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 …

Redefining the Modern Day Vegetarian

Vegetarian and vegan are very strict terms. vegetarians eat no living things. Vegan consume no animal products at all where feasible possible. I'm not one for labels. Or groups. I applaud vegans for their dedication to avoiding using animals. And respect vegetarians for trying to decrease killing.

I take issue, however, with the egg thing. Eggs are technically vegetarian. Nothing has died. Hens lay unfertilized eggs. No harm done. Except most egg laying hens are tortured. They are literally treated like egg laying machines. Kept in dark, confined hen houses. If cruelty is what you hope to avoid, eating eggs is not accomplishing that.

Certain sea life on the other hand is less cruel in my opinion. Wild caught fish for instance. They led a natural life up until the day they died. Bivalves like scallops, mussels and clams. Have no brain. They can't be tortured. They cannot think or feel. Shrimp, pretty low on the life-form hierarchy. Akin to eating an ant. Personally, I'd rather eat shrimp or scallops than eat eggs. Feels far less cruel in my gut.

In an ideal world nothing would die to be human food and certainly nothing would be tortured for our wants. But in the real world it's different. Vegans, vegetarians and occasional fish eaters need to cross that gap that divides us. We all have the same goal in mind. Less cruelty. Dare I say, even eating chicken or beef wouldn't be such a bad thing had the animals led a nice life and been killed humanely.

Maybe in a hundred years, if we last that long, everyone will be vegan. But in the meanwhile we need to focus on what's most important. Not specifically what you eat, but rather, which will do the least harm.