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.

Tofu Romesco

This is a variation on a classic Spanish romesco sauce. It's simple, yet very tasty. 

1 red bell pepper, roughly diced
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 package silken firm tofu
3 cloves garlic
2 tbls olive oil
2/3 cup water
1 tbls salt
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Saute the red pepper in a large frying pan with a little of the salt and oil. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. 

Pour in the water. Add garlic. Continue cooking until most of the water is gone.  

Garlic and pepper should be tender. If not, add 1/4 more water and continue to simmer until peppers are tender. 

Add other ingredients to food processor. 

When pepper/garlic are done add those to the food processor, including any remaining liquid in the frying pan. Don't waste that flavor. 

Puree until smooth. 

It's great right away, but you can stash it in the fridge to firm up some more. 

It's a soup, it's a sauce, it's a puree. It's plant powered deliciousness.