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.

Cabbage Salad

I recently added a new addition to my usual salad fare. Shoprite has been selling green cabbage for $0.49 per pound. So roughly $1.00 per whole head. So I decided to try that to augment the romaine I usually use as that has increased in price to $1.69 per pound.

It tastes great and adds a better texture and crunch factor to the overall salad. I just use a mix of romaine and the cabbage. I use both raw.

Cabbage is great in that it's so much easier to prep. I just discard the outermost leaves in the store. Don't wanna buy what I'm not gonna eat. Then at home I can use a knife to chop the cabbage. It's much heartier than lettuce. So it doesn't wilt from chopping even after 5 or 6 days stored in the fridge.

A lot of people see cabbage and automatically think of cole slaw. To that I say phooey. Cabbage deserves better than to drown in an bowl of mayonaisse. It can stand quite nicely on its own merits.

Nutrionally it's similar to its darker leafy cousins. Boatloads of vitamin c. And a nice amount of vitamin k too. A fair amount of calcium.

Cabbage is so much better uncooked in my opinion. Once you cook it, it becomes smelly, tasteless grandma food. But left in its natural state it really shines. As nicely as any lettuce out there. And so much easier to prep.

It's such a tight head, I don't feel compelled to wash every leaf like I do with romaine. There are never any bugs hidden in there.

And call me crazy, but I like the root. It's crunchy and delicious. Other than the woodiest part, I chop it up and eat it. It's good stuff. So there's very little waste.

The trick to being happy with your produce purchases is buying what's cheapest. The cheaper the produce the better the product. Cheaper produce indicates a better crop. Never buy expensive fresh produce. You'll regret it.