plant based recipes

Easy Peasy Vegan Soups

Whether it is cold outside, you are under the weather or you just feel like a comforting bowl of soup, these recipes are almost as easy as opening a can, but taste so much better! Having a supply of pre-made up stocks like veggie or mushroom and some frozen, fresh or canned vegetables make these recipes quick, easy and delicious.

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Tomato Soup (makes 4 servings)
- 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 C of your fav nut milk (unsweetened)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, diced small
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- a few leaves of fresh basil (optional)
- salt and pepper

Directions:
- Heat the olive oil up in a medium saucepan and add onion. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients and cook until heated through.
- Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth, or add to a blender and blend until smooth (be careful as the soup will be hot)
- Top with torn basil leaves if using and season with additional salt & pepper if needed.

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Mushroom Soup (makes about 4 servings)

- 4 C of sliced mushrooms (whatever type you like)
- 1 small onion, diced small
- 2 cloves garlic, diced small
- 1 container (3 cups) of mushroom stock (or veggie)
- 1 C of nut milk
- 2 Tbsp of flour
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp each: thyme, tarragon, salt, pepper

Directions:
- Heat up oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat, and add onion and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add thyme, tarragon, salt, pepper and flour and stir until flour is incorporated-about 1-2 minutes.
- Add stock, bring to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes, then add milk and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, blend until it is the consistency you prefer. You can also use a blender but be very careful as the soup will be hot!

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Cauliflower/Broccoli Soup (makes about 4 servings)

- 3 C cauliflower, chopped stems and florets
- 2 C broccoli, chopped stems and florets
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 container (about 3 C) of vegetable broth
- 1 C nut milk
- 1/3 C nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp each: thyme, salt and pepper

Directions:
- Heat up oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add onion. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add cauliflower, broccoli and carrot. Cook for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add flour, thyme, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and stir until flour is incorporated. Then add broth and milk, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for about 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Use an immersion blender to blend half the soup, leaving some chunky for texture. You can also blend half in a blender, being careful as the soup will be very hot!

NOTE:
- You can replace fresh veggies with frozen. Just reduce your cooking time by at least half.

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Leek Soup (makes about 4 servings)

- 3-4 big leeks, clean and slice (use only white and pale green parts)
- 1 each: large onion, large carrot, celery stalk, large potato, all chopped
- 2 Tbsp of Olive oil (or vegan butter)
- 4 C of veggie broth
- 1 C of white wine or water
- 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp each: thyme, salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

- Heat oil or butter over medium heat and add leeks, onion, carrots, celery and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring.
- Add broth and wine or water, bay leaf, thyme, salt & pepper and cook over medium heat for about 20-25 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
- Using an immersion blender, blend until it is the consistency you prefer. You can also use a blender but be very careful as the soup will be hot!

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Cold Gazpacho Soup (makes about 4 servings)

- 1 large can canned tomatoes with juice
- 1 each: cucumber, red pepper and onion, chopped
- 1 C of tomato juice
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Tbsp of herbs (fresh or dried) thyme, parsley, chives and/or tarragon
- ¼ C red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper – or a small chopped fresh hot pepper
- ¼ cup each: olive oil and lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:
- Put 3/4 of everything  into a blender and blend smooth, then add the rest and blend just a little to keep some chunky. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put in fridge and cool for at least an hour.

NOTE:
- Top with chopped chives and vegan sour cream if you like.
- Switch up veggies - celery, zucchini, green pepper, radish, etc.

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Tortellini Soup (makes about 4 servings)

- 1 Tbsp oil
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 C chopped spinach
- 1 C spinach prepared fresh tortellini
- 4 C of vegetable broth
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp each: rosemary, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
- Vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
- Add oil to a large pot on medium high heat. Add all ingredients except vinegar and spinach. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium and simmer 8-10 minutes.
- Take off heat and add spinach and vinegar and top with Parmesan cheese if using.

NOTE:
- Add whatever veggies you like (broccoli, cauliflower, kale-chop small)

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Black Bean Soup (makes about 4 servings)

- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 each: small onion, celery stock, large carrot, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 Tbsp each: of Chili Powder and Cumin
- 4 C veggie broth
- 2 large cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 1 C frozen or canned corn
- 1 tsp salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

- Heat up oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add onion, celery and carrots, cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, spices and salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add broth, 1 can of beans and tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes. Then blend with an immersion blender or food processor. If it is too thick add a bit more broth.
- Add last can of beans and corn and heat for 3-4 minutes.

