Chimichurri (Verde) Sauce

Chimichurri (Verde) Sauce
(Makes about 2 ½ Cups) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Mmm…Chimichurri sauce typically used as a marinade (hint: try on some portabella mushrooms) today used as a sauce. An insanely good garlicky herbed sauce to top gnocchi and also used in a bean salad. So good you want to put it on everything!

Ingredients:
2/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7 Garlic cloves
3 Scallions (white/light green parts only)
1 handful bunch of Fresh Parsley
1 small handful bunch of Fresh Cilantro
5 Fresh Basil Leaves
½ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
½ Tsp dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Chives (I used dried)
¼ Cup Vinegar
¼ Cup White Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup Water
1 Tsp Black Pepper
½ Tbsp Salt
½ Tbsp Sugar
Directions:
-Blend all ingredients to combine. I used a high speed blender (nutribullet).
-Refrigerate leftover sauce for 2-3 days. Enjoy!

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Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentil Vegetable Soup
(Serves 12-18) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Maybe I just don’t have it in me to make a small pot of soup or something. So I’ll just warn you now that this recipe makes an enormous amount of soup! Lol – feel free to cut it down or just go crazy and make the large pot like I did, it freezes great too. I typically go with the large pot of soup since it will last for several days – lunch and dinner. Not only is this vegan soup hearty with veggies it is wholesome too. Lentils are packed with nutrients and are high in protein and fiber – great for lowering cholesterol! I hope you try this great weeknight dinner, sample it with your favorite veggies. Enjoy!

Vegan Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 12-18
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped
2 Large Russet Potatoes, diced/cubed
4 Scallions, chopped
7 stalks Celery, chopped
5 Carrots, diced/cubed
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
1 ½ to 2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Chili Powder
2 Bay Leaves
1 (28oz can) Diced Tomatoes
4 Cups dry Lentils, picked/rinsed (I used Bob’s Red Mill – the entire 27oz pkg)
3 Quarts Vegetable Broth (about 12 cups)
3 Cups Water
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste (I used tomato/basil paste)
10oz fresh Green Beans, trimmed/cut (about 2 ½ cups)
4 stalks Kale, stems removed/chopped
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:
-Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. You’ll need an extra-large pot! Add onions, potatoes, garlic and scallions then heat for 5 minutes. Then add carrots and celery continue to sauté for another 3 minutes.
-Next, add seasonings: salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and bay leaves. Stir to combine before adding tomatoes.
-Add your vegetable broth and water to the pot and heat to boil. While stock is boiling remember to pick through your lentils check for any rocks for example before rinsing.
-Add lentils, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 40 minutes.
-During the last 10 minutes of cooking add your green beans and kale. Enjoy!

Warning! – Ginormous pot of soup below!

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Stuffed Tomatoes ~ Vegan

Sundried tomato and Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
(Serves 4) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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You may find this hard to believe, but in all my years of cooking it never occurred to me before to stuff tomatoes, lol. I’m sure I’ve had to at least see them before at some point in my life, right? Not until a few months ago when I was perusing through blog posts and saw that one of my fellow bloggers stuffed tomatoes. This was literally the moment when the light bulb went off in my head. Why? My husband does not like stuffed peppers, maybe it’s the way the flavor of the cooked peppers permeate throughout the filling. He loves raw peppers just not cooked/baked. I’ve made them in the past for myself and really do like them, guess I never just thought to stuff tomatoes. Stuffed squash is pretty good too. This recipe is very flavorful, filling and heart healthy. The sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds and quinoa offer a great texture.

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Ingredients:
4 Large Tomatoes
3 White Button Mushrooms, wiped clean/chopped
3 large Cauliflower Florets (about 1 cup), raw
7 Basil leaves, chiffonade
1 handful fresh Parsley (about 1/3 Cup), chopped
7 Pieces Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Cooked Quinoa
½ Cup Sunflower Seeds (I soaked the seeds for about 30 minutes)
1 Garlic clove, minced
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Chili Powder

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-In a large bowl combine all ingredients. [except for the large tomatoes of course J ]

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-Carefully cut around the top of each tomato to core. Scoop the inside of your tomatoes with a spoon to core. (I used my ice cream scoop to core out the insides. Only because my scoop comes to a slight point. I don’t have the traditional disher style scoop with the mechanical lever which I suppose could be bulky and get in the way.)

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-Fill each tomato with stuffing mix – I used my measuring cup so I can give you all a pretty accurate measurement. I was able to fill each tomato with about 2/3 Cup of the mixture. (I used my 1/3 measuring cup – make sure to pack it down with each scoop).

