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.

Vegetarian Chili Mac and Cheese

I have a great fondness for Hormel canned vegetarian chili. Not only is it actually vegan, it tastes really good. I like to enhance it a bit, but they are all very simple additions. But what's even better than just the enhanced chili is when I combine it with some Annie's vegetarian boxed macaroni and cheese. They are a truly delicious culinary coupling if ever there was one.

Annie's Mac and Cheese box is available in most major supermarkets and competitively priced against that other famous not vegetarian brand. If you can't find it there I got a dozen boxes on Amazon for $1.17 per box. Not bad at all.

I just make that according to the direction. I like to blanch some frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix in with the cooking pasta for about 30 seconds. Then drain. Make cheese mix and then I add some frozen peas. Mix a little more, cover and let sit for 2 minutes.

How I prepare the Hormel canned vegetarian chili is detailed here.

I also had some left over Roasted Potatoes that I threw into the mix as well. They were a very nice textural addition and I can never have too many potatoes.

Chili and cheese and roasted potatoes - It doesn't get any better than that.