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.

Barbecue Curry

I made a new kind of curry the other day. We had gotten some barbecue sauce free from the a and p. When I smelled my mother cooking her chicken with it I was inspired to utilize it myself.

So since we didn't have any vegetable broth or any cans of tomatoes and I wanted to make some curry lentils I decided the barbecue sauce might make a decent ingredient.

I cooked some lentils and barley in a combo of water and several heaping teaspoons of curry powder. When that had simmered for a while I added the barbecue sauce, some spicy mustard, some Louisiana hot sauce and some frozen mustard greens.

I left that for 10 more minutes or so. Add some more water. More curry powder. A little more barbecue sauce. 5 more minute to cook.

Add some chopped garlic. Paprika. Chili powder. Onion powder. More curry powder. I like a lot of curry. A little more water. A little more hot sauce. Of course I"m tasting as I go.

When the lentils were nearly done I added some frozen bell pepper strips and removed the whole pot from the heat. Tasted again. Added a little more curry powder and paprika.

A strong curry is a good curry. Woulda been better if I had some jalapeno. But the chili powder and the hot sauce made up for it. And the sweet smokiness of the barbecue sauce added a nice dimension. It came out very good. Great on its own or in a sandwich. It's really good with imitation bacon bits