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.

Galaxy Foods Vegan Cheddar Cheese

I tried vegan cheese for the very first time today. I was cautiously optimistic. I'd read about the poor melting qualities of vegan cheese in general, but wasn't personally in it for the melt. I was looking for a some flavor, some moisture and the texture of unmelted cheese.

There weren't a lot of choices. In fact, there was just one. Galaxy Foods Vegan Cheddar flavor slices. But heck, cheddar is (or rather was) my favorite cheese, so lucky me.

Didn't really expect actual cheese flavor, just something similar or reminiscent of it.

The texture was pretty much spot on for cheddar. Based the package styling being similar, I was expecting more of an american cheese food singles texture. But it was more like cheddar than I had anticipated. That sort of firm, moist, yet slightly crumbly feel. Very accurate in that respect. It did also add some much needed moisture to my sandwich. Vegan chili with rice on a kaiser roll. The slice of vegan cheese was just what the sandwich needed to really make it great. It was exactly what I'd been craving.

The flavor was not precisely cheddar. It has a nice smokey quality and a taste I very much enjoyed. And like I said, it was just the thing my sandwich needed. It would totally rock with some vegan bologna slices or vegan ham slices.

In general, I went in with low expectationas and was very pleasantly surprised. Texture was an A. Moisture was an A. Sandwich enhancing ability also an A. Flavor a B+. Price is fair. Regular cheese is around the same price. Unfortunately this stuff rarely ever goes on sale. Still, I liked it very much and would definitely purchase the product again.