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Cheesy Vegan Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa Recipe

16 Aug
A delicious alternative to meat, quinoa, black beans, Vegan cheese and other ingredients make this a delish' dish!

A delicious alternative to meat, quinoa, black beans, Vegan cheese and other ingredients make this a delish’ dish!

 

It’s always a good sign when the kids celebrate with a “Hooray!” when you tell them what’s for dinner.  Tonight’s celebration involved stuffed peppers that is loaded with nutrients, filling and will have your taste buds dancing, along with some eager (and hungry) people!  (Psst… if you don’t like bell peppers, the stuffing is awesome without them so Try it!

Carve out a little bit of time because this isn’t something you can put together in a pinch but it DOES make for awesome leftovers as the flavors intensify overnight 🙂

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 1

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 1

 

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 2

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 2

 

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 3

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 3

 

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 4

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 4

 

 

 

Serves 8-10

What you need:

  • Olive oil (or grape seed oil) to coat pan
  • 1 cup of onion diced small (1/3 -1/4 large sweet onion)
  • 2 large or 3 medium stalks of celery diced small
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (drain but save the juice)
  • 1 package 11oz. frozen spinach defrosted and drained
  • 3 medium to large carrots grated small
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups sweet corn kernels (canned or frozen is fine if you don’t have fresh)
  • 3/4 cup sprouted quinoa (or regular quinoa) rinsed very well
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans (or 1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups shredded vegan cheese (we like Enjoy Your Heart Vegan Mozzarella & Cheddar mix)
  • 5 bell peppers -we prefer red, orange and yellow  (Go crazy, get organic if you can with all of the ingredients 🙂

 

What to do:

 

Step 1:  Add oil to pot over medium heat.  Once heated, add celery and onion and cook until tender (5 min.).  While cooking, drain canned tomatoes and pour tomato juice into baking dish (we recommend a pan with a higher lip).  Mix in cumin and garlic for one minute.

Step 2:  Add tomatoes, spinach, grated carrots and quinoa.  Stir and allow any liquid to evaporate (around 3-5 minutes)

Step 3:  Continue by adding beans, corn, and mix in 2 cups of water.  Put the lid on the pot, bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium low for 15 minutes.  Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Use this time to grate the cheese and clean & cut the bell peppers.  Place the peppers in baking pan or dish atop the tomato juice.

Step 4:  Use 3/4 of your cheese and mix in pot.  Fill the peppers with mixture and place in the oven, covered with aluminum foil, for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and sprinkle remaining vegan cheese on top, turn broiler on to melt cheese (10-15 minutes – keep an eye on it)

We choose not to use salt and pepper and those in the house that prefer it normally have admitted that it doesn’t need it however feel free to add if you please 🙂

 

Great for parties and all seasons!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

A delicious alternative to meat, quinoa, black beans, Vegan cheese and other ingredients make this a delish' dish!

A delicious alternative to meat, quinoa, black beans, Vegan cheese and other ingredients make this a delish’ dish!

 

Meatless Monday: Lemon Infused Zucchini Bean Salad Recipe

10 Jun

TiV Lemon Infused Zucchini and BeansSome of the most delicious dishes are so simple, inexpensive and fast, it’s almost a crime.  This dish is equally as good hot, room temperature or straight out of the refrigerator so it makes an awesome meal yet the leftovers are perfect for lunch at work or school.

My Greek Cypriot mother in law makes it with fresh black eyed beans something here in the States, I have yet to find.  (If you know where we can find some, let us know!)  It’s a dish the kids love as well and is filling, also great to serve with a high quality dense bread to absorb all of the “liquid goodness” 🙂

***This also goes very well as a side with our Vegan Cypriot Greek Meatballs -Keftedes***

Of course you can add your spices as we often desire in our other dishes but we would encourage you to keep this one simple and enjoy the flavors of these few ingredients on their own.

