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.

Best Sandwich Ever

For my birthday my brother gave me a sample pack of four hot sauces. Ranging from smokey mild to fiery hot. And I have to say they certainly enhance a vegetarian sandwich. I know that meat eaters think we're crazy and lack any taste bud, but I love a good sandwich. And I never had a better sandwich than the ones I've had since I began eating meat free. No turkey or roast beef can compare.

The trick is in layering the flavors and textures. I've never enjoyed my sandwiches more.

You must first start with delicious bread. Something hearty. Like whole wheat, rye or a chewy kaiser roll.

Once you have a great bread you need to slather it with hummus. Choose your own favorite flavor. then load your spreading knife up with some smokey hot sauce. About 1/2 teaspoon. And spread that evenly into the hummus already on your bread.

Use a fork to add a light layer of beans to your saturated bread. Black or Kidney beans work really well. Pinto and Red are also good choice. A sparse layer works best. Then add some roasted garlic slices. A generous helping. Then some sliced raw yellow onion. A slice of your favorite cheese. Pepper jack or cheddar work really well. Then some romaine or iceberg lettuce on top of the cheese. And finally close the sandwich with the other slice of bread. Pressing to insure everything stays together. And slice in half.

I've eaten countless sandwiches in my lifetime. Of endless varieties. Everything from a turkey club, to a hot pastrami, to a Reuben slathered in Russian dressing and Cole slaw. and a myriad of other sandwich options in between. But none of them eclipse this simple meat-free incarnation. The layers of flavor and textures are to die for. I don't care how must you love turkey cold cut or roast beef. This sandwich will seduce you. Give it a try. You have my personal guarantee that it will blow your mind.