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-Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle again with a dash of salt/pepper and chili powder.
-Bake for 25 minutes @ 375. Enjoy!

Tip: In this recipe I used jarred sundried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil. Instead of using EVOO from my pantry – I used 3 Tbsp of the olive oil that the sundried tomatoes were packed in! Extra flavorful. J -I also used curly parsley in this recipe you flat leaf should work well too.

Sundried tomato and Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: veganrescue.com

Ingredients:
4 Large Tomatoes
3 White Button Mushrooms, wiped clean/chopped
3 large Cauliflower Florets (about 1 cup), raw
7 Basil leaves, chiffonade
1 handful fresh Parsley (about 1/3 Cup), chopped
7 Pieces Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Cooked Quinoa
½ Cup Sunflower Seeds (I soaked the seeds for about 30 minutes)
1 Garlic clove, minced
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp fresh Ground Pepper
¼ Tsp Chili Powder

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-In a large bowl combine all ingredients. [except for the large tomatoes of course J ]
-Carefully cut around the top of each tomato to core. Scoop the inside of your tomatoes with a spoon to core. (I used my ice cream scoop to core out the insides. Only because my scoop comes to a slight point. I don’t have the traditional disher style scoop with the mechanical lever which I suppose could be bulky and get in the way.)
-Fill each tomato with stuffing mix – I used my measuring cup so I can give you all a pretty accurate measurement. I was able to fill each tomato with about 2/3 Cup of the mixture. (I used my 1/3 measuring cup – make sure to pack it down with each scoop).
-Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle again with a dash of salt/pepper and chili powder.
-Bake for 25 minutes @ 375. Enjoy!

Succotash

Succotash
(Serves 14-16 – Party size) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free

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Maybe I’m showing my age or generation here, but who can make succotash without saying, “sufferin succotash.” Ha! Did Sylvester the Cat ever catch the elusive Tweety? We never did want Tweety to get caught did we? Maybe it’s because Tweety is so darn cute. It intrigues me how some cultures and people hold certain animals sacred while others slaughter them in massive assembly line fashion, like cows for example. Don’t worry, I’m not getting all self-righteous here – it’s all about the succotash.

I made this dish for a party about a month ago now. This recipe is a great summer side, perfect for any bbq. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Red Pepper, chopped
½ Red Onion, chopped
½ Tsp Chili Powder
2 (14oz Pkg) frozen Baby Lima Beans, steamed
3 (11oz can) Corn, drained/rinsed (I used 1 can white shoepeg and 2 cans sweet)
1 Pint Sweet Grape Tomatoes, sliced
Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:
-Combine chopped red peppers, onions, tomatoes, corn and lima beans.
-In a separate container whisk together: olive oil, vinegar, mustard and sugar. Toss all ingredients together; top with chili powder and salt/pepper to taste then refrigerate. Enjoy!

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Quinoa & Peas (2x) with Citrus Dressing

Quinoa & Peas (2x) with Citrus Dressing
(Serves 4-6) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Nope, this is not another peanut butter dish instead let us swap one great source of protein for another. Cue in the Quinoa! Fluffy quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids and has been deemed a complete protein. This recipe is filling and refreshing and great for the summer. I have two kinds of peas in this recipe (I ❤ peas) but you can swap for so many other recipes like another love of ours, broccoli. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
(16oz) or 2 ½ Cups Peas, steamed
(12oz) or abt 2 ½ Cups Sugar Snap Peas, steamed
1 Cup Quinoa, cooked
7 Scallions (white/light green parts only), chopped
½ Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
1 small handful Fresh Curly Parsley, chopped

Citrus Dressing:
Juice of ½ Lemon
Juice of ¼ Grapefruit
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good quality)
½ Tsp Course Black Pepper
½ Tbsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Salt

Directions:
-Prepare quinoa according to package or see directions here. During the last 5 minutes of cooking add scallions – during steaming.

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-For Dressing: whisk ingredients together to combine and toss with quinoa and peas.
-Add salt/pepper, parsley and optional (coconut bacon) – [see recipe here] to taste. Enjoy!

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Quinoa and Peas with Citrus Dressing

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: http://www.veganrescue.com

Ingredients:

(16oz) or 2 ½ Cups Peas, steamed
(12oz) or abt 2 ½ Cups Sugar Snap Peas, steamed
1 Cup Quinoa, cooked
7 Scallions (white/light green parts only), chopped
½ Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
1 small handful Fresh Curly Parsley, chopped

Citrus Dressing:
Juice of ½ Lemon
Juice of ¼ Grapefruit
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good quality)
½ Tsp Course Black Pepper
½ Tbsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Salt

Directions:
-Prepare quinoa according to package or see directions here. During the last 5 minutes of cooking add scallions – during steaming.