TiV TIP:  Not only are organic zucchini’s eliminating a ton of harmful chemicals and free radical damage to your body but there is so much more flavor in organic produce, period.

For 1-2 people, you will need:

  • 1 can of white beans or black eyed beans
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 zucchini sliced in even chunks
  • pink Himalayan salt (or salt of your choice)
  • olive oil
  • **lemon infused olive oil**  (not a must have but a nice little final touch!  If you have never tried an infused olive oil, treat yourself and try it 🙂

TiV Lemon Infused Zucchini and Beans Frame

Simple Steps:

TiV Zucch Bean Steps Frame

Add olive oil to pan (this is one of the few dishes that we are heavy on the olive oil… a few tbsp).  Heated on medium heat.  Add zucchini (we sliced longways once and cut larger sized chunks) and cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes if larger, 3-5 if you prefer chopped size.

Add drained and rinsed beans (removing some of the salt to add our own), sprinkle some salt to taste (we love pink Himalayan but if you don’t have it, use what you do have).  Add to bowl.

Squeeze at least 1/2 lemon and top with a small bit of lemon infused olive oil or plain if that is what you have.

TiV Zucchini Beans finale Frame

Meatless Monday:  Simple, delicious, inexpensive, healthy and a great protein choice.  Try it!

Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta Cheese Vegan Recipe (with 20+ photos)

12 Apr

This is the best tasting lasagna that we have made to date so if you are looking for a healthy, low fat, lower in calories and zero cholesterol meal, here you go!  If you are in the mood for comfort food without the “I’m so sick” feeling afterwards or the “I’m so full I’m going to bust a button”, you found the right dish.

(No worries, the meat eaters love this– we are confident you will too!)  Save this recipe for the next time you are in the mood for Italian and let me know how it turned out, your opinion is welcomed, as always 🙂 )

The photographs show you the process and I have the ingredients, directions and suggestions below.

These ingredients are all you need to make this Lasagna.

These ingredients are all you need to make this Lasagna.

Drain and wring out the water from the tofu

Drain and wring out the water from the tofu

Prepare the vegetables and heat the sauce

Prepare the vegetables and heat the sauce

Making tofu ricotta is easier than you may think and has been known to pleasantly surprise many

Making tofu ricotta is easier than you may think and has been known to pleasantly surprise many

Super Simple.  Layer the sauce, lasagna noodles, tofu cheese and zucchini.  Repeat 2 more times

Super Simple. Layer the sauce, lasagna noodles, tofu cheese and zucchini. Repeat 2 more times

Continue the layering process until you run out of ingredients

Continue the layering process until you run out of ingredients

Vegetable lasagna is served!

Vegetable lasagna is served!

This should take you about an hour and a half to make so if you don’t have the time, hold off until you do 🙂

Try it Vegan’s Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu “Ricotta Cheese” Vegan Recipe

6-8 Servings

Ingredients you need:

  • Cooking spray or oil to coat the baking dish (we used the typical 9 x 13)
  • 1 box No Boil Lasagne noodles
  • 1 -2 packages of tofu 14 oz (we use firm) drained  ( **We used 1 this time but the kids reminded me that we usually use 2.  It’s good either way just remember to double ALL of the ingredients to make the tofu ricotta.)
  • 2-3 jars (24 oz each) of Marinara sauce (we ended up needing 1/2 of a 3rd jar this time but we like a lot of sauce)
  • 3 bell peppers diced(we prefer red, orange and yellow)
  • 2 large zucchini sliced thin (we like our mandolin for this as we mentioned previously here about playing with your food)
  • 2 large carrots grated fine
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast  (gives a cheese taste- if you haven’t had it before, it’s a great ingredient to have!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (dry) powder or granules
  • salt (we don’t use a lot normally but recommend at least 1/4- 1/2 tsp here)
  • pepper

Instructions:

