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.

Surviving the Storm (Hurrican Sandy)

I haven't been eating vegan or even vegetarian since hurricane Sandy struck the Jersey shore. Well, I did for the first few days afterward, but quickly became discouraged. I suddenly felt so small and ineffectual. It's strange though. Because I still eat vegan and vegetarian foods and often go days eating that way. I still love my tofurkey cold cuts and hummus and bean sandwiches.

But I have no problem eating soup with chicken in it. I don't usually go out of my way to find meat, but the sad fact is, a lot of time those foods are cheaper or easier to come by. And since I lost my job a couple weeks after, cheap is a big priority. I'm not willing at this time to pay more money to eat vegetarian soup over chicken soup. If I had the funds, maybe... I don't know for sure.

I also learned that I'm pretty cranky when I don't eat at least eggs and cheese. I was getting my B12 without it, but it totally affected my mood. I wasn't willing to admit it originally. Was in complete denial. It's bizarre, because I didn't have cravings. I wasn't lusting for cheeseburgers or anything like that. I was at least on the surface of my mind satisfied with my food intake. Yet, I would fly off the handle at the slightest provocation. Actually, even without any sometimes.

I am opposed to the cruel treatment of food animals. For this there is no doubt. But I'm just not sure I feel responsible for it anymore or that I can make a difference in abstensia.

The way I look at the world changed entirely since hurricane Sandy. It's hard to feel passionate about anything other than my own and my family's survival.