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.

Curried Split Pea Soup Recipe

I'm not a huge fan of pea soup, but I did have a bag of green split peas that I panic bought at the beginning of the virus insanity.

Peas are packed with protein. They really fill you up.

Quite out of the blue, it occured to me that pea soup might be a lot more interesting if it were given the Indian curry treatment with some garam masala and coconut milk.

Turns out, I was right.

I am now a fan of split pea soup.

I also used this soup as a way to utilize ingredients that were either usually discarded or getting a little old. This is no time to waste anything that might feed yourself or your loved ones.

8 ounces dry green split peas, soaked overnight
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 serrano, minced
All the not too woody ends from 1 lb of asparagus, sliced small
Leftover stalks from 1/2 lb fresh kale, sliced small
Few ounces leftover spinach leaves
2 tsps garam masala
2 tsps aleppo pepper
2 tsps garlic powder
1 1/2 tbls salt
2 tsps black pepper
3 tbls olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 can coconut milk
4 cups water

Soak split peas overnight covered in 1-2 inches of water.

Drain and rinse. Set aside.

Cook down shallots, peppers and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add wine and cook off for 5 more minutes.

Add remaining ingredients. Cover. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer.

Cook until peas are tender. 30-40 minutes.

Use a stick blender to puree until smooth.

I prefer a thicker, creamier consistency. You can add more water for a a looser version.

I topped mine with coconut rice.