  1. First things first, drain the water from your tofu.  There are many methods to do this such as wrapping it in paper towels, place on a plate, cover with another plate and put something heavy on top for 20 minutes, changing the towels until at least once.  We didn’t have the 20 minutes so we wrapped the tofu in a towel and wrung it out over the sink.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F/ 177 C and spray your baking pan lightly.
  3. Empty tofu into a bowl and add nutritional yeast, garlic and salt and pepper
  4. Heat Marinara sauce in a pot and simmer
  5. Prepare vegetables by dicing peppers, grating carrots and slicing zucchini.  If you don’t have a mandolin you can dice the zucchini up instead. (I didn’t have one until a few years ago and literally use it every single day- I recommend it!)
  6. Add the peppers and carrots to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes (we did it in five minutes with our limited time)
  7. Coat the bottom of the dish with some sauce.  Next, place lasagne noodles in one layer on top.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the tofu “Ricotta cheese” on top.  Cover with some zucchini.  Top with sauce.  Repeat #7 two times and finally, add a last topping of sauce for the top.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for around 50 minutes
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Suggestions:

There are so many variations of vegetables that can be used so if you have other ingredients in your refrigerator, use them!  It’s a great place to hide vegetables, Moms and Dads.

Food processors speed up the process if you don’t have time… it’s worth the investment!

You can always sprinkle on some Daiya, soy or rice cheese on top 🙂

Serve with a simple salad (serve the salad first 😉

Try it!  That’s what we are all about…

Mo’s Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joe Recipe (with 15+ Pictures) (Sloppy but Scrumptious)

11 Apr

Sloppy Joes are an American comfort food that are just as enjoyable without the meat and some of us may argue, better!  If you have kids or other loved ones that think that they don’t like lentils plain, this is a great way to make a fun meal that is full of protein and good nutrition. 

You don’t have to be labeled a “Vegan or Vegetarian” to make this and it’s a great way of cutting out the cholesterol for at least one meal.

High in Fiber and Protein, Low in Fat, Sodium & ZERO Cholesterol. 

(Meat eaters or anyone interested in calories, fat, etc…Check out the nutrition information below)

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe final 2You have several options with this recipe so play around with it!

  • Instead of lentils, we also enjoy using soy meatless crumbles or TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein).  I just wanted to share with you a recipe for once that is without it because so many of us have lentils in a jar or bag somewhere in our pantries.  Another option is doing half and half which gives a nice texture.
  • You can totally cheat and use a can or a packet for the spices and/or sauce, of course.  We always have these simple spices & ingredients in and it doesn’t take long to throw it all together.
  • Instead of a roll you can always serve this plain, as a side dish or over rice.

This is the healthier of my Sloppy Mo, err, Sloppy Joe recipes… Enjoy!

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe ingredients

Here is what you need at a glance…

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe Lentils and carrots

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe Bell Peppers

2 cloves of garlic, cumin, coriander

Put lentils and water in pot on high

Once boiling, add carrot

Misto with olive oil or grapeseed oil, add onions and bell peppers

Add salt, cumin, coriander, & chili pepper

Worcestershire sauce and agave or sweetener of your choice

Some tomato sauce and a sprinkle of oregano are optional- more suggestions included

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe ready

What you need for 4-6 servings:

  • 1 cup lentils dry (rinse well and make sure there aren’t any stones)
  • 1 carrot diced (if organic, wash and leave the skins on… your body will thank you)
  • 2 1/4 cups of water  (*I don’t use a lot of salt.  If you normally salt water, go for it)
  • olive oil, grape seed oil or water
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 1 cup of diced bell pepper (we used red and yellow and snuck in some green sweet Italian pepper)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar OR 1 tbsp of agave OR both  (or sweetener of your choice) (see my note below)
  • 1-3 tsp salt  (I just use 1 tsp-I am not a huge fan of salt but most people I speak with are so taste before you add)
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp corriander
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (optional)
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce OR 4-5 oz of tomato paste and 1 1/4 cups of water OR (I’m cringing saying this but if you don’t have either, ketchup.  Not my first choice but the kids love it.  This time we used the tomato paste and water)

Directions:

TiV Sloppy Mo Joe final close up1.  Pour 2 1/4 cups of water into pot with 1 cup of lentils and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add chopped carrot, mix and simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender, mixing it at times.  Drain any excess water.