-For Dressing: whisk ingredients together to combine and toss with quinoa and peas.
-Add salt/pepper, parsley and optional (coconut bacon) – [see recipe here] to taste. Enjoy!

Avocado Crema Sauce

Avo-Crema Sauce
(1 ½ Cup) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free. Dairy-Free

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This sauce was absolutely refreshing over top my creamy enchiladas and cilantro-lime rice. The perfect addition. Let me know what else you decide to add it too? Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Large Haas Avocado, pitted
½ Cup Non-Dairy Sour Cream
Juice of ½ Lime
1/3 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
½ Tsp Cumin
½ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Course Black Pepper
¼ Cup Water

Directions:
Blend together to combine until smooth. Store in airtight container.
(May change color if avocado oxidizes, however, mine was still a vibrant green the following day).
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Easy Cilantro-Lime Rice

Easy Cilantro-Lime Rice
A very quick recipe added to serve aside my delicious creamy enchiladas. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
2 Cups Jasmine Rice
3 Cups Water
2 Tbsp Earth Balance (Vegan Butter)
1 Handful Fresh Cilantro, chopped (about ½ cup)
Juice ½ Lime
2 Scallions, chopped

Directions:
-Prepare rice according to package: Combine rice with water and earth balance. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes (keeping lid on).
-Fluff rice with a fork then squeeze in lime juice and add cilantro and scallions. Enjoy!

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Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa
(Makes about 3 ½ -4 cups) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free

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A few days ago I mentioned this post to follow. Since the plan was to keep it simple last weekend. What could be easier than a quick 5-minute salsa over top blackened pepper crusted tofu? The tofu is not listed here as a recipe, given that I literally just pressed then seasoned the hell out of each side with pepper, basil, garlic powder and a little salt. Sauté each side for a few minutes in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle with a little salt after frying, then I topped with corn salsa. That’s it…that was the recipe! 🙂 Enjoy your day and weekend.

Corn Salsa

  • Servings: About 3 ½ Cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: https://veganrescue.com/

Ingredients:
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg Corn, drained/rinsed
1 (15.25oz can) Corn, drained/rinsed
1 (15.5oz can) Black Beans, drained/rinsed
1 Red Pepper, diced finely
½ Red Onion, diced finely
1 small Handful Fresh Cilantro, chopped (or to taste)
Juice of ½ Lime
2-3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp course Black Pepper
½ Tsp Chili Powder
½ Tsp Fresh Garlic
Salt and Cumin to taste

Directions:

-Very simply put – drain and rinse canned ingredients. Chop: Pepper, Onion, Cilantro and combine all ingredients. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Enjoy!

Tea Time! – 4 Tea Sandwich Ideas

Four Tea Sandwich Ideas!

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Last Sunday I went by my mom’s to drop off an invite to an upcoming tea party next month. In no time she broke out all her tea sets. So many lovely teapots and sets, she’s so cute and was super excited to share them with me. My mom amassed such a collection over many years and in some cases much of the china she bought second-hand. Given the upcoming event and the fact that my mother already has such a collection I agreed to borrow the fine china. As a vegan today I would not set out to purchase these items, however. Did you know or realize what some of your teapots or cups are made of? – Yes, your bone china…fine bone china…porcelain…or sometimes it’s called English porcelain? Bones, yes animal bones are used in the production of this fine china. For ethical reasons I will not purchase these products today and if I’m being honest…I can drink tea out of anything, lol. 🙂
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Not only do you have to be mindful of your tea vessel but apparently certain companies test tea on animals too. Check out this article from PETA: http://www.peta.org/living/food/cruelty-free-tea-please/

We’re here about the recipes so check out these ideas for some delicious tea sandwich ideas. 🙂

Herbed Cream Cheese & Olive Tapenade – (Makes about 15 open sandwiches)
Cucumber, Tomato & Parsley – (Makes about a dozen)
Chickpea & Toasted Almond – (Makes 4 Sandwiches)
Strawberry Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches – (Makes 6-7 sandwiches)

Herbed Cream Cheese & Olive Tapenade
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Herbed Cream Cheese & Olive Tapenade

  • Servings: 15
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
½ Cup Vegan Cream Cheese (such as Tofutti’s)
1 handful Fresh Parsley, chopped
3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp Chives, chopped (dried or fresh)
5oz-6oz Kalamata Olives, chopped
5oz Green Olives (stuffed with chili peppers), chopped
2 Tbsp Capers Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sourdough bread (thin), edges removed

Directions:
-Combine cream cheese and herbs in a small mixing bowl. Spread onto bread and top with olive mixture.
-Before serving drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!

