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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Here is my first foray into the Nepalese food I spoke of last week.  I'm sure I didn't get it exactly right, but it sure is tasty.  I highly recommend venturing into new flavors and spice combinations.  The first thing you'll probably need to do is find the spices.  I recommend going to your local international market and looking in the sections that have spices in bags rather than bottles as it's a much less expensive way to go.

You'll need Fenugreek (methi in Indian markets), coriander seeds, cumin seeds, whole cloves, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom seeds, nutmeg.

In a grinder or spice mill (or mortar and pestal if it's all you have).  Add two tablespoons of coriander seeds, 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds and 1 tsp whole cloves.  Grind them until you have a powder.  To that powder add 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon turmeric and one teaspoons of ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best as who knows how long the ground has been in your pantry).  This is your spice blend.


1 cup lentils (I used yellow) rinsed
4 cups Roasted Vegetable Stock
1 onion chopped
1/3 cup freshly chopped garlic
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 tablespoons fresh ginger peeled and chopped
Sea salt to taste

Heat the pan you're going to use for the dish for about a minute.  When it's hot, add the onion and keep it moving around for about a minute while it browns.  When it's brown, add the garlic and when you start to smell the garlic, about 30 seconds, add the RVS Add the ginger and lentils a cook for about 30 minutes after they boil.  Check that the lentils are soft and salt to taste.


4 large tomatoes (I cut the core out and roasted them in the oven, but this step is optional)  After roasting I chopped the tomatoes
2 medium onions sliced
1/2 cup freshly chopped garlic (the reason I stress freshly chopped is that 1/2 cup of the already chopped bottled garlic is a whole different ball game, so buy the already peeled and chop your own)
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped ginger
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of your ground spice mix
2-3 cups  RVS
3 Serrano chilies sliced (less if you can't handle the heat)
Sea Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Heat the pan you're going to use for the dish for about a minute.  When it's hot, add the onion and keep them moving around until brown.  When the onions are ready, add the garlic and the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and saute them for about 30 seconds.   Add the tomatoes and begin to cook the liquids out of them.  As everything cooks together, add 2 cups of the stock, the ground spice mix and the Serrano chilies.  You can use added stock if you need to.  Add the chopped cilantro before serving.


2 bunches of mustard greens (cut the stock of them up into 1 inch pieces and use the rest whole)
5 cups raw spinach
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1/4 cup RVS
1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

In a large pre-heated skillet, add the fenugreek seeds.  Keep them moving in the pan so they don't burn.  After about 30 seconds pour in the Stock and begin adding the greens.  Turn the greens so that the seeds will be mixed in evenly.  Keep turning the greens until they begin to wilt, then cover them for about 45 seconds.  Remove the lid and cook out the excess liquid and add salt to taste.

Serve over brown rice.  Put the rice on the plate, add the lentils and some of the juice, top with chutney and serve the greens on the side.


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I know there are a lot of parents out there that can relate to this dilemma "what can I make for the kids that doesn't scream plant friendly vegan, is healthy, low in salt, no fat" without the kids saying "Is that VEGAN?"
If your kids weren't brought up on a plant based diet, chances are they're not too happy you're embracing this.  The two meal dinner is becoming the "New Normal" when it comes to family dining.  I've encouraged my sister-in-law to make the same meal in two pots so that they think one has meat and one is vegan, and I know this has worked to a small degree, but mostly they're on to you.  But here's something that everyone can enjoy and it's kid friendly and easy.

Make a batch of Homemade Fat Free Tortilla Chips
Find your favorite no fat, low sodium fresh salsa
Buy a can of Fat Free refried beans (heat in the microwave covered for about a minute to minute and a half)
Grab some ripe avocados (cube them and pour on the salsa)
A little Siracha or Tabasco to the beans if you like spicy.....

....and you're sure to have a healthy SUCCESSFUL FAT FREE SNACK!  If the chips are already made, this is 5 minutes tops.  Not bad for a quick appetizer when your carnivorous friends stop by unexpectedly as well.


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Get to know your slow cooker.  You can make a huge amount of these beans and freeze what you don't use.  It takes some time and of course you can cheat and use canned beans, but the price of dry beans makes them very budget friendly and I think the taste is fresher as they weren't canned with a bunch of salt.


1 1/2 lbs dry black beans
1 1/2 onions chopped
40 cloves garlic, rough cut
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon whole cloves
3 Serrano chilies thinly sliced rings
4 bay leaves
2 cups RVS

Sea Salt to taste after they're cooked.   (you're making a lot of beans so start with a tablespoon, but don't add the salt until the beans have softened)

Pour the black beans on a cookie sheet or in batches on a dinner plate.  Look for ill formed beans, small stones or other things that don't belong but sometimes get picked up during the harvest.  Rinse the beans and pour them in your slow cooker with three inches of water covering them.  Let the beans soak overnight.  You can prepare the rest of the spices before you go to bed.

