Sweet and Spicy Tomato and Kidney Bean Salad

One of the best things about not eating meat is that you can make meals without having to actually cook anything. Just cut, combine and stir. Whether you're in a hurry, feeling lazy or just want that fresh crunch, a plant based diet gives you the freedom to cook without literally cooking. 

Especially as the weather gets warmer, it's convenient to just cut and combine. It's also surprisingly tasty to keep those fresh ingredients in their natural state. 

The textures and flavors are vibrant and exciting. 

A little salt, a little acid, some  fat, a spice or two and you're all set with a delicious meal. 

1 can dark red kidney beans
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 poblano pepper, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 long hot pepper, diced
1 serrano, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbls olive oil
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 1/2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. 

That's it. You're done. Enjoy your not so hard work.

Super Garlic Black Bean Salsa

This dish is really easy and quick. It's been so unbareably hot here on the northeast coast lately that I can't fathom really 'cooking' something. So this was my compromise with myself and the foul weather.


10 cloves garlic smashed and peeled, but uncut
1 can black beans
1/2 cup frozen mustard greens
1/2 frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix
1/3 cup frozen yellow corn niblets
salt and pepper
maple grove farms fat free caesar salad dressing (optional)
lite italian salad dressing (optional)

Add about 1/3 cup cool tap water to a a big saute pan. Never use hot water. That comes from your hot water heater and is sitting for long periods in the tank. You don't want to eat that.

Heat the pan with water for three minutes and then add your broccoli/cauliflower. Cover and let steam for five minutes.

Note: if your frozen mustard green are, as mine were, a big giant singular block, add them with the broccoli mix. If they are free flowing wait.

After the five minutes have elapsed add your corn and greens. Replace cover and steam 2 minutes more.

Add your garlic. Several sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook covered 2 more minutes.

Remove from heat and turn into a room temperature storage device.

Stir in black beans. Or add them per portion.

Eat hot as it or chill for a few hours first.

To dress (hot or cold) drizzle with equal portion of the dressings and stir to distribute.

Don't worry, even though the name is caesar, maple grove farms fat free caesar salad dressing does not contain cheese or other animal products.

Sprinkle each serving with garlic powder, basil and nutritional yeast as per personal taste.

You don't have to add the dressing to this salsa. It's sweet and extra garlicy all on its own. Try some plain first and decide. THe garlic flavor is potent, yet pleasing.