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Tempeh Asparagus Wrappers with Tahini Sauce

The best type of appetizer - easy and insanely delicious.

18 asparagus spears

1 8-ounce package tempeh or tempeh bacon

18 spring roll wrappers

olive oil

goddess salad dressing or homemade tahini sauce

Note: You can use premade tempeh bacon or make it. I used plain tempeh, sliced long-wise into 18 strips, and tripled the amount of an online marinade (

Dip one spring roll wrapper at a time into a bowl of water, just until pliable. At the center of each wrapper, place a strip of tempeh bacon. On it, place one asparagus spear, snapping off the woody end so that the length of the asparagus matches that of the tempeh strip. Roll the spring roll wrapper around the tempeh and asparagus and place on a well greased cookie tray. Use a liberal amount of oil, which helps the wrappers not stick and also helps the bottom of the wrapper get crispy during the baking process. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with goddess dressing or homemade tahini sauce.

Some Like It Hot Jalepeno Poppers

16 jalepeno peppers

2 avocados, mashed

1 cup unsweetened soy or nut milk

1 cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon seasoning blend

1/2 teaspoon salt

Wearing gloves, slice most of the way down the length of one side of each jalepeno, leaving the stem attached. Remove the seeds and rinse the inside of each pepper. Stuff each jalepeno with mashed avocado. Pour milk into a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine nutritional yeast, seasoning blend, and salt. With one hand dip each pepper into the milk. With your other hand, roll each pepper in the nutritional yeast mixture. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.

The peppers are still quite hot the first day. If refrigerated overnight, the heat mellows, but the peppers soften. If serving the following day, reheat for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F or fry them in hot oil until they are golden brown.

Potato Salad Bites

Use your favorite potato salad recipe. Chop the ingredients smaller to fit the smaller scale of the new potatoes. This is a great make-ahead travel recipe. The potato skins stack and you can place the filling in a plastic bag. When you arrive at your destination, cut a corner off of the plastic bag and squeeze the filling into the shells.

12 new potatoes

1 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/3 cup vegan mayo

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (for color, optional)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped black olives

1/4 cup pickle relish

3 tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup vegan bacon bits (optional)

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (optional)

paprika (optional)

Steam or boil new potatoes. If boiling, add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. If using red, white, and blue new potatoes, the blue new potatoes require extra cooking time. When the potatoes have cooked, remove them from heat and allow them to cool. While they are still warm, cut them in half, lenthwise, and scoop out the potato pulp with a melon baller or cookie scoop. Chop the potato pulp and place it in a bowl. To the bowl, add the mayo, celery, bell pepper, onion, black olives, vinegar, salt, dry mustard, and pepper. Gently fold the ingredients until well blended. Place the shells on a serving tray and fill with the potato salad mixture. Top with vegan bacon bits or finely chopped parsley or paprika.

Tater skins, like you remember

4 small/medium potatoes (any kind!)

olive oil

salt and pepper

1/2 package firm tofu, frozen, thawed, and squeezed

4-5 tbs soy sauce

2 tsps liquid smoke (less if you don't want smoky bacon)

2 tbs nutritional yeast

canola/safflower/sunflower oil

2 slices packaged vegan cheeze OR 4 tbs nutritional yeast mixed with water and a sprinkle of salt (thick sauce)

Tofutti (or tofu) sour cream

2-3 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub potatoes, dry, and rub with olive oil, and salt. Place potatoes on baking sheet, and bake at 425 for about one hour, or until thoroughly cooked. If you want to do a quicker version, you may cook the potatoes in the microwave. Leave the oven on (or turn it on, if you used the microwave method, and turn to 450). While the potatoes are baking, prepare your bacon. Heat canola/safflower/sunflower oil in nonstick pan. Chop the frozen, thawed, and squeezed tofu into small cubes/pieces. Add the tofu to the oil, and occasionally stir around until totally fried, golden, and crispy. Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce, liquid smoke, and some pepper (this is the "bacon" recipe from vegweb, that I modified). After the tofu is done, take the pan off the heat, and add the liquid mixture. You need enough to cover every piece. If you need to cook off some liquid, put the pan back on the heat for a few seconds. After most all of the soy sauce mixture has been absorbed, sprinkle in the 2 tbs nutritional yeast, and stir around. Put this off to the side.

Continue to check your potatoes, and once they are done, set them off to the side (off of the pan, for quicker cooling) and let them cool enough to handle. You may chop your green onions while you wait, or mix up your nutritional yeast sauce, if you are using that for the cheeze.

Once you are able to handle the potatoes, slice them each in half, lengthwise. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the very middle of the potato, and save it for later. For crispier skins, scoop out more potato. I like to leave about 1/4-1/2 inch of potato along the edges of the skin. Spray a bit more olive oil onto the tops of the potatoes, and sprinkle with pepper (you may also sprinkle with salt, but I usually have a good layer on the outside). Place the skins back in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn over, and bake 10 minutes more.

Once they are done, and crispy, take them out, and assemble! Once again, leave the oven on, and turn to broil. Add a piece of vegan cheeze slice, or about 1/2-1 tbs nutritional yeast sauce to each potato, and place in broiler for a couple of minutes. You may also use vegan sprinkles, or whatever cheeze you like. Take the pan out, and add a generous sprinkling of tofu bacon crumbles, a dollop of "sour cream," and a sprinkle of pepper, and green onions. Yum!

Sweet & Spicy Watermelon Salsa

It sounds weird... but it's not, I swear. Totally regular salsa here. Mostly.

1 cup finely diced watermelon

1/2 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed

1.5 Tablespoons lime juice (fresh!)

1 small shallot (1-1.5" dia), minced

1 jalapeƱo, seeded/deveined, minced

dash of salt

Of course the directions are... combine everything in a medium bowl. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving with chips.

If you're worried that the watermelon will be too sweet/fruity for salsa, you can use the parts closer to the rind to make it more tart... and eat the rest of the watermelon :)

Makes scant 2 cups.