Mix the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds together and partially crush them in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.  It's OK to leave some whole  as it will add texture to the dish.  Put the cloves and bay leaves in a piece of cheese cloth and tie it with kitchen twine or cotton twine (this will make it easier to remove later).

In the morning when they're done soaking, pour out the water and replace with fresh water, again with three inches more water than beans.  Add all of the remaining ingredients except the salt. Turn the slow-cooker on high and let them go 8-10 hours.

Serve this over brown rice with some chopped fresh cilantro as a main dish or as a side dish.


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I haven't posted much as I've been out of town on business.

Travelling can be challenging as a plant based foodie, so I was thankful that my friend Vik, from Nepal, had us stay with some Nepalese friends of his that live in Half Moon Bay.  When you stay at someones home you eliminate the worry of finding something to eat while travelling to an area where you don't know the restaurants.

What a great time.  I just absorbed so much of what Vik's friend Ram and his family were cooking.  I've always had a love for Indian food, but I think Nepalese food takes it to the next level.  There were spices I've never really cooked with and some that I've used but in more traditional ways.  Lots of fresh ginger, garlic, cilantro and chilies (Serrano), Cumin seed and powder, Coriander seed and powder, and Fenugreek seeds (I've had it as tea, but that's it.  It's known in Nepal and India as Methi), cloves, and green cardamom seeds.  It was fascinating watching them cook and the sauces were amazing.

Now the challenge is to take what I observed and turn it into 100% plant based meals with no oil.  They eat lots of white rice, black beans, lentils, greens like mustard and spinach, chicken and lamb.

Keep checking back as I journey into this new flavor of food.

As I was walking around at the gift show in San Francisco I stopped by a booth that was displaying jute bags and I met the CEO of the company's wife Colleen.  We started talking about the sustainability of jute and the possibilities of it and somehow got onto the food you get in a hospital cafeteria.

I told Colleen that my business was doing gift shows at hospitals and that I often laugh at how unhealthy hospital the food is since it's a place for healing.  She said she spoke with someone that worked at a hospital about that as well and was told that when they try healthy foods they just don't sell.  I mentioned that I was 100% plant based vegan and that made it particularly hard to find anything to eat other than salad when I'm working at a hospital.  She laughed and said she was a vegan as well, and that was the end of our discussion about Jute.  We could have talked forever about the trials of eating plant based diet, but we did exchange blogs so check her out Waking up Vegan.

From what I can tell, her family is becoming more accommodating with her lifestyle change and many of her family members are embracing plant based whole foods as well.


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Using my aioli recipe

Add 2 tablespoons of aioli
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Trader Joe's Dijon

I actually picked TJ's Dijon because I was out of Grey Poupon, which as my friend Denny used to say, went into everything.  The heat, from horseradish, is higher in this, but when blended with the aioli makes and amazing oil free dressing or dip.

Mix and enjoy.


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For your friends that are naysayers when it comes to commenting on your 100% plant based nutritional plan providing proper nutrients, protein and vitamins, I give you the power breakfast.

As I said in my earlier post, Oatmeal, however you want to prepare it, is awesome.  If prepared properly you'll want to eat it every day.  This is what the above version brings to the table

With 1/4 cup of dry oatmeal
one banana
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup raw slivered almonds
2 tablespoons of flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
1 cup of almond milk
(this is not the recipe, this is just what this particular bowl has in it.  Refer to the recipe above)

18 grams of Protein
60% of your daily calcium
30% of your daily iron
49% of your dietary fiber
11.5% of your daily potassium
Vitamin A 13%
Vitamin B12 50%
Vitamin C 33%
Vitamin D 25%
Vitamin E 50%
Calories 720

Not Bad for your first meal of the day.


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This is a great takeoff on the popular Indian dish Aloo Gobi.  I made this as the main part of my meal the other night and served it over brown rice with a side of steamed spinach with lemon.

1 large onion, chopped
8 medium potatoes (you choose the type but they need to be medium in size, cleaned, unpeeled and chopped into large chunks)
2 medium heads of cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
10 cloves of garlic, sliced or rough chopped
4 cups Roasted Vegetable Stock (RVS)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbl Deggi Mirch (or some other red chili powder)
1 tsp crushed coriander
1 tsp crushed cumin
sea salt and pepper to taste (start with a 1/2 tsp each and go from there)

In a hot skillet add the coriander and cumin seeds.  Roast the seeds for about 1 minute and keep them moving in the pan so they don't burn.  Add the chopped onion and saute until they start to turn brown.

