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.

What Is Vegan

what is vegan and what does it mean to you? strictly speaking vegan means eschewing all animal derived products. including meat, milk, eggs, honey and anything which contains such ingredients.

Essentially a vegan is someone who wishes to avoid the use and/or mistreatment of animals. Often during the manufacture process animals are cruelly treated and abused.

A vegetarian usually has a similar motivation. But vegetarians still eat milk and egg products.

why is veganism good? there are many reasons beside limiting animal cruelty. veganism is a very green lifestyle. raising food animals uses up far more resources than raising vegetables and grains. the bulk of grains cultivated in the united states are allocated to feeding animals that will eventually become food. avoiding the middle man is the obvious answer to conservation. why feed the cows corn, when we can simply feed the corn to people. cow don't even want to eat corn. cow are natrually designed to eat grass. the meat industry feeds them corn to fatten them up. shouldn't we take all that excess corn and feed it to hungry people instead.

it's not necessary to be a strict vegan to make a difference. even minor changes in your eating habits can have a huge impact of manufacturing and consumerism. if every american ate just one less hamburger a year millions less cattle would be required to feed us. if americans switched form cow's milk to almond or soy milk millions of cows would cease to suffer.

even if you don't care about the treatment of food animals, surely you must be concerned about the future of the earth. unless you have a swank condo on mars, you need this planet. a meat-free diet is environmentally friendly. cutting out the middle man (food animals) we can save tons of work and land and resources. instead of growing the grains, feeding them to chicken, cows and pigs and then consuming them. if we just eat the grains ourselves there is so much less waste. not to mention all the land saved not housing food animals. raising and slaughtering them. land that can be used to grow directly usable food for human consumption.

the simple analogy is that eating meat is like having a mortgage on all your meals. you're constantly making payments, but never reducing the debt. cut out the lender and get your nourishment direct from the source.