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.

Cumin Lentils

Lentil are great source of protein and iron. They cook quickly and are easy to dress. This lentil recipe is designed to go in a pasta salad or on a bean sandwich. It's slightly flavored, but mild.

3/4 cups dry lentils
1/2 teaspon cumin seed (or 1/4 ground)
1 1/2 cups water
mccormick chicken grilling seasoning
6 small or 4 large cloves of garlic

In a medium saucepan dry toast cumin seeed for 5-7 minutes or until it smells delicious. Alternatively you can use ground cumin. Add it at the end with the garlic and other seasonings.

Add water and lentils to pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer approximately 20 minutes.

In the meanwhile shell your garlic cloves. No need to chop. Just remove the skin.

Taste lentils after 15 minutes to determine whether to keep cooking or to take off the heat.

When lentils are tender add seasoning and garlic cloves. Stir. Cover. and leave sit on warm burner for five minutes.

Serve immediately over pasta salad, on toasted wheat bread or garden salad. Or let flavors mingle overnight in the fridge.