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


Disqus now available after each post. Click on post title and go to the bottom of the page. Great for commenting.The links below will also take you to this post. Choose your favorite!



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I know this is 100% whole food blog, but this sourdough bread is sort of the exception.  One of the things that I have learned while researching sourdough over the years, is that white sourdough bread that uses the slow fermentation process people used for 1000's of years prior to the invention of active dry yeast, makes this bread OK for people with sugar issues, like Type II Diabetes, to eat. The sugars in the white flour are pre-digested, therefore gone by the time baking is done, so your body won't treat it in the same manner as other simple carbohydrates.  For Diabetics, this is supposed to be better to eat than 100% whole wheat, but do your research first.  Here's an article about the benefits of sourdough bread in blood sugar control if you want to read more about it.  

Dry ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour (plus a half cup for kneading) (I usually just use 3 1/2 cups and knead it in a bowl by hand or with a KitchenAid and bread hook)
3 rounded tablespoons vital wheat gluten

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup active sourdough starter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup distilled or bottled water
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey

In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients and mix them together using a whisk.  I like to use a two cup glass measuring cup for the next part.  Add 1 cup water and one cup of starter that you have stirred down prior to remove the air and to measuring to get a more accurate reading.  Add the water and starter to the dry ingredients.  Add the agave syrup or honey and stir all ingredients with a wooden or plastic spoon.  (Don't use metal at any point in the making of bread other than the pan as you want to avoid a chemical reaction due to the long rise period)

Once you can no longer stir using a spoon, I like to just keep the dough in the bowl and knead it there.  You can also knead it on a floured cutting board or granite/marble counter (or using a Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook).  If you're doing it in the bowl, while you knead it slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of all purpose flour if you didn't use the extra half cup initially.  If you're doing it on the board or counter, use the 1/2 cup flour to keep the dough from sticking.  Eventually it should all be absorbed into the dough.  When you are done you will have a tacky but not sticky dough ball. If dough is really stiff, add more water.  Different environments cause different results.  Altitude, temperature, humidity all affect the results.

I use a large plastic container with a top, lightly sprayed with cooking oil (the other rule I break but you'll never get it out of the container if you don't use this) to allow the dough to rise.  It will take between 8 and 12 hours to double in size depending on the temperature.  The dough rises best in a 70 degree to 80 degree environment, but it will go faster if it's warmer and slower if it's colder.  The longer the rise, the stronger the sour taste.  (you can actually put it in the refrigerator at this point if you want it to rise later, but I wouldn't do this until you've mastered the process.

After it has doubled in size, deflate it by punching it down and let it rise one more time...should only take an hour to and hour and a half.


Pick the container you want to use to bake.  I prefer something that is cast iron like a Le Creuset or cast iron skillet with a lid.  Place the baking pan in the oven and pre-heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.This will take about 1/2 hour to heat.  While it's heating, form the dough into a loaf.  I like to put it on a floured counter with the dry side (smooth side) of the dough down and the sponge side (looks like a sponge) facing me.  Pull the 4 sides to the middle and flip it over with the seam facing down and play with it until you get a small loaf.  When the oven is ready, carefully remove the pan and place the dough, seam side down, into the pan.  Use a razor blade or very sharp knife to cut three 3" slashes on the top, and put the lid on it.  Place it back in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

After the first 25 minutes turn the oven down to 375 degrees and remove the lid of the pan.  Bake for an additional 25 minutes. When the baking time is over, remove the bread from the pan, (tap on the bottom of the should sound hollow) place it on a cooling rack (if you don't have a cooling rack but have a toaster oven, use one of the racks from the oven for a cooling rack).  Allow the bread to cool for an hour before cutting into it as it's still setting up while cooling.


*  Feed the starter
By this time you have an active starter.  You should always keep 1 cup of starter.  Before you bake, if the starter has been in the refrigerator, remove it for two hours so it warms up to room temperature.  Add 1 cup of All Purpose Flour and 2/3 cups of filtered or bottled water (equal volume by weight) to the existing starter.  Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon or spatula until you have a fairly smooth consistency.  Mark where the level amount of starter is on the side or your container with a piece of tape so you can tell when it's about doubled in volume.  When this happens, stir it down and use it in the bread recipe.  Sometimes you may have to dump out all but a cup and repeat this process a couple of times if you haven't used the starter or fed it for awhile.  It's pretty hard to kill the starter if you keep it in the fridge.  It's pretty easy to kill it by leaving it on the counter without feeding it constantly.  If you're making bread on a semi regular basis, feeding before using makes it all you need to do to keep the starter going.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment below and I'll get back to you right away.


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Still trying to find ways to use up my tomatoes from the garden.  This combines my love for potatoes, tomatoes and smoked paprika.  Some people don't like the smokiness of this paprika, but I happen to love it.  Just a little bit infuses a very distinct flavor.  The combination of sweetness from the tomatoes, smokiness from the paprika and heat from a jalapeño.

