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.

For the Love of Beans

Here's what the world needs to know right now... beans. I am so sick of vegetarian recipes that are full of vegetables and cheese. That just doesn't work. It's not filling. It's no wonder only 3% of the population is vegetarian when they are misled into thinking they must eat avocado, pepper and feta for sustenance.

Beans are the key. Beans are the alternative to meat. Where you would otherwise stuff your meat simply replace it with beans. Keep all your other add ons. Just swap your meat for beans. It's that easy. And I swear, it really does taste good.

Black beans have a great texture and taste that substitutes well for ground beef. Use them in lasagna, 'meat' sauce or on regular sandwiches. Kidney beans are also very 'meaty'. They have a strong nutty flavor and a rich hearty bite. Instead of roast beef or turkey cold cut, just add beans to your sandwich. I adore bean sandwiches. They taste awesome and are so filling. Even though I sometimes eat meant, I still love a bean sandwich much more than most meat incarnations.

I eat beans 7 days a week and meat probably only twice a month. I love a good bean sandwich. It just hits the spot.

Rye bread, hummus, black beans, onion, cabbage, romaine. Now that's a party. Add in a slice of cheese occasionally and you've really got a home run.

A lot of people seem to be misguided. They think they have to eat either meat or fish to be healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Beans are packed full of protein and fiber. They also boast plenty of iron.

Don't be misled by the meat industry. There are delicious alternatives.