Home » Archives for Nate

Author: Nate

Nate is a blue-collar, no-frills, vegan cable guy trying to show the world
how health is not just relegated to those that can afford it, or for the
typical health nut. When not climbing ladders or trouble shooting cable networks he is spending time with his family and friends. You can find him here at vegancableguy.com all over social media or running in the woods of Cape Cod training for the next big challenge eating a crown of broccoli!

Book Review: A Plea For The Animals

I’ve harped on the fact the most Buddhists still eat the flesh of other sentient beings. I’ve spoken ad nauseam of how hypocritical it is to practice compassion and kindness when animals are killed to be eaten. One of the things I’ve pointed out that burns my a** most is that a fair share of Buddhists (even teachers such as HHDL) make excuses to kill sentient beings as long as the person eating the animal didn’t kill the animal directly. Turning a blind eye somehow makes it alright I guess…

So, it was refreshing to have the opportunity to read and comment on “A Plea For The Animals” by Matthieu Ricard. Matthieu is an author but more so, a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition. He is a leading voice for animals in the Buddhist realm and this book not only outlines those reasons but should be the catalyst for most (If not all) of the community to go vegan.

One of my favorite chapters of the book is the chapter titled, “Sorry Excuses.” We’ve all heard the same excuses a hundred times. Whether it’s “top of the food chain” or “we need it for our health” the fact of the matter is, they are just sad reasons to hold on to an outdated mindset. Animals are not here for us. Your ancestors were in the past, we are living in the present and at this moment in time, there is no reason to eat animals. We have grocery stores, farm stand, open air farm markets, etc.

One excuse that is really belligerent is the excuse “there are so many much more serious problems that humanity has to deal with.” Such as what? Hunger in third world countries? Climate change? The spread of disease such as swine or avian flu? You’re right, these have nothing to do with going vegan and stopping the animals as products machine from rolling on. ::eyeroll::

Seriously?! Every single one of those things could be remedied if we all stopped commodifying animals and went vegan.

Matthieu also goes into animal experimentation, illegal trade of wildlife (and their body parts), zoos and other relevant topics. “A Plea For The Animals” should be one of the most important books in the AR movement, It should also be required reading for anyone who is new to Buddhist thought so they could understand from the jump that animals are not for eating, wearing or killing. The fact that Matthieu’s resume is as solid as they come should lend some credence to the words he writes in his book.

If you have not read it, it’s time. If you are looking for a compassionate book for a friend or family member that is not as confrontational as others, this is the one. “A Plea For The Animals” is full of kindness, compassion and legit reason. I will continue to read and re-read this book as I feel it has given me a perspective that is positive and can be helpful when debating the ethics and reasons to go vegan.

World Vegan Day 2018

I’m a little late to the party here but today is World Vegan Day and I just wanted to put out some words really quick…
 
I always thought going vegan was tough, that I would miss things and that it was going to be super expensive. I could not have been more wrong.
 
So for real, is it tough?
It took some adjustments at first, to be perfectly honest. But with all the substitutes out there it became easier and easier by the day. Going out for dinner was hard at first because I had to ask the waiter to remove this or remove that. Most places now have vegan options though, you just have to speak up. I was always coy about it. Now, not so much. I never wanted to use the vegan word because I felt like I was immediately being judged; now I could care less about that judgement, I’m comfortable with who I am and the choices I make. I am comfortable knowing that I choose not to harm other sentient beings in order to satisfy my stomach.
 
Since going vegan (almost 5 years ago) I don’t miss anything because what ever you can eat, I can eat vegan. Think about it, you season your food right? I use the same seasonings. You don’t eat meat raw do you? Of course you don’t, you season it and cook it. Vegans do the same thing with our food. My food tastes the same and because it’s not animal flesh, I don’t intake all the cholesterol and other harmful byproducts. Oh and vegan ice cream is the bomb by the way; yes we have ice cream!
 
It can be expensive but it can also be cheap. Any type of food can be expensive, I mean for crying out loud foie gras (which is really f*cking nasty by the way) is expensive and so is your filet mignon, so don’t say being a vegan is. Not only can veganism be cheap, especially if you eat beans, fruits, veggies, tofu, rices and grains. Unlike foie gras and filet, you don’t have to force feed a duck or slit a cows throat to eat some tasty AF rice and beans. No one get’s hurt and your taste buds will be just as happy with some seitan wings rather than the wing of someone who didn’t want their wing to be removed.
Your food choices affect more than just you. Today I ask that you take a step toward veganism to not only save your health and to save the environment but to save the lives of all the sentient beings that would rather live than to be killed and get served on your plate. If I can help you can always reach out to me, I’m happy to answer questions and help you transition to a more compassionate lifestyle.
Please, go vegan!