Add 2 cups of the RVS
Set aside the remaining two cups of RVS to be used later if needed.
Add the remaining ingredients.  Stir, cover the pan and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes check the potatoes to see if they are done (fork inserted should go in and out easily)
If the potatoes are done, the dish is ready.  You can continue to keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

 This spice mix can be found in Indian Markets or, often times, in the Indian food section of your regular market.  You can add varying amounts of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper to achieve a similar result.



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Tortilla Chips

One of the hardest things to find are fat free snacks.  Chips in particular are really difficult.  This recipe is a combination of some experiments I did in the summer making tortilla chips and potato chips, but was given the suggestion to use taco seasoning as well  by my sister Kasey.

Preheat your oven to 350°

1/4 cup white wine or apple cider vinegar
Corn tortillas (make sure they're fat free...most are)
Taco seasoning mix (low sodium or no sodium)
Cutting board

In a flat pan that will just hold a tortilla, pour the vinegar.
Dip a tortilla into the pan until it is submerged.  Place the wet tortilla on the cutting board and sprinkle with taco seasoning.  If you want salt and are using salt free seasoning mix, sprinkle some on now.  Remember that if you're dipping the chip in salsa or guacamole, there's usually salt in those.

Once you have all of the tortillas soaked and coated with seasonings, cut them into chip sizes.  I find that it's easy to cut them using a pizza cutter.  I cut them into quarters and then cut those in half as well.  I get 8 equal sized chips out of one tortilla.

Place the chips in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Don't overlap as the next step is to bake them and they'll go faster if they're not on top of each other.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Try a chip after 12 minutes and see if it's completely crispy.   Ovens have hot spots so you might want to rotate the pan if one part looks more done than the other. They will be just like fried chips so if they are still a little chewy rather than crunchy, let them keep baking.

Enjoy with your favorite salsa or guacamole.


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Now that it's heart awareness month, I was asking myself  "Why have we become a society that lives in crisis management mode?  Why not crisis prevention?"

We often wait until the light on our gas gauge turns red before putting gas in the car.  Studies have shown that if we fill up before we get below 1/4 tank we won't be exposing our engine to the dregs living in the tank...but we wait.

We drive our cars way beyond the life of the tires, often waiting until we get a blowout before replacing the tires, putting ourselves and others in the car and on the road in danger.

We worry ridiculously about how we look on the outside.  "How's my hair?",  "Do I look fat in this?",
"Oh I can't possibly do that..I'd be too embarrassed!"  We never care about what's really do we look on the inside.

We hear about someone dying young of a heart attack and we think "very sad" when it could have easily been avoided.  We attend their funeral and promise ourselves to make changes in our lives, but that thought only lasts a couple of days.

We are so complacent about things we can control and lackadaisical about things we can't, that it's no wonder that the number one killer of men and women in the world is heart related disease.

 Want to outlive your parents?  Eat plants!

Want to see your grands kids grow up...and attend their wedding?  Eat right!

Why is eating a steak more alluring than avoiding high cholesterol?  How often do you refer back to "that was the best steak I ever ate?"

I don't care if you only eat white meat'll still impact your health.

I was watching the Today show today and they were highlighting 5 low fat, healthy meals that you could eat during the week and all of them centered on the protein (meat, fish, poultry) and not the part that's good for you, THE PLANTS!   We need to change our Food Pyramid.  Just go to my Eating Out link at the top of my blog and eat at one of those restaurants everyday for lunch and order what I recommend and you're at least putting up a good fight.

The people that actually make the recipes I write on this blog tell me "that was easy and delicious."  I imagine easy is the important word in that statement...but delicious is important because then you'll do it again.

Stop thinking that this is so hard and start adopting the attitude that this is not how I'm going to exceptions.  Cheese?  Pure fat with cancer feeding casein!  Oil?  No nutritional value and pure fat.  Completely unnecessary for cooking!  

Some of the animals that eat plant based diets:  cows, sheep, horses, hippos, elephants, goats, deer, rabbits, giraffes, kangaroos, llamas, pandas and many more!  These animals aren't weak!

Studies are now showing that a plant based diet is the healthiest way to avoid heart related disease...period.  The ad campaigns you watched during the Superbowl lead you in a different direction, but read "Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease", "The China Study", "Forks Over Knives" and many other indisputable studies and draw your own conclusion.


But I'm just thinking!


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Click on this British Study to read the article that says people that are vegetarians die less often of heart disease.  What about people that have a 100% plant based diet (noil of course)?



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