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.

Lentil This Be a Lesson to You

Lentils are a highly underappreciated protein. And, yes, they are a protein. 

I credit Alton Brown with my discovery of lentils and their culinary clout. His show Good Eats first introduced me to the product and showcased its versatility.

However, it wasn't until I went vegan, that I truly began to appreciate the enormous power of the lentil. 

In the legume universe the lentil is second only to the soy bean in protein density. While not technically a complete protein, it is damn near close. 

This recipe is, to me, is pretty much the perfect lentil recipe. While there are many wonderful lentil recipes, applications and uses, this recipe is the lentil at, what I consider its very best. 

All the other ingredients are there simply to make the lentil shine its brightest.

1/2 cup dry lentils
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 pint cremini mushrooms, sliced small
7 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 jalapenos, minced
1 tbl dijon mustard
1/2 tbl soy sauce
1/2 tbl hot sauce
3 tbls olive oil
2 tsps turmeric
2 tsps paprika
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbl salt
2 tsps black pepper
3 cups water

Sweat down your mushrooms with the salt and oil until a lot of the liquid from the mushrooms is present in the pot. Add the lentils and the garlic and allow them to absorb the mushroom liquor. When the pot starts to dry out continue cooking over medium heat stirring often to toast the lentils, but do not allow them to burn. Toast lentils for 5 minutes. 

Add remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Test lentils for tenderness. Continue to simmer until they are tender. 

If you feel like that's a lot of garlic, it is. But lentils really shine with a lot of garlic, especially if you're fond of garlic. 

Note: Post title inspired by Bob's Burgers and their burger of the day puns. Yes, I like Bob's Burgers. I don't care what you say. It is funny.