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.

Easy Vegan Chili

It's always nice to cook from scratch. But there's not always enough time. Sometimes we just want simple and fast. This vegan chili recipe is all those things and tasty too. We'll utilize store made chili and augment it for that great kick of flavor that you expect from homemade, only in way less time.

1 can hormel vegetarian chili (which is also vegan)
1 jalapeno pepper diced
6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1/2 cup frozen mustard greens
1/2 cup frozen corn nibblets
1/4 cup canned black beans rinsed
2 tsps olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup white rice
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
5 tbls nutritional yeast
2 cups water for cooking the rice

Cook rice and greens in 2 cups water and half cumin seeds. When rice has absorbed almost all the water add can of chili. Heat for 2 minutes on medium low heat uncovered, stirring often.

Add garlic and chili pepper. Cook 2 minutes longer. Add frozen corn. Stir to combine. Turn off heat. Keep pot of hot burner. Stir in black beans, spices, rest of cumin seeds and yeast. Taste. Adjust spices to taste.

Remove from hot pot to heat safe storage container. Serve immediately with crusty bread and sprinkled with additional yeast.

For great sandwiches let cool for 20 minutes and store in fridge overnight. Add chili mixture to kaiser roll slathered with spicy hummus and top with lettuce, black olives and onions.