Chickpea Farro Soup

I am happy to share this recipe from the book “Back To The Cutting Board” by Christina Pirelli.

With a plethora of Autumn and Holiday inspired dishes, the recipes are simple and ambitious. I hope you enjoy and let me know if you make it!

Chickpea Farro Soup 

Makes 3 to 4 servings

This could easily be my favorite soup in the world and I love most soups. But my love of farro has taken my soup making to new heights. This favorite of Juliet’s (yes, that Juliet . . . ) is rich in fiber and magnesium and high in protein. Add protein-packed chickpeas and you have the perfect marriage of ingredients.

1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 stalk celery, diced

1 medium carrot, diced

4 to 5 fingerling potatoes, unpeeled and diced

1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed well and soaked for 1 hour with 1 tablespoon baking soda

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup farro, rinsed well

4 to 5 cups spring or filtered water

Sea salt

3 to 4 sprigs fresh basil, finely minced, for serving

Set a soup pot over medium heat with the olive oil, onion, and garlic. When the onion begins to sizzle, add the crushed red pepper flakes to your taste and sauté until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the celery, carrot, and potatoes and sauté for 1 minute.

Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse them well. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and farro to the pot and stir to combine. Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the chickpeas are soft, about 1 hour. Season to your taste with salt and simmer for 5 minutes more. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, garnished with fresh basil.

Life and Its Eternal Transience

“If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent. It is because you believe things are permanent.”

I’ve been staring at the line, from the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, for over an hour and a half. Between glancing at the screen constantly, catching random scenes of “It” (the movie by Stephen King) all the while going back and forth deleting / restarting this post numerous times thinking I’m ready to proceed. “It” was meant as a mind-freeing, or mind-numbing distraction so I could write this but, well; that hasn’t worked out too well.

The unenviable truth is that this past few weeks, better yet months, has seen suffering rise to a level I thought I had once absolved in my life. Things had gone really well for a while. Home life had been great. We bought a house. I keep progressing at my job and am privileged to earn as much, or as little, as I want to as I work for a fantastic company. We had recently adopted a couple new dog friends. Everyone seemed to be happy. With all of that, I finally felt like everything I had been working so hard for was finally starting to come to fruition.

One day I left for work and our cat Agatha was laying in her usual place, behind the mailbox in the front garden. I took a pic of her since the light was hitting her just right and she looked full of life. That was the last time I saw her. Later that day we couldn’t find her. She wouldn’t come in at night like she usually does. Things didn’t feel right and I knew she wasn’t coming home.

She never did.

Last night our other cat, Itsy, was meowing at the front door to come in. I let her in and instantly I could see she was limping. She was a lot more vocal than usual as well. I picked her up and she didn’t struggle, which was unusual because she hates being picked up. Her front right paw felt a little cold so I thought maybe she was sleeping under a bush and the paw had fallen asleep. I gave her about another 10-15 minutes to not only warm up, but hopefully get the circulation going back to the foot.

That never happened.

I called Leah at work and asked her to come home so I could bring Itsy to the all night emergency vet clinic. When she got home, my son Alex and I took Itsy to get help. The cold paw was indicative of something tragic, and we were about to find out it was not something we would want to hear; at all. It was a blood clot brought on by advanced stages of heart disease. This blew my mind as Itsy was an extremely healthy cat. Minus check-ups, she never had to see a vet for anything and never presented any signs of distress. This blood clot was in her lower leg, per the vet, the next one (which would come soon) may not be as forgiving.

The next clot could present anywhere. It could show up in another leg. Her lungs. Maybe it’d show up in an eye or even her brain and cause seizures. That was when we were given the bad news that the vet recommended euthanasia. Leah and Colin came down to say their goodbyes and then they went home, Alex also went with them.

I had been given a box with Itsy’s lifeless body inside and a bill to pay for the visit including the diagnosis, some pain medication to make her feel better until a decision could be made, then the cost of the euthanasia. All the “we are so sorry” comments were helpful and appreciated from the staff, but it felt so cold and blasé.

