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.

Red Pepper Protein Curry Sauce

Red peppers were 99 cents a pound, so I had the idea of a red pepper based curry sauce. It's similar, yet different from a classic tomato based curry. Sweeter. Can take more heat.

I added tofu for protein and creaminess. But it was still pretty chunky, so I added some coconut milk as well. It really doesn't feel like a curry without it.

This is a protein rich curry sauce that works well with rice, vegetables and beans.

You can go traditional and pour it in a bowl to pair with rice. You can also utilize it similarly to a puree and plate it on the bottom of crisp veg and additional beans.

Ever since I first discovered curry, I've been fascinated with how it can be transformed beyond classic applications. I think this iteration is a perfect example of how a complex curry sauce can be paired with whatever fresh beans and veg you're hungry for at the moment. Rice optional.

1/4 cup cooked lentils
2 large red bell peppers
1/2 package silken firm tofu
1 jalapeno
1 habanero
6 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion, halved
1 tbl garam masala
2 tsps ras el hanout
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tbl salt
2 tbls olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 can coconut milk

Broil the red peppers and onion for 20 minutes. 5 minutes per side for peppers and turning onions once. .

Use tongs to slice peppers into large chunks. Puree onion and pepper in food processor with tofu, jalapeno, haberno, garlic.

Rinse food processor and set aside to use again.

Ad pureel to a medium pot with the remaining ingredients, except lentils.

Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Return to food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in lentils.