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.

Moist Vegan Cookies

Here's a neat little trick I came upon quite accidentally one day when bringing my home made lunch to work with me. I had made a nice sandwich of whole grain white bread, beans, hummus, onion and lettuce. I packed it inside a rather oblong reusable plastic container. So I also put a few cookies in there too.

These were your typical cripsy, crunchy, eggless vegan cookies. Which is fine by me. A crispy cookie is sometimes just the thing.

When I went to eat the cookies they were no longer crunchy at all. They had turned chewy and soft. The moisture from the bread and sandwich ingredients had been absorbed by the cookies. Neato.

I've tried it on other occasions with other moist giving foods and other varieties of moisture stealing cookies. It has worked with soft bread, cooked rice, roasted potatoes and donut holes as donors. It has worked on oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip and it's even worked to make wheat chex soft. If you eat wheat chex you understand what an amazing thing this is. Those little buggers stay crunchy for hours in a pool of milk.

The only trick to making this curious phenomenon work is the two items need to be confined for at least a few hours inside a plastic container or plastic bag. It's that simple.