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.

Curried Lentils and Barley

I bought curry powder in the supermarket the other day. Yes, I'm well aware that it's 'wrong' to buy curry powder. That one is supposed to buy the individual spices are combine them in their own tested and preferred preference. But to buy all those spices did not seem practical. Even buying the curry powder didn't really seem practical. It was $3.19 for this little tiny jar. I guesstiamte it's 7-10 uses. But I really love curry and it's cheaper than buy pre-made. Beside that, I"m kind of interested to create my own, even if it's the half ass curry powder kind, I think there are still many details one can add to make it their own.

The use of fresh garlic enhances any dish. In my opinion big chunks of lightly cooked garlic are just about the best thing one can possibly put into one's mouth. I kind of plan on borrowing from several pre-made curries I've tasted and adding a few tricks of my own. I don't plan on a entirely authentic Indian curry, but rather a fusion of sorts. I'm going to try it with some lentils and barley. Mostly because lentils are kinda bland and I have a bunch of dried barley and lentils hanging around. I've cooked with them a lot and created a few interesting dishes, but I've never attempted a homemade curry before and I love a new adventure.

I'm thinking, lentils, barley, can o tomatoes, lotsa garlic, a jalapeno or two and some curry powder. I'll probably change things up when I actually get to cooking, but that seems a mighty tasty starting point.

I definitely hope to keep it vegan and am confident this is a dish that can live up to the task.

More to come...