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.

Vegan Chese Sauce

Here's an idea for a simple cheese like vegan sauce. You can make it thicker or thinner depending on your needs.

1 part nutritional yeast
1/2 part peanut butter
1/4 part white vinegar

It'll be tangy and cheesy and somewhat fatty and creamy. Using hummus or almond butter instead of peanut butter might be a nice variation. I can also imagine adding some hot sauce instead of vinegar. Sounds good in theory, though I've not tried it.

A simple combination of just yeast and non cow milk is also not bad. But it really does well with the addition of fat. Blend together the yeast, soy milk and some vegetable shortening and now you're cooking.

That's the rub with being vegan. Satiating that cheese craving. Some good hummus on its ohttp://www2.blogger.com/img/blank.gifwn goes a long way toward achieving that. There are also some nice vegan mac and cheese recipes out there. It's not hard. Basically you just replace the yellow cheese pouch with yeast. Of course you use soy or almond milk and vegan magarine. A little bit of spicy brown mustard is a nice touch.

There are also some great vegan cheeses out there. Daiya is famous for being a great vegan cheese. I've never had the pleasure. It's hard to come by and very pricey. I'm sure it's wonderful if you're willing to pay the price.

But with a little imagination and a small effort you can create some tasty substitutes that are much more economical.