Early this morning, I buried the box in one of her favorite spots. She loved to soak up the sun in one of the gardens. I hope she can still feel the warm sun.

There is so much more to say, there’s so much more to share. That will have to wait. For now, I reluctantly internalize this suffering and cope with the impermanence of it all.

Life is not static, it changes and I get that.

THAT I can deal with.

…more to come… some day

 

Apple Crisp

Fall is upon us and with that comes some of my favorite flavors. I love pumpkin as much as the next guy or gal, but it doesn’t define fall for me; apple does. Apple pie, cinnamon rolls with chopped apples, breads, and cupcakes are good and all but I prefer apple crisp. The soft and warm apples are amazing with the crispy, caramelized oats and brown sugar. *drool*

Over the years, Leah has made it based on an old family recipe. Swapping out the butter for Earth Balance made this as vegan as it’s gonna get. It’s not healthy, there is no mistake that this is a dessert but it is oh so good. Here’s what you need.

INGREDIENTS
6 medium/ large apples (Peeled and sliced)
3/4 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vegan butter

Preheat oven to 350°

Mix all ingredients except the apples.

Once everything has mixed evenly spread the apples in a 9×9 baking dish and top with the blended mixture.

Cook for 45-60 minutes depending on how done you want it to be. The full hour will be nice and crunchy, just check at 45 minutes to make sure it doesn’t get burnt.

This goes great with a little soy vanilla ice cream, just saying….

Just Pea

No, this is not from the JUST company, formerly Hampton Creek.

Just Pea is a product from Bāsik Health Co. I did a small google search to see who they are and what they are about, outside of the info on their site, and didn’t find much so that leads me to believe that maybe they are relatively new? Regardless, they sent me a pouch to try out and this is my truthful and unbiased review.

I’ve tried other pea proteins, as well as a plethora of plant based powders as well. I try to rank them based on a few things: flavor, mixability, ingredients and nutrition. There’s also the fact that there have been report after report about protein powders containing heavy metals. To be honest, there’s no way of knowing who is funding that research so I’m not sure who to trust but regardless, the less heavy metals in my protein powder the better; am I right?

As far as flavor goes, well, it’s unflavored so… That said, some of the unflavored powders can be quite bitter regardless. That’s not the case here, there is legit no flavor. It doesn’t taste synthetic, because, well– it’s not. It’s 100% peas and that’s it. Well there goes my paragraph on the ingredients.

What about how it mixes? Most powders can be gritty. One of the claims on their site is : “JustPea mixes instantly for a smooth, creamy mouthfeel with a consistency that’s just right. Whether you’re just stirring or blending, JustPea will fit in perfectly.” I tend to agree. I’ve mixed it in a blender with a variety of fruits. I’ve mixed in the morning with my oatmeal. I’ve added it wherever I can and do not notice any grit; it mixes extremely well. I have yet to bake with it but that’s up next. Whatever I make with it I’ll be sure to share a recipe.

How about the nutritional profile? The three basic macros are:

Protein – 20g
Fat – 1.5g
Carbs – 1g

That’s a pretty clean ration right there. The carbs are fiber based as there is no sugar. You can feel good adding this to your shakes and others foods. The one thing I’d love to see is the amino acid break down, maybe they can get that info in the future?

Anyway, I really liked this stuff and plan to keep adding it to different things to boost up protein levels when working out and running more. It lives up t the things they claim on their site and I’d recommend it fi you are looking for better nutrition with less crap in it.

Check them out at https://justpea.com

Ragnar ADK 2018: The Impact

PREFACE: This is the second part of my race report, you can view part one at http://vegancableguy.com/ragnar-adk-2018-the-race/

To say this race was a success wouldn’t be the half of it. This race was amazing not only for the running and camaraderie but for the advocacy. Every race we get the usual “but bacon bro” calls and my team had someone tell us how his team would be “Carnivore Power.” Even though we had some of those comments this one felt different, at least for me. People seemed more open to approaching us and questioned how we were all so fast. They were greeted with kindness from each and every one of us.

I believe wholeheartedly that we represented the movement in the best way we could. There was no militancy or condescension. There was plenty of cordiality, thoughtfulness and informed restraint. That said, there was one defining moment for me and those of you on the team already heard Peter speak about it after the race, but for readers I’m going to explain what happened.