OPTIONS:
- Top with fresh cilantro or diced avocado.

Vegan Shopping Guide - What to Stock Up On

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Whether you are new to a plant-based diet or you are just beginning to consider a vegan life, getting started can sometimes seem daunting. Being prepared makes the transition and the meal prep so much easier, because like they say before anything else, preparation is the key to success. And you don’t have to worry about not having enough choices because there are literally thousands of different types of fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

I put together some basic grocery items that will make eating and snacking easy and delicious. I always stock up on pantry and frozen items that go on sale, whether or not I need them right away as it helps with the budget in the long run. And frozen fruit and veggies are a great way to keep them around without having to worry about spoilage. You can add frozen fruit to your morning smoothie or oatmeal and frozen veggies to your fav broth for a quick soup. Remember that everything you may have been eating in the past can easily be replaced with a plant-based option, just make sure to read the labels to be certain it is a vegan product.

To make things easier, I separated the shopping items by suggested meals and snacks, but these are just recommendations so add whatever you like best! Check out the rest of our Food Section to find a bunch a easy recipes.

Breakfast:
- Oatmeal, Cereal, Bread (bagels, muffins)
- Fruits - fresh - bananas, apples, oranges, grapefruit, berries, mango, and frozen fruit
- Veggies - avocado, sprouts, kale and spinach
- Nut butter* - peanut, almond, cashew
- Maple Syrup, agave nectar
- Non Dairy - nut milk (almond, cashew, nut, hemp), dairy free yogurt, vegan butter
- Chia, hemp hearts and flax seeds (you can add these to your oatmeal, cereal or smoothies)
- Nuts - almonds, cashews, walnuts
- Tempeh and tofu
*Check to make sure they don’t contain unsustainable palm oil.

Lunch:
- Wraps, bread
- Grains - couscous, quinoa, rice
- Canned beans - chickpeas, black, kidney, pinto and lentils
- Veggies - fresh - lettuce, celery, avocado, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, and frozen veggies
- Tofu
- Vegan luncheon meats and cheese
- Canned soups and broths
- Spreads - mayo, mustard, ketchup, hummus, salad dressing

Dinner:
- Barley, quinoa, pasta, rice, lentils
- tortilla wraps, naan bread, pita’s,
- Veggies - spinach, kale, onions, garlic, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, cauliflower, squash, corn and zucchini
- Tofu and tempeh
- Non-Dairy - plant based cheese, vegan sour cream
- Canned - broth, soups, tomatoes, coconut milk, beans
- Sauces - stir fry, soy sauce (make sure it is vegan), curry sauces/pastes

Snacks:
- Olives, pickles, kimchi,
- Fruit - grapes, cherries, dates, bananas, apples, berries and dried fruit
- Veggies - carrot, celery, cherry tomatoes, radish, cucumber, avocado, edamame and broccoli
- Nuts and seeds
- Crackers* and dips
- Popcorn*
- Vegan ice cream
- Rice cakes
* Check to make sure they don’t contain unsustainable Palm Oil.

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Other:
- Spices (fresh or dried) - Basil, Cayenne, Chili powder, Cinnamon, Cumin, Curry powder, Garlic, Ginger, Onion powder, Oregano, Pepper flakes, Rosemary, Thyme, nutritional yeast
- Oils - olive, sesame, avocado, and coconut
- Dried Fruit - raisins, cranberries, dates and figs
- Seeds - sesame, pumpkin and sunflower, flax and chia
- Canned/Jar - tomatoes, tomato paste, veggies, jackfruit, soups, broth, coconut milk, pineapple, hot sauce, sriracha, vinegar, and salad dressing

Super Easy and Quick Plant Based Lunch Recipes

Whether you are working from home or taking a bagged lunch to the office with you, fast and easy is the key to avoiding take out meals or skipping lunch altogether. Using ingredients like canned beans and broths or frozen veggies are great little cheats that help you get great tasting fast meals into your mouth. I put together a few of my favorite recipes that you can easily make ahead and take with you or throw together in minutes and enjoy right away.

