Pressure Cooker Vegan Lentil Soup

On the myriad cooking shows I watch they often use pressure cookers. I've often wondered to myself if I need one and if I did have one, what exactly I would make with it. 

I never did buy one for myself. I always figured I had the time to wait for the same thing to happen via the stovetop. 

But for some strange reason, my mother bought one. She doesn't even like to cook. Perhaps that factored into her decision. 

When she fell ill, I found myself with the desire to make good use of this appliance on her behalf. It felt therapeutic to create sustenance from this device that she'd bought so soon before she'd become sick. 
Since it's summer and hot, I thought to myself, I can make a complex broth based soup without making the house hot simmering it on the stovetop for a long time. 

My absolute favorite soup meal is lentil soup. It's just the ultimate vegan chicken noodle soup analog. It's the food of memories, childhood and comfort. It will give you a big hug. 


Ginger Lime Black Bean Pepper Salad Vegan Recipe

This recipe is all about the dressing. Fresh vegetables really sing when you give them the loving embrace of a good dressing.

The perfect dressing has a delicate balance of acid, oil, spice, heat and herb. It coats its components in a rich and lively liquid that awakens and enhances all their inherent flavors.

When I first started creating vegan recipes I came up with a black bean and corn salad with lime and hot sauce dressing. It was pretty simple, but it tasted really good.

It was very mexican influenced. This is a refinement of that original idea. It's much more Thai inspired. Ginger, lime and garlic come together in perfect vegan harmony.

2 limes, zest and juice
2 inches freshly grated ginger
4 cloves grated garlic
3 tbls olive oil
2 tsps hot sauce
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsps dry basil

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups assorted bell peppers, diced
1/4 cup poblano, diced
1 cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 a serrano, minced, optional

Add the dressing ingredients to a bowl, except oil. Slowly whisk that in to the rest. Toss salad components into the dressing. Allow to chill for a bit in the fridge.