One of the exchanges was at a farm. Not just any farm though, a full-blown working dairy farm; King Brothers Dairy. You can imagine how disheartening it was to roll up on this place and know what was going on. While the workers were happy to walk around and talk about how “kindly” their animals were treated, the fact is that no matter the amount of subterfuge, the cows still don’t want to be forcibly impregnated, have their calves taken away and then be painfully milked for the pleasure of human beings. We all know the cycle continues until they are of no use and then are sent to slaughter. The males have no use from the get go so they get placed in small crates; veal crates.

Peter and I walked over to the side of one of the buildings and noticed a calf was walking around. We both looked at one another kind of perplexed. We wondered if it was maybe some sort of mascot that was allowed to roam, but we quickly figured out it was a crate escapee when we saw the crates just behind him. He was walking around frantically looking toward a spot where some older cows were. Those cows were knee-deep in water and were tied by a rope to a bar; obviously they weren’t allowed to roam either. The calf started walking toward us and got really close to Peter before he turned around, took a couple of steps and let out a heart-wrenching bellow. A chorus of bellows followed coming from the crates as the other babies started crying out for their mothers.

I was overwhelmed with emotion.

My heart was aching.

I have never EVER witnessed anything like this before.

Quickly some farms workers came over and corralled the calf and took him away. I will never forget that moment. I’ve of course seen the videos of this stuff and have been disheartened by them, but to witness it goes beyond that. It was real and it was raw; I will never forget the sound those babies made.

Now onto something a bit more lighthearted…

Our Sunday celebration was once again held at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary.  We shared pizza, stories and tons of love with the animals of the farm. It’s always amazing to me how settled in the animals are. Considering the fact most come from abusive situations or from factory farms or even from the Kaporos ritual, their trust in humanity is still there.

Peter, Gabby and all the volunteers do such a great job caring for these animals. Whether the animal needs rehabbing, veterinary care or just a hug they get everything they need there on the sanctuary. The animals are unconditionally loved and are treated equally and fairly. They live out their lives in an environment that is worthy of their lives.

After such a debilitating experience at the dairy farm, it was nice to decompress and see what vegan activism and advocacy can do. I left the farm feeling good about the weekend but also wondering what can be done to help close places like that dairy farm down. No baby, regardless of species, should be forcibly taken away from their mothers so another species can steal their bodily secretions.

The most logical answer is to go vegan; it’s that simple. There are so many different kinds of milks to drink that do not cause any harm. I prefer soy but others like almond milk. Maybe you like oat milk, or hemp milk. Hell you can have flax milk if you like or even coconut. The fact of the matter is this, you don’t need to drink the bodily fluids of another species when you can drink plenty of other products. For one, you are not a baby cow and that stuff doesn’t belong to you in the first place.

Go vegan!

Please enjoy these photos (below) from the celebration at Tamerlaine and if you can please donate to them by going to their site at https://tamerlainefarm.org/donate/

 

 

Ragnar ADK 2018: The Race

PREFACE: I decided to break this post up in two. It got very wordy and I had so much to say. This post is specific to details about the running of the race where as the next post has to do with some other stories that are more relevant to the impact of the team and experiences we had outside of running during the race. I hope you will read and enjoy them both.

I love Ragnar races! I look forward to them every year. I had no intention of doing one in 2018 though especially after running Vegan Power 50k and then going to Wanderlust Stratton with my friend Pete. Those two events ate away my race time, so a Ragnar was not necessarily on my radar.

About 5 weeks before Ragnar Adirondacks was scheduled I got a message from my friend/ teammate, Jess Ryle. Seems someone dropped and they were having issue finding a fill in. I hadn’t run since VP50k but after working out schedules and stuff, I made the commitment to go to upstate NY and run ADK with Strong Hearts Vegan Power once again and got back to running.

Five short weeks later it was time to get my stuff packed and head out to Glen Falls, aka Tent City. A bunch of us were planning on camping out at Jess and Andrew’s house the night before the race that way we were only 25 minutes from the start line. I decided to make a stop in Albany to not only support one of our sponsors, Berben and Wolffs, but also to try them out because we don’t have stuff like that on ole Cape Cod. I was able to get some seitan buffalo wings, which I devoured on site and a cubano panini for later. Wow, the food is so good. If you are ever in Albany and are looking for vegan grub you won’t be disappointed.

The next morning came quick and we found ourselves in Saratoga Springs at the start line. Everyone found their vans and teams they’d be running with. Running (SHVP) gear was handed out and we all started moving our packs, food and whatever else we were going to need into the vans we’d be living in for the next 24+ hours. Things seemed pretty seamless, I mean heck, this team has been doing this for a bit now so it was like a well oiled machine.

