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.

Vegan Potato Salad with Hummus

Here's an idea that occurred to me this afternoon because of Labor Day. A healthier and better tasting potato salad everyone will love. It's vegan, but doesn't require vegan mayonnaise. It's easier too. And has hardly any ingredients.

Potato Salad Dressing Ingredients
1 cup hummus (your favorite variety)
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce (optional if you love heat)

In a large bowl combine the hummus and vinegar (and hot sauce if desired). Set aside.

Potato Salad Ingredients
3 lbs russet potatoes
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup scallions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray.

Wash potatoes thoroughly and cut into 1/4 inch chunks. Leave the skins on. Roast potatoes for 15 minutes. Stir and roast 12 minutes longer.

Shred or mince carrots. Or buy pre-shredded. Mince scallions.

Let potatoes cool at least 30 minutes. Then add potatoes, carrots and scallions to the bowl of dressing. Stir to coat everything in the sauce. Refrigerate for at least a 1/2 hour longer.

Hummus is healthier and lower fat than mayonnaise and boasts way more flavor. Plus it's vegan. Roasting the potatoes instead of boiling them gives them a great dual texture of chewy and fluffy.

It's potato salad re-imagined for the next millennium.

The dressing also makes a great regular salad dressing for raw veggies and lettuce based salads. It's a versatile dressing that will add great flavor to most any food.