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.

Ramen with Chick Peas and Broccoli (Vegan)

You can't beat ramen noodles priced at 5 for $1 at Shoprite. The blue, oriental flavor package is animal free as per their website. It's great just as it is. But is even better when you add a thing or two.

The thing to understand about ramen is that though it's sold and marketted as a soup, it's so much more than that. It's an inexpensive and easy to make asian noodle dish. Don't tell the other asian noodle makers who charge 2 or 3 times the price.

The trick is to ignore the package directions. For the best ramen possible do this instead...

1 packet oriental flavor ramen noodles
1/4 cup frozen broccoli
1/4 cup canned, rinsed chick peas

Fill a small sauce pan half way with cool water. Add ramen flavor packet. Set to high heat on a small burner. Break noodle brick into a few small chunks. Add to pot. Bring to a boil.

Once it has come to a boil, lower heat a little and simmer for 2 minutes. Add chick peas. Simmer 1 minute more. Add broccoli. Do not stir in. Leave on top. Simmer 1 minute longer or just until broccoli is defrosted and warmed through.

Strain noodles, chick peas and broccoli out of liquid into a bowl. I use a fork. The curliness and length of ramen make it pretty easy to strain with just a fork. The small size of the pan also aid in this processs. It's quicker and less clean up, but you can use a sieve. Save only a tsp of the liquid and pour that ontop of your noodle mix. The last little bit of liquid is where all the flavor and spices will be hiding.

An easy, tasty and cheap vegan meal.