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Chickpea and Avocado Sandwiches (makes 3-4 servings)

- 1 small can of chickpeas (13 oz/400 ml), drained and rinsed
- 1 small ripe avocado
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 Tbsp of vegan mayo
- juice of half a lime
- salt & pepper to taste
- a few drops of hot sauce (optional)
- bread of your choice
- toppings: sliced tomato, lettuce, sliced cucumbers

Directions:

- Throw all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Spread on bread and top with your fav toppings.

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This delicious soup is made quick and easy by using Vegan Pho broth and either fresh or frozen veggies. If you can’t find Pho broth you can sub with Veggie broth and add a couple of pieces of garlic and ginger, a couple of whole star anise and cloves, a stick of cinnamon and a few drops of soy sauce. Heat up over medium high heat for about 10 minutes and remove all of the spices before add the veggies to your soup.

Easy Vegan Pho (makes about 3-4 servings)

- 1 container of Pho broth (30 oz/900 ml)
- 2 C of frozen, canned or fresh veggies (some good choices are shelled Edamame, julienned carrots, sliced mushrooms, peas, bean sprouts)
- 1 small package of extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 8 oz of rice noodles
- toppings: sliced jalapeno, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro or basil, lime wedges

Directions:

- Pour the broth into a large pot and heat over medium high heat.
- While the broth heats up, cook rice noodles according to package.
- Next, add all veggies to your broth and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- While veggies are cooking, add a small amount of oil to a fry pan and add cubed tofu. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove and place on paper towel.
- Divide noodles and tofu into bowls and top with broth. Serve with the toppings you like.

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The great thing about salads is you can thrown almost anything you like into them. This recipe takes advantage of canned beans and frozen veggies.

Black Bean and Corn Salad (make 4 servings)

- 1 small can of black beans (13 oz/400 ml), drained and rinsed
- 1 C of frozen corn (can sub with 1 small can of canned corn)
- 1 small ripe avocado, diced
- 1/2 C each: diced onion, diced red pepper, halved cherry tomatoes and diced celery
- juice of 1 lime plus 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp each: ground cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp of diced jalapeno (optional)
- 1 Tbsp of chopped cilantro (optional)

Directions:

- Toss all of the ingredients together and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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This super quick vegan chili tastes amazing and can be easily frozen. Feel free to switch up the veggies to whatever you like.

Vegan Chili (make 4 servings)

- 1 large can of chopped tomatoes (28 oz/ 830 ml) with juices
- 1 small can (13 oz/400 ml) drained and rinsed each: black beans, kidney beans and pinto beans
- 1 C frozen or canned corn
- 2 C of diced fresh or frozen veggies (good choices: onion, zucchini, mushrooms, celery, carrots, sweet peppers)
- 1 C of tomato juice, veggie stock or water
- 1 tsp each: ground cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper
- Toppings: diced avocado, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro.

Directions:

- Throw all ingredients into a large pot over medium high heat and cook for about 20-30 minutes or longer if you have the time.
- Top with diced avocado, green onions and/or cilantro.

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Wraps are one of those versatile foods that you can add almost anything to. If you are making these up ahead, make sure to keep the sauces to a minimum so you don’t end up with a soggy wrap. You can even pack the sauce separately and dip your wrap when lunch time comes. This recipe calls for prepared satay sauce and bagged coleslaw or spinach, making your prep easy and fast.

Baked Tofu Wrap with Satay Sauce (makes 1 large wrap)

- 1 large wholewheat wrap
- 1/2 C of prepared coleslaw or fresh spinach
- 1/2 C of baked tofu strips
- 1/2 C of sliced red pepper
- 2 Tbsp of prepared Satay sauce
- chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts (optional)

Directions:

- For each wrap, spread some satay sauce almost to the edges. Arrange some of the slaw, peppers, and tofu more or less down the center - add optional toppings.
- Then fold two edges part way over the ingredients and roll up.

Easy Ways to Veganize Your Christmas Dinner

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What if Christmas doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. - Dr Seuss

Holidays are not about the presents, decorations or the food. They are about spending time with those you love, and your family and friends will love you no matter what you serve for a holiday meal! So why not start a new tradition? A vegan Christmas Dinner. It is delicious, healthy, easy and not a single animal will be killed in the process!!

