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.

Lime Hummus (Vegan)

I was trying to make some hummus without any lemon or lime juice. I just wanted some hummus and didn't have those ingredients on hand. Alhtough it traditionally uses tahini, I don't ever make it that way. I use peanut butter instead. It comes out really nicely that way. However, the lack of citrus wasn't working out too well.

I tried using vinegar as an acidic substitue. It was oaky, but still lacking.

I had freshly minced garlic and plenty of wonderful spices. I used extra virgin olive oil.

It wasn't a bad hummus with vinegar. It was just one dimensioanl. It was good enough though. So I was more than happy to eat it anyway.

But when I went to the grocery store and brought home a fresh lime I added the zest and the juice to the hummus I had made the day before. What a difference it made. It totally woke up all the flavors. A thousand times better.

1 can rinsed chick peas
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspon olive oil
zest and joice from 1 lime
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
fresh cracked black pepper
garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, cayenne powder, marjoram

I like to crush my chick peas by hand. I just quish them between my fingers. Or I put them in a zip lock baggie and crush them with an unopened can of tomatoes.

Combine crushed chick peas and all other ingredients. Adding only a little bit of the spices. Taste. Add more of the spices to your preference. Add spices slowly and taste often.

Enjoy in place of mayonaisse and cheese, as a salad topper, a sexual lubricant or simply spread on toast.