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.

Chinese Take Out Sandwich (Vegan)

Here's another awesome vegan sandwich that will make your meat eating friends envious. Fried tofu, black beans and roasted garlic on rye bread.

I like the store brand rye bread. Name brand is very expensive. Our local store band is equally delicious and half the price.

For texture I prefer to toast the bread. Then slather it with roasted garlic hummus on both slices. Sprinkle with some black beans. Lightly. Don't fill up the bread. Garnish with slices of roasted garlic and stir fried tofu, carrots, bamboo shoots and water chestnut.

The trick to this sandwich is to utilize leftover chinese stir fry take out. That elminates most of the work. I get the tofu and veg from there.

The roasted garlic I make when roasting a big batch of my roasted potatoes. I just throw the cloves on top for the final 15 minutes of cooking the taters. Another great trick is you can do this with almost any veg. Works great for roasting red peppers and broccoli among others. Works with fresh and frozen. Just throw them right on top of your almost done potatoes with 15 minutes left in the cooking time.

You can also make your own tofu and veg stir fry. Just cube extra firm tofu. Get a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. And lightly saute both in oil and some soy sauce. Easy peasy.

It's a salty, crunchy and creamy sandwich with luscious explosions of garlic and the satisfying crunch of lightly cooked veggies.