I am going to show you easy changes for each part of a traditional meal.

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Appetizers and starters are so easy when it comes to vegan based options. Here are some great ideas for home made recipes, but serving simple treats like fresh veggies with hummus or tortillas and salsa will be loved by all your guests.

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Turkey or Roast Beef:

  • There are so many ready-made options in the stores today. Gardein is one I use and it is so easy and delicious. For real convenience, you can even buy it with the stuffing and gravy included. Other brands include: Beyond Meat, Tofurky, Yves, Trader Joe’s, and many others.

  • If you would like to serve home-made options, try my Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms or my Stuffed Pepper recipes here. There are also thousands of other recipe ideas all over the internet.

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Side Dishes:

  • Mashed potatoes are easy to prepare without animal products. Use either vegan butter or olive oil in place of butter. Adding roasted garlic or fresh herbs like Rosemary or Thyme is another great flavor booster.

  • All of your veggie dishes can easy be made using vegan butters, oils and fresh herbs. Your friends and family won’t taste any difference! Here are some easy recipes that include all of the traditional fav’s along with some new ones to try.

  • Stuffing is another dish that tastes even better when you take out all the animal products. Replacing meat broths with veggie or mushroom broth is easy and add loads of veggies, herbs and vegan butter or oil. Here is my favorite recipe, but the great thing about stuffing is you can add just about anything you like.

  • Gravy may seem like a difficult thing to make without using animal products but it is so easy and tastes even better than the traditional gravies. You can either make it yourself or many stores offer Vegan Gravy options. If you prefer a home made version here is a great recipe that I make myself.

    - 2 C of chopped fine mushrooms – any type you like
    -  2 cloves of garlic, diced small 
    -  ½ onion diced small
    -  2 C of mushroom stock (or vegetable stock)
    -  ¼ C of AP flour
    -  2 Tbsp of oil (or vegan butter)
    -  1 tsp each: salt, pepper and thyme (dried-if using fresh use triple the amount)

    DIRECTIONS:
    -  Heat up the oil or butter over medium high heat in a large saucepan.
    -  Add mushrooms, onion and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes (or until soft).
    -  Add flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook for 1 minute.
    -  Slowly whisk in stock and cook for about 2-3 minutes (until it thickens).

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Vegan desserts have come a long way! You can now buy just about any type of dessert made without animal products. Here are some of my personal favorite recipes and pre-made products that will put the delicious finishing touch on your meal.

After putting together your first Vegan Christmas dinner, you will see how simple and delicious it is. Your health, the planet and especially the animals will thank you!

Remember if your store doesn’t carry vegan items, always ask them for it. Our food dollars control what is offered.

Skip the Turkey This Christmas

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Most of you would never eat your dog or cat for Christmas or any other meal, and we condemn, sign petitions and protest those who participate in the dog or cat meat trade. And yet tens of millions of beautiful, intelligent turkeys are killed and served at holiday tables every year.

Turkeys are smart animals with loads of personalty just like your pets. They love to have their feathers stroked and even do a dance when they see a person they recognize. And just like your cute little puppy or kitten, turkey’s develop a strong bond with individuals who spend time with them.

I am not going to go into the horrific details of how these birds are treated for the short five months of their lives, but I will say that it is NO different than the cruel and disgusting treatment of dogs in the meat trade or the elephants and rhinos in the ivory trade. I will tell you all baby turkeys are subject to excruciating mutilations without any anesthetic of having all “non-essential“ body parts cut off - beaks, toes, snoods (the fleshy red protuberance that dangles over turkeys’ beaks and is used to attract mates). Sadly, their painful and traumatizing death comes as a relief to the torture they endure while crammed into sheds that allow them only a couple of square feet of space. In fact, just in the US alone, millions die while being transported to the slaughter houses - they are kicked and thrown, their legs and wings are broken off, all so families can eat their single holiday meal.

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Understand this, there is NO such thing as a humane slaughter. These animals do not want to die and the processors who kill turkeys have no interest in being kind in anyway. Their mandate is to make money spending as little time as possible with the kill and processing. There is nothing humane about inflicting violence and death on animals just because people like the taste of their flesh.