Our first team was headed out at 8am so we all made our way over to see them off. Their was a team to start 8:30am, my team was at 9:00am and our last, and fastest team, the ultra team went off at 11am. My van was the second out of our team so we went off for some breakfast “sandos” (sandwiches) at Healthy Living. We then shot over to the next major exchange where van 1 would meet up with us and it’d be our turn.

We had a great van of people. Marie was our van Captain, driver and van mom. The run grunts were Trish Ann Novelli ( Ragnar vet, an amazingly fast and inspiring woman), Peter Nussbaum (co-founder of Tamerlaine Farm Animals Sanctuary and leg grinder), Steve Reddy (Equal Vision Records owner, krishna hardcore icon and mile crusher), Jonathan Reith (volunteer medic for the Kurdish Peshmerga and all around badass) and myself. This crew has some experience and more grit than We figured it out and the average age of our van was 45; needless to say we took on the moniker of Strong Heart SENIOR Power and started hashtagging our photos on social media with #aarp and #wherearemyreaders.

Fast forward to my first run which was 6.7 miles with 457 feet of elevation gain. That’s not a ton of elevation but considering my training ground is the flat lands of Cape Cod, it slowed my pace a bit. I got this leg done in just over an hour (1:05 and change) and passed off to Trish. Before our next legs were to start there was supposedly some bad weather moving in and Ragnar put a halt to all running for a bit. This was kind of bothersome as nothing ended up happening minus some downpours, but who hasn’t run in the rain before.

Anyhow, Marie got the next batch of runs going after bombing down a hill and killing her 2.2 mile run. She passed off to Steve and unfortunately for him, he got the worst of the weather and was soaked within minutes. Being the positive guy that he is, he cranked it out though and didn’t complain one bit; Steve is one tenacious dude. Peter cranked out his leg, Jonny smashed his and then I was up for my minuscule 1.9 mile night run.

Back it up a bit….

I’ve never been the strongest or fastest runner, I’m just the most bullheaded and won’t stop unless I’ve injured myself hence the reason I hadn’t run in months before this. That said, I’ve never had many “kills” during a Ragnar. As a matter of fact, I think the most I ever got during an event was 2. You read that right! I’m normally the guy that other racers can count as their “kill.”

Definition of a kill: Simply, it’s when you pass someone during a leg and they never pass you back.

During my first leg I had 5 kills and was shocked. So here I was just starting my second leg, the shortest of the three, and I was thinking there was no way I was going to outdo 5 kills in 6.7 miles.

I ended up getting 6!

WHAT?!

We kept on going from there and got into our third, and last, legs to run. My run was just under a 5k but had some elevation and ran parallel to the High Falls Gorge on Whiteface Mountain. I had not done a ton of mileage so far, but the lack of running before ADK and not being able to train on real hilly terrain was taking its toll and I felt very sluggish. About 1/4 of a mile before the end of the run I looked behind me and saw another runner creeping on me. Normally I’d let them pass and be done with it but I was not letting this one kill me. I was so close to the end and I didn’t want to be killed in front of my team or their team. I dug as deep as I could and sprinted toward Trish to pass her the slap bracelet.

That runner never passed me!

Trish brought it in and we were done.

Our finishing time of 28:02:08 gave us 20th place overall and 11th in our division. All of our Strong Hearts Vegan Power teams placed within the top 20 and our Ultra team placed 3rd overall and 2nd in their division.

Thank you to all the admins of the team for putting this all together, the work you put in is priceless and appreciated.

Thank you to Jess and Andrew for graciously offering up their home for the guests of tent city.

Thank you to our sponsors Hurraw! Balm, Outdoor Herbivore, HippieCakes Vegan Bakery, Berben and Wolff’s Vegan Delicatessen, Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe, Raul’s Mexican Grill, Tofurky and Vegan Outdoor Adventures.

Thank you Strong Hearts Vegan Power for making me a better person, I love this team and can’t wait to see you all soon!

 

 

Book Review: Vodka Is Vegan

I usually try to come up with a lead in that might draw you in but I’m having a weird time trying to come up with one here. You see, the Vegan Bros are the epitome of the quick lead in type of stuff so how do you really establish something comparable? Their tongues are sharp and the snarky satirical innuendos are either cheered or jeered by the vegan community. You love them or hate them and you’ve been hearing about this book for what seems like an eternity. So let’s get into it.