2.  In medium to large pan, add a small amount of water or olive oil and heat on medium.  Add onions and peppers and cool on medium low until the onions are translucent.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

3.  Add lentils to pan and combine Worcestershire sauce, salt, spices and sweetener of choice.  (**If you are are not used to using sugar and prefer to steer clear of too sweet, use the agave.  If you are used to foods with a lot of salt and/or sugar/sweeteners I would just use the tbsp of brown sugar.  I chose to use the tbsp of agave which was nice for me but added a teaspoon of brown sugar for the kids :()

4.  Add 4-5 oz. of tomato paste and 1 1/4 cups of water or 1 cup of tomato sauce.   (Adding a teaspoon of oregano is optional)

5.  Simmer until thickened and soft (liquid evaporated) but it should not be mush.

6.  Eat as is or add to hamburger bun/ roll of your choice.

I was curious about the nutritional content when it came to ground beef vs. lentils since I used to eat mine with ground beef years ago.  If you’d like to see for yourself what the facts are WITHOUT the other ingredients.

Beef:  Ground, Cooked 85% lean meat/ 15% fat  VS.  Lentils, TiV Sloppy Mo Joecooked/boiled without salt

    • Serving Size:  Beef:  LESS THAN 1/2 cup (3 oz.)   vs.  Lentils 1 full cup  (7.5 oz.)  (You would have to double the amount of Beef or cut the lentils in half to make this even on a kaiser roll.  I’m going to double the beef considering that would still be less than what a restaurant would serve)
    • Calories:  Beef (6oz) 408,  Calories from Fat 220 (> than half)  VS.  Lentils 1 Cup/ 7.5 oz  230 , Calories from Fat  12

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Opa! Some Cyprus Love: Vegan Keftedes, the Greek Cypriot Meatball Recipe

26 Mar

This favorite Cyprus dish is a common one and once we stopped eating meat in our house, I knew that I would have to Veganize my mother-in-law’s recipe.  If you are watching your cholesterol or have been looking for a meat-less-ball recipe with a LOT of taste, you have found it!

Opa! Greek Cypriot Fried Meatballs

Opa! Greek Cypriot Fried Meatballs

(Υια, κύπριους φίλους μας! Γνωρίζω ότι το χοιρινό & αυγού χρησιμοποιείται για αυτό το πιάτο παραδοσιακά. Είμαι περίεργος, ποιος ξέρει από οποιοδήποτε κρέας εναλλακτική λύση στην Κύπρο; Περιμένω κάθε χρόνο αλλά δεν βρίσκω.)

This dish takes a little bit of prep but the rewards are worth it.  This is a great time to pull out the food processors, if you have one, to lighten the prep work.  More pictures will come soon…

What you need for 5-8 hungry people:

Some of the ingredients for our Vegan Keftedes

Some of the ingredients for our Vegan Keftedes

  • 2 packages (24 oz) of vegan meat crumbles (we prefer Lightlife Smart Ground veggie protein crumbles)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 large grated potatoes
  • 1- 1 1/2 large yellow onion (soft ball size) grated or chopped small in food processor ***but make sure it doesn’t turn to mush***
  • 4 large lemons
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread to grate and make bread crumbs (or 1/2- 1 cup of bread crumbs from the container but I recommend the bread, highly)
  • 1-2 egg substitutes  (I just use one, some may want the second just in case)
  • 2 tbsp of cinnamon (you can play with this, we like a bit more)
  • 1 tbsp Greek seasoning (or make your own using a combo of the following: dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil, dried marjoram, dried minced onion)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • oil for frying (olive or canola oil)

