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.

Cilantro and Chipotle Chimichuri

I decided to try using chipotle as an ingredient. I've had it in hummus. I love chipotle hummus. So I got myself some goya chipotle. I also got some cilantro. I was thinking a more latin styled chimichuri was something fun to attempt.

I added the cilantro, some of the chipotle and its sauce, garlic, ginger, a little olive oil. Gave it all a buzz.

When I tasted it I was surprised... it wasn't all that flavorful.

So in went more chipotle. More cilantro. More of everything.

I tasted again and was pretty pleased... knowing the flavors tend to intensfiy after they've had a chance to sit and mingle.

I saved it in the fridge intending to return to it the next day. Which I did.

It was pretty intense. It went from quite mild to very strong. I put some on my salad and I was sweating bullets. Let me just say, I'm no stranger to heat, but Goya means business with their chipotles in adobo sauce. That is some intense stuff.

I don't know if it's just me, but I taste often and am always taken by surprise. I like to cook in advance. I rarely eat what I've made that day. And it always seems what was quite mild yesterday becomes quite potent by the next day. I try to keep that in mind, but it's difficult. Becuase the flavors seem to intensify not just a little bit, but a great deal.

Still, I enjoy some powerful heat on occasion. The more I ate my mixture, the more it grew on me. It was simple to make, but had a huge payoff in flavor.

Next blender experiment... dill and scallions.