Matt and Phil, the Vegan Bros, have not always been the eccentric characters they now portray and they sure as heck have not always been vegan. Phil made the switch first and went headfirst into activism working with Mercy For Animals and doing activist tours. Matt on the other hand, was a massively out of shape carnivore who was irritated by Phil’s activism. The book goes into that transition and just how it worked out for him.

Getting down to it, the book is not ground breaking but it is as real as it gets and is rooted in the belief that they have the answers and the know how to help the world turn vegan; “vegan world domination” as they call it. To me, that is a valiant effort regardless of whether or not you think they have the answers. And, while I think that maybe they are trying to hard and at times and that the book feels forced, they speak to an audience that maybe wouldn’t be willing to listen to the hippie vegan approach or the straight edge/ hardcore kid method.

We all hear the same thing when we are in a group of people. “Where do you get your protein?” “Plants have feelings too.” Oh and there’s the everlasting “bacon though.” The Vegan Bros talk about situations like that and what works for them when they encounter people like that. Their opinion on honey is polarizing to some. They’ve been booed in the past for their small steps approach to veganism, and the argument about honey is sometimes the catalyst. “Vodka Is Vegan” talks quite a bit about that, the small steps, less offensive approach. I agree with a good amount of it, it doesn’t help to be combative. It doesn’t help to always throw out the fact you are vegan; your friends and family already know, leave it alone.

To be honest though, the foul talk stuff is growing old. Thug Kitchen did it as did many others. I don’t find the language makes the book, or their methodology, any more approachable. I mean, sure I like to toss out a “shit” and a “fuck this” every now and again, but it’s more for color commentary. I feel like it is a worn out shtick and wish they would try to be more convincing rather than amusing. But that’s me, maybe the approach works for someone else and to be honest, if it means that person is now vegan than keep going; good on ya!

They do have their own guide in the chapter “Badass Homework” which has a lot of valuable info for a person interested in making the transition. Again, I feel like it’s directed toward a certain demographic as I don’t see my mom finding their approach helpful to her. For those younger folks out there though, the millennials who snicker at every cuss word or silly inference to some movie character, the approach is probably perfect.

After reading this review back I feel like maybe it sounds like I’m ripping the book and I’m trying not to make it seem like that. Listen, the book is good. It’s not bogged down with overly technical crap or scholarly diatribes; it’s a quick read. There is a ton of value here not only learning from what has worked for them, but there are facts littered throughout that could help a newb vegan diffuse situations with fact rather than fiction. Those fun facts are interesting and always positive.

I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to seeing what these guys do in the future. I have been following them for a while now and am curious just how far they can go with the system they’ve set in place for themselves. They promise a future that is vegan, and are manifesting it like a “mofo.” Let’s hope that works for them, for us and for the animals.

Check out their site at http://www.veganbros.com and order the book today!

Mason Jar Creations: Fresh Lemon Lovin’

Since I was a kid. my mother had me convinced that I really liked things that were lemon flavored. Every year she would bake me a lemon cake for my birthday and to this day, I don’t know why or if I ever asked her to. Here I am though, 44 years old, and not fully understanding just why I love lemon so much; could it have been the subliminal suggestion of my mom?

Either way, I enjoy the flavor and I use lemon as often as I can. I like the freshness of it either squeezed into a dish or zested. Luckily, this recipe call for both. Hell yeah! This is a super clean dish and is really refreshing. Here’s what you will need:

INGREDIENTS
1 can garbanzo beans
1 package Lightlife tempeh
1 160z bag frozen okra (or use fresh, your call)
1 12oz bag of riced cauliflower
1/2 of a lemon
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup veggie broth

Get a large non-stick pan warmed up, nearly hot. Add in the garlic and saute for a moment, if it starts sticking just add a touch of veggie both. Add the cauliflower rice and the 1/2 cup of veggie broth.

Cook that down a bit and zest the peel of the lemon right into it. Cover and steam cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the tempeh and drained garbanzo beans into another pan. Take the half lemon and squeeze the juice right on top. Cover and cook down a bit.

In a smaller pan get the okra going. It’ll get slimy as it cooks up, it’s normal if you haven’t ever had it.

You can either serve it right away or portion it into 4 mason jars and refrigerate once it cools.

You can use oil, I tried to make this as clean and oil free as possible. I’m on jar three at work today, tastes amazing and fresh!