Humans have zero biological need to eat meat, dairy or eggs! So what can you do? The simple answer is to STOP eating and serving turkey or any other meat. Whether you’re looking for store-bought, order-online, or make-your-own options, it’s easy and delicious to veganize your favorite holiday main dishes. There are literally millions of vegan recipes on the internet. I have tons of recipes in the Food section of this blog and they are all very easy and delicious. At some point in the not too distant future, you will not have the choice, as the water, earth and air will be of such poor quality, raising animals for food will be impossible.

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Our compassion towards animals does not need to be taught, we simply need to stop un-teaching it!


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Blessed Protein Double Chocolate Pancakes

These vegan pancakes are so quick and easy and are especially delicious with the Blessed Protein Chocolaty flavor!

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Blessed Protein Double Chocolate Pancakes (Makes about 12-14 pancakes)

- 2 cups non dairy milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup mashed bananas
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted + more for frying
- 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp Blessed Protein Chocolate Coco Flavor
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips

 Dirtections:

- In two separate bowls, mix the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients whisking just until the lumps are gone.
- Mix in the choc chips.
- Heat frying pan on medium heat with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Add about ½ cup pancake batter onto the pan to form each pancake.
- Cook until the bubbles at the top to collapse about 2-3 minutes.
- Flip with a spatula and cook on other side for an additional 2 minutes.
- Continue until all batter is used up. Serve warm and enjoy!

Start A New Tradition - A Plant Based Thanksgiving!

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Over 70 million turkeys are killed in the US and Canada each year - just for Thanksgiving! The conditions they are placed in while they await death, are abhorrent!  We need to end this now.

This year, I am going to inspire you to start a new Thanksgiving tradition! A plant based feast that will be the talk of all your friends and family.

The first of our vegan recipes will be some appetizers and snacks. And as always, feel free to switch up the recipes to suite the ingredients in your cupboard and your taste.

If you don't have time to make up your own appetizers, the stores are filled with some great options like hummus, veggies and dip, vegan cheeses and more!

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Warm Spiced Cashews (make about 2 cups - 10-12 servings)
-  1 Tbsp oil - Olive, Safflower or Grapeseed
-  1 Tbsp of dark brown sugar
-  1 tsp each: cumin, chili powder, garlic salt
-  1/2 tsp each: pepper and cayenne
-  2 cups of unsalted roasted cashews

Directions:
- Heat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Toss all ingredients really well and add to baking pan in a single layer.
- Cook for about 6-7 minutes. Allow them to cool slightly before serving. Store in airtight container.
 

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These sweet potato crescent rolls are easy peasy and taste amazing. You can make the filling up a head of time and bake when you are ready to serve.

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls
- 1 package of vegan refrigerated crescent roll dough (most are vegan but check)
- 1 cup each: finely chopped mushrooms and onions
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tp each: salt & pepper

-  2 medium cooked sweet poatoes
-  1 Tbsp each: vegan butter, maple syrup and nut milk of your choice
-  1 tsp each: chili powder, salt & pepper

Directions:
-  Heat oven to 375 Farenheit
- Add oil, mushrooms, onions, salt and pepper to a frying pan over medium heat and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
-  Add cooked sweet potatoes, milk, butter and spices to a large bowl and mix well.
-  Separate the dough into 8 pre-cut pieces.
- Spoon 1 1/2 Tbsp of the potato mixture and the mushroom mixture onto the large end of the dough and roll the pastry starting at the long end. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (or an oiled baking sheet).
-  Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned.

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This easy and delicious dip can be served with raw veggies, crackers or even some fresh baked bread. If you don't have white beans on hand, you can replace with most types of caned beans.

White Bean Dip (makes 2 cups)
-  2 x 14 ounce cans of white beans, drained and rinced
-  1/4 C of fresh lemon juice
-  1 Tbsp of minced fresh garlic
-  2 tsp of mustard (whatever type you like)
-  1/2 tsp each: salt, pepper and cayenne
-  1 Tbsp of nut milk (you can add more for a thinner consistency)

Directions:
-  Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
-  OPTIONAL: top with a splash of olive oil and chopped parsley.