Mexindian Summer Salad

While I love to cook, the summer heat causes me to avoid using the the stove and oven as much as possible. Instead, I opt for fresh produce that I can chop and mix without applying heat. This isn't too difficult when you cook with mostly beans and vegetables.

This one has a really nice sauce that has two of my favorite spices: paprika and turmeric. I love this combination. It's a really accessible way to quickly introduce heaps of flavor and depth. Especially if you're not that comfortable with combining a lot of spices. This simplifies it, but still keeps it interesting. 

It's easy to put together too. Just combine all ingredients and let rest in the fridge overnight. This allows time for the tomatoes to release their juices, the acid to wake up the spices and the starches from the beans to thicken the sauce. 

Vegan cooking is a unique situation. Traditional techniques don't necessarily work. We have to approach the ingredients from a different perspective in order …

Progresso Vegetarian Soups

How long has progresso been labelling their vegetable soups as either vegetarian or non-vegetarian? Cuz I could swear that maybe 6 months ago they put no such warnings at the top of the ingredient list. But I'm not all that observant. Still it's certainly nice that they do, whenever it started.

It's strange that vegetable soup isn't always vegetarian. It's a confusing and quirky world in which we live. One cannot assume because it says veg on the front that's it's truly veg inside. Most prepackaged rice mixes aren't either. There's lotsa stuff you can casually grab in the supermarket thinking it's animal-free when infact, it's anything but. To truly avoid animal products one must vigilantly read ingredients lists. A daunting task at times, considering how lengthy some can be.

But here is a little help. Some items I've found that are safe.

Campbell's Select Southwestern Style Vegetable Soup (vegan).
Progresso Garden Vegetable, not regular vegetable
Progresso Lentil, regular or 99% Fat Free
Rice a Roni Spanish Rice
Rice a Roni Fried Rice
Knorr Red Beans and Rice
Knorr Teriyaki Rice (vegan)
Most Near East Rice and Cous Cous Mixes (vegan). Read individual packages. Many flavors are, some may not be.
Campbell's Condensed Cream of Asparagus Soup, Cream of Broccoli, Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Celery.
Progresso Tomato Rotini Soup
Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup (vegan)
Top Ramen Oriental Flavor (vegan)
Simply Organic Pesto Sauce Mix (vegan if you don't add any parmesan, vegetarian if you add kraft grated parmesan)

I specify kraft grated parmesan because they explicitly told me theirs is animal free. others may also be. you need to check with the maker. many are not.
Still, ingredients and recipes can change at any time. Always double check.