Baked russet potatoes hot out of the oven (or microwave

In a pan combine the following:

1 pound of chopped tomatoes
1 chopped jalapeño
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt.

The sea salt will bring out the liquids from the tomatoes so begin heating this until it thickens slightly (renders the liquid from the tomatoes then begins to create a sauce)

Add 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (you can increase the amount if you'd like, but start with this)
1 cup cooked black beans (or rinsed from a can)
I also used one cup of re-hydrated beef chunks for extra protein and texture.

Continue to reduce until you get a sauce like consistency.  Season with additional sea salt if needed.

Ladle the mixture over the hot baked potatoes and enjoy a unique taste treat loaded with fiber, protein, vitamins and all with n(o)il.


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Easy and quick:

Corn tortillas heated directly on the stove
Fat free refried beans
Brown rice
Fresh tomatoes
Garlic and onion powder
Cilantro chopped
Avocado slices
Hot sauce

Throw everything in a non stick pan to heat except the tomatoes, avocados and hot sauce


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Talk about being creative and working with what you've got...pulling from the pantry & the garden to the freezer, this was delicious.

I took a yellow squash and some tomatoes and sauteed them in a dry non-stick, Teflon style pan.  Once they were brown I added frozen hash browns, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and continued sauteing until the potatoes were brown.

On the plate I added fresh avocado and tomatoes with a little Sriracha sauce for good measure.


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These funny looking orbs come wrapped in their own paper packaging, or so it seems.  These are related to the tomato family and are a staple in Mexico.  Their availability is becoming worldwide, so finding them should be easy.  The paper coating is inedible so it should be discarding before use.  The skin is sticky so I tend to wash them before use, but it's not necessary.

                    Green Gazpacho
6 tomatillos, outer paper skin (husks) removed (about 1 pound in weight)
2 Poblano peppers seeded (white membrane removed)
Jalapeño or other green chili (optional)
2 cucumbers peeled and seeded
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Dash of cumin (1/2 teaspoon roughly)
2 teaspoons agave syrup
One ripe avocado, peeled
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper

As with the other 2 gazpacho recipes puree all ingredients in a Cuisinart, blender or vita-mix style blender.  Let it sit for 2 hours then chill.  Adjust for salt and pepper.  This can also be poured through a fine sieve or sifter to remove part of the pulp and loosen the consistency, but isn't necessary.


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Agua, H20, Water.  Whatever you call it, the importance of water should not be overlooked.  Below I've listed 8 things that drinking water can help prevent and benefit you, and some items lack of water can cause.  I've been taking care of a couple of elderly relatives for the past few months.  I've got one of them on a plant based diet and already, after 2 months, her cholesterol has dropped 40 points to around 130.  That's significant considering the amount of Lipitor she's been taking.  All of the blood work came back excellent but it also said she's dehydrated.  I beg her to drink more liquids but it falls on deaf ears most of the time.

Check out this list.

1.  75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

2.  In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

3.  Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 30%

4.  One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

5.  Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

6.  Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back any joing pain for up to 80% of the sufferers.  (listen up people with arthritis)

7.  A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

8.  Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

This study was found on the Amherst College website and is attributed to * Williams, Nutrition for Health, Wellness, and Sport (5th Edition).

Interesting, no?


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                  Yellow Gazpacho
4 large yellow tomatoes
½ cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled
½ teaspoon curry powder
Dash of allspice
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon each salt and pepper (or to taste)

Blend everything together and let it sit for at least 2 hours.  Chill and serve.  Again, if you want it a little thinner in consistency, strain some of the soup through a fine grain strainer and add back to the rest.


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This is the first of three posts from my Fullerton Arboretum cooking class dealing with the first course which was tri-color gazpachos.

Which Gazpacho will fire up your taste buds?  We’ll be trying three styles including one from the plains of Spain, the mountains of India and the coast of Mexico.  This highly popular dish incorporates the flavors of summer with the Exotic tastes of faraway lands.  Enjoy the unique distinctions of three very different Gazpachos!  This has a very simple list of ingredients and proves that less is more.  

Red Gazpacho
4 pounds of red tomatoes (plum work well)
½ cup of red bell pepper seeded and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 Teaspoon sherry vinegar
½ cup fresh basil leaves

½ teaspoon each Salt and pepper (or to taste
Puree each recipe separately in a Cuisinart, blender or Vita-Mix style blender.  Let it sit for 2 hours then chill.  The longer it rests the more intense the flavor.  

If the finished product is too thick for your liking, strain out part or all of the pulp.  Before serving, adjust salt and pepper for taste.


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I thought that's a great quote.  Makes you thinks twice about Atkins.  To further answer people that want to know why no oil, click the following links.


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Hi everyone.

Below I list five URL's that link back to this blog. Please take a second to post your choice for best link in the comments section below. It's easy to post as anonymous if you don't have accounts in any of those listed. Just click on comments, add comment, then "comment as" pulls down a menu and click anonymous. Thanks, Ken




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