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.

Spicy Summer Tomato Dressing

A little bit of heat, a little bit of sweet and some smokey flavor to round it all out. Use on pasta, rice, salad, sandwiches. You could even use it as a hot soup, cold gazpacho, a sauce for lentils or as a dip for chips.

Spicy tomato dressing

16 ounces fresh roma tomatoes roughly chopped into quarters
1 cup fresh celery diced
1/4 white onion roughly chopped
1/4 cup red wine
5 cloves garlic thinly sliced
ribs and flesh from 1/4 jalapeno
ribs and flesh from 1/4 serrano
1/4 cup Balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
1 chipotle and 2 tsps adobo sauce
1.4 tsp each paprika, basil, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper

Add tomatoes to a hot skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes and then lower heat to medium, add half the vinaigrette and continue cooking tomatoes for 5 more minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the celery and continue simmering as juices from tomatoes are released. Keep cooking and stirring over medium heat for 5 more minutes.

Add red wine and raise heat to medium high and simmer until wine is burned off. Add sliced garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant.

Add hot mixture to a blender along with both chilies, remaining vinaigrette, onion, chipotle/sauce, remaining celery and spices. Puree until smooth. Add additional spices to taste.