Cucumber, Tomato & Parsley
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Cucumber, Tomato & Parsley

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
½ English Cucumber, sliced thin (3mm)
1 Medium Tomato, sliced thin (3mm)
1 Handful Fresh Curly Parsley, chopped
Vegenaise (Vegan Mayo)
Sourdough bread (thin)
Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:
-Slice cucumber and tomato thin, using vegetable peeler or mandolin.
-Spread vegenaise on each slice and top with thinly sliced cucumber and tomatoes. Season with salt/pepper to taste and top with parsley before covering with 2nd slice.


Chickpea & Toasted Almond
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Chickpea & Toasted Almond

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:
1 (15.5 oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
3 Tbsp Vegenaise (Vegan Mayo)
¼ Tsp Celery Seed
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Pepper
2 Sprigs Fresh Dill, chopped
½ Cup Sliced Almonds, toasted
8 Slices Bread (white or whole wheat), edges removed

Directions:
-Drain chickpeas (but save the brine for other recipes). Two ways to mash the chickpeas: Mash with a fork or sometimes I pull out the mini chopper, both seem to work fine.
-Mix together chickpeas with: Vegenaise, Celery Seed, Paprika, Salt/Pepper and Dill. -Lightly toast sliced almonds in dry pan until golden, about 3-5 minutes.
-Fill bread with chickpea mixture and press down until some of the filling slightly comes out of sides then press edges into almonds. Serve and Enjoy!



Strawberry Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
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Strawberry Cream Cheese

  • Servings: 6-7
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
2/3 Cup Vegan Cream Cheese (Tofutti’s)
¼ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
1/3 Cup Strawberry Preserves
Fresh Mint
1/3 Sliced Almonds, toasted (optional)
Rye Bread Melba Thin, edges removed

Directions:
-Combine cream cheese with powdered sugar until whipped and well incorporated. If using almonds mixt into cream cheese mixture.
-On one side of bread spread cream cheese mixture and opposite side preserves.
-Remove edges from bread with knife or cookie cutter. Top with fresh mint leaf and toothpick. Enjoy!

Healthy Vegan Recipe Ideas for 2016!

Healthy Vegan Recipe Ideas for 2016!

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Since I recently celebrated a blogiversary and it’s Veganuary I decided to write a post compiling some of my favorite healthier recipes from 2015. It’s a New Year, full of new beginning’s, a new you, resolutions, a healthier lifestyle, a lifestyle change or maybe just healthier choices. Check out the blog for ideas and delicious recipes!

If you like what you see or if something below sounds appetizing – just click the link or pic! 🙂

Breakfast:
Buckwheat Buttermilk Pancakes
Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie
Juice – Apple, Lemon, Cucumber Cleanse
Juice – Kale, Carrots, Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon, Apple
Quinoa Kiwi Breakfast Bowl
Just Fruit. Salad
Avenita ~ Oatmeal
Vegan Omelet

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Soups/Salads:
Hearty Tortilla Soup
Greek Salad with Tofu Feta Cheese
Spicy Sweet Potato Wedge & Kale Salad
Mock Tuna Salad
Waldorf Salad with Kale & Chickpeas
Kale & Quinoa Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Warm Mushroom & Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
Roasted Beet Borscht
Black Rice and Adzuki Bean Salad
Artichoke & Asparagus Antipasto Salad
Iceberg Wedge Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing
Zucchini Salad

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Lunch/Dinner:
Vegan Asian Lettuce Wraps
Philly Vegan Mushroom Cheesesteak
Citrus Soba Noodles with Asian Glazed ‘Scallops’
Wild Rice, Walnut & Spring Vegetable Medley
Reuben on Rye with Russian Sauce
Spinach Salad with Quinoa Wraps
Bucatini with Smoked Tomato Sauce
Smoked Paprika Sauce & Baked Tofu ALT
Tabbouleh with Pearl Couscous
Fettuccini with Olive Oil, Garlic & Veggies
Roasted Vegetables

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Snacks & Apps:
Raw Energy Bites
Potato Spinach Cakes with Creamy Chive Garlic Sauce
Chive Pâté
Roasted Rosemary Mixed Nuts
Oven Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
Raw Energy Balls
Bruschetta with Garlic & Tomatoes

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ENJOY!!