier which you can make french fries and onion rings without ANY oil.  The Forks over knives explains why oil is bad, but you can also read the book by Colin Campbell :the China Study" or Dr. Esselstyn "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease", both of which are featured in the film (which is instant view on Netflix) Fork's over Knives.

Email conversations have gone back and forth, no going on 2 months later.  They are still working through the challenges, but I think starting all of this without a kitchen is amazing....and sticking to it!  They are both doing well and I'll keep you posted with any updates.

Green Noodles?

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I recently came across a green noodle I had never seen before in a vegetarian restaurant in Irvine, CA called The Wheel of Life.  It is called the Moroheiya noodle.

It is made from the Moroheiya plant and is very nutritious. Unlike ramen noodles, it is baked not fried.  These noodles can be found at any Japanese or Asian market.

I recently purchased some and made a bowl of them with mixed fresh veggies and Braggs Liquid Aminos.  These noodles are very simple to make and make a great, easy snack. They cost about two bucks for a package of two!!!!

Making things simple makes it much easier to stay on this Nutrition Plan!!!!

My Daily Bounty

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I love summer...nuff said!



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