I love and collect a lot of fun art but the photo above is one my favorites. It was drawn by a homeless child I tutored in a local shelter. Despite her dire situation, she found a special place in herself and drew such a beautiful positive message – Joyful! (with a g – don't worry we worked on her spelling).
It got me thinking about faith and how much faith it takes to try to change your life. Certainly deciding to become a vegan took faith. My grandmother spoke about faith a lot to me when I was growing up. If I lost my glasses – my grandmother would say “if you have faith, you will find them”. If something upset me at school – she would tell me to have faith in people.
It really stayed with me and I believe that one believes what one tells themselves over and over again.
I recently read “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell and I loved his perspective on genius, work ethic and what it takes to accomplish anything (including being a vegan) and in one word it is practice. I think faith can be practiced everyday by believing in it. So have faith in yourself today in what ever challenges you and remember faith is a magnetic force to a positive life. We all deserve that!
So here is what I had for dinner last night. A simple stir fry of green beans and tempeh. Quick, easy and satisfying. If you don't know what tempeh is – it is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia.
It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into cake form. To be honest – it kind of looks a little gross but tastes good and pretty much takes on what ever flavors you add to it. It also has a nice crunch which is missing in a lot of vegan meals. The best thing about tempeh is that it's a great source of protein, easily absorbed by the body, high in fiber and has been proven to help lower cholesterol. I tried it in a traditional Indonesian dish with an ordinary vegan twist (meaning spicy of course and not as many ingredients). It's day 86 – Wish me luck!
Spicy Green Beans with Crumbled Tempeh
- 1½ tsp red chili powder
- 1½ tsp low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- juice of 1 small lime
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups trimmed green beans
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp red curry paste (or red chili paste if you don't like curry)
- 8 oz block tempeh
- 4 red chili peppers, seeded and chopped (I like serrano) You don't have to add this many - I just like things spicy
- ⅛ to ¼ cup vegetable broth
- In a medium bowl, with your hands crumble the block of tempeh
- In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, soy, salt, sugar and lime - set aside
- In a large wok or skillet, heat oil, over high heat. Add green beans, red curry paste and the veggie broth. Cook 3 minutes, shaking pan and flipping every 30 seconds. Add tempeh, garlic and chili peppers and cook 3 minutes, gently flipping every 30 seconds to brown tempeh on all sides. Add chili powder sauce and cook 1-2 minutes, shaking often until green beans and tempeh have browned. You want the tempeh brown and the green beans crisp.