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.

Roasted Potato and Charred Leek Salad

Having recently made potato leek soup, I found myself  with extra potatoes and extra leeks. As a huge fan of roasted potatoes and roasted leeks, I thought combining them into a variation on potato salad would be a delicious way to use them and a great excuse to create a little homemade salad dressing.

It's easy. It's vegan. It tastes great.

Potato Salad
2.5 lbs russet potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 lb halved and cleaned leeks
1/2 a medium red onion sliced thinly

Dressing
2 lemons, juice and zest
2 tsps spicy mustard
3 tbls olive oil
1 tbl sriracha
1 tbl hot sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 jalapeno, minced
2 handfuls parsley, minced

You're going to roast your potatoes and leeks in a 450 F oven. Leeks for 12 minutes. Potatoes for 35, stirring at the halfway point. I put the potatoes on a sheet pan in a single layer and laid the leeks on top of them. Spray your sheet pan with cooking spray so the potatoes don't stick.

In a large bowl combine all the dressing ingredients, except the oil. Whisk in the oil slowly.

When the leeks are done cooking, you'll need to slice them thinly.

When the potatoes are ready, add all the salad components to the bowl with the dressing. Toss to coat.