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.

Better Sleep with Nutritional Yeast

Trouble sleeping? Try nutritional yeast. Usually reserved as a dietary supplement for vegetarians and vegans nutritional yeast is high in tryptophan and other essential nutrients. I find that when I make sure to get enough of it I sleep easier and better and more restful.

If you're wondering what it tastes like, that's an easy question to answer. It has a cheesey taste. But with note of bitterness. Like a french cheeese. It also has some nutty qualities. It makes a great aaddition to boxed macaroni and cheese. Vegans like to use it to make faux mac and cheese. Which is good by the way. But it also enhances the flavor the of classic store kind. I use it to make a low fat, low cal version. Instead of lots of butter or margarine. I use only one tablespoon of fat. 1/4 cup almond milk and about 1/3 cup water and 1/4 cup nutri yeast added to the cheese powder packet. It gives it a more complex cheese flavor and ups the nutrients considerably.

Nutritional yeast can be treated and used in the same way one might utilize grated cheeses. Sprinkle it on spaghetti sauce or mashed potatoes and stir. It adds multiple levels of flavor and texture. It's also great on salads. Douse with vinegar or salad dressing for new levels of flavor.

You don't have to be vegetarian or vegan to enjoy nutritional yeast. It tastes good. Is very healthy. And might also help with your sleep problems. Give it a try. What have you got to lose other than your insomia and your prescription sleep aids.