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.

Hummus and Bean Sandwich (Vegan)

Beans make some of the best sandwiches. I have proof. The other day I made the most delicious sandwich. Totally vegan too. And very healthy and nutritionally diverse.

My special ingredient was hummus. Lost of people eat hummus. It's nothing new. But I doubt most folks know what a great sandwich it can help to make.

I built my sandwich on a kaiser roll. Slathering each side with some roasted garlic hummus. Then added pinto beans. The hummus is great because it helps keep the beans in place. Then added some nutritional yeast and topped with dill pickle slices.

I would've never believed it had I not eaten it myself. But the combo of pickle, yeast and hummus really made a superb sandwich. When I think about all the sandwiches I've augmented with cheese I wish I tried using hummus sooner. It has about the same amount of fat as a slice of cheese but so much more flavor. The pickle juice and hummus run together and create this delicious, drippy, gooey ooze. The yeast add the perfect finishing zip.

As I ate my sandwich I was thinking to myself, this is far better than cheese. This is how I can stop eating cheese.

Since then I've made several bean and hummus sandwiches and have loved them all. While the nutritional yeast is a great addition, the combo of hummus and pickles is what really does it for me. I can see hummus and fresh onion being just as great. Hummus is just so packed with flavor. It's great all by itself on plain bread. But when you add the meaty texture of the beans it's satisfying beyond compare.

Not only does hummus handily replace cheese, but it also dispatches with mayonnaise just as easily. It's like getting two for the price of one.

If you haven't done so already, you have to try a hummus and bean sandwich. It's one of the best sandwiches I've ever had.