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.

Grocery Shopping Veggie Style

Most people assume vegetarian and vegan diets cost more. Not true. They can actually save you a heap of money.

There are the obvious savings of not buying meat. That stuff's expensive.

What most people don't realize is that they don't need fancy specialty foods to live well on a meat-free lifestyle.

Beans are the biggie. They will be your staple food. They are full of protein, iron and other good for you things. A can of beans in the most expensive area: 99 cents.

Tofu is also pretty cheap. $2.49-$3.00 for a 14 ounce package. Nearly a pound of tofu. You also don't need to eat as much tofu as you might meat. You can easily get 6 servings out of the one package.

Meat-eaters and would-be vegetarians often fear B12 and iron deficiency. While it's true that B12 is not available from any plant sources currently known to man, it is added to many meat-free foods. Soy milk is an obvious choice. You free yourself from a dairy dependency and gain B12 in one simple step.

Vegan buttery spreads like Smart Balance and most breakfast cereals are also fortified with B12. You can also take a vegan vitamin supplement.

Beans and dark leafy greens are chock full of iron. Garbanzos, soy and lentils especially have tons of iron. But all beans are good sources. For optimum iron absorption make sure you get enough vitamin c during the same meal. Potatoes, oranges and broccoli are excellent sources of vitamin c.

Not to mention you'll save lots of money on doctor bills and prescriptions. You won't have high cholesterol. You'll lose any extra weight you've been carrying arond. And your diet will be chock full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.

So what are you waiting for? Stop wasting money on high priced meat. Why do you want to eat dead animals anyway? You wouldn't like it if someone killed you and ate you for dinner.