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.

Crunchy Matchstick Potatoes

So in my ongoing quest to utilize the common russet potato in new ways I've stumbled across an interesitng phenomena. I decided for no reason other than whimsy to cut my potatoes into the matchstick (also known as jullienne) shape.

I would be cooking them on the stovetop so a small cut was required. Normally I do a very small dice. And that works out well. It's easy to get them tender without burning them. I was feeling kinda lazy, so matchsticks were several less cuts. I assumed they would still have the same quick cooking properties as their slightly more petit cousins.

Turns out they do, but with an interesting twist. If you slightly undercook them they come out crispy and crunchy even after refrigeration. And yet they taste and feel like fully cooked, yet crunchy potatoes.

I hadn't originally intended to undercook any, but as I'm not a knife samurai, not all sticks were exactly the same size. Some were thoroughly cooked while others were still slightly under.

When I went to eat them the next day I discovered the slightly undercooked ones were still crisp and yet had a pleasant taste and texture.

Season with salt, pepper, marjoram and garlic powder.

I also like to drizzle mine with some hot sauce.