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 (before frying the meatballs, I prefer to bake them for a little bit so that they don’t fall apart as easily)
  2. Drain grated potatoes and squeeze juice from 2 lemons for flavor and to protect the color from changing to brown due to oxidation
  3. Make egg substitute (this is how we make ours)
  4. Add vegan crumbles, potato (we like to make it so it is 1:1 meat/potato), onion, parsley, bread crumbs (I simply rub the slices in my hands, little chunks the size of chocolate chips are great too), egg substitute, cinnamon, Greek seasoning and salt and mix.  (This is one dish that I use my hands for, get in there ;))
  5. If too wet, add more bread crumbs (from scratch) but it should be moist.  Make oval balls in your palm and place on baking sheet an inch apart.
  6. Heat oil in pan and place meat-less-balls in the oven for 8 minutes, until slightly hardened.  Remove and place in oil and cook until browned to your liking.
  7. Place vegan keftedes on paper towel lined plate to absorb the oil
  8. Serve with lemon slices

Additional Suggestions/Ideas that are favorites in our home…

(Vegan plain yoghurt and a fresh salad with lemon & Greek olive oil for dressing or one of your choice complement this dish.  Also, Tahini mixed with water, lemon and salt (tashi) is awesome to dip in or to line a pita with and make a wrap with the keftedes and some chopped cucumber, tomatoes, parsley and onion.  )

*Exclusive* Our BEST Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese Recipe, Secrets Shared!

20 Mar

This is THE most asked for dish in our home by family and friends.  Dairy-free.  Lactose-free.  Perfect for those with a dairy allergy and miss cheese!  The closest thing to the REAL THING and many believe, BETTER than the BEST Macaroni and Cheese they have had.  Seriously. 

I am revealing my secret family recipe… I’m taking a deep breath here, so give it a shot and give me your feedback!

This is completely, 100% my recipe and considered to be  VEGAN COMFORT FOOD.  If you are looking for a healthy low-fat alternative, stop reading now.  I wouldn’t recommend eating this every day if you are planning on losing some pounds however this is the BEST dish for everyone, regardless of their eating preferences.

*AWESOME for the kids to pop in a lunch box (heated thermos) for school lunch… this has nominated me to BEST MOM OF THE YEAR on several occasions 😉

I do not measure when I make this dish however I will give you my best estimates.

TryitVegan Mac and cheese pasta

Choose whatever pasta you like however we prefer this brand and shape for this particular dish.

Try it Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Bread Crumbs Ingredients

Try it Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Bread Crumbs Ingredients

Ingredients for 5-6 people:

1 lb. pasta

10-12 oz. almond milk (unsweetened)

Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Cheese block

1 brick of Earth Balance

1-2 cups of bread crumbs or panko breadcrumbs (we like a lot)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Start water for pasta.

Cook pasta al dente

Cook pasta al dente

In a medium pot, add milk and entire block of Vegan Cheddar and stir until melted on medium heat.

Melt Vegan Cheddar in Almond Milk

Melt Vegan Cheddar in Almond Milk

Make sure that the pasta is cooked al dente so drain it a couple of minutes prior to their recommended cook time.  Grease your baking dish lightly with the Earth Balance vegan butter and melt the remaining 7 tbsp or so.  (This can be cut in half, the full stick of “butter” isn’t needed however I did say that we love bread crumbs, yes?)  In a medium bowl, mix bread crumbs with completely melted Earth Balance adding more crumbs if wanted/needed.

Mix bread crumbs with melted vegan butter

Mix bread crumbs with melted vegan butter

Once pasta is ready, drain and toss into baking dish.

Pour Vegan Cheese over drained pasta

Pour Vegan Cheese over drained pasta

Pour cheese directly on top and mix until evenly distributed.  spread bread crumb mixture on top.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes covered for the first 20 and uncovered for the last 10 for the bread crumbs to slightly brown.

Try it Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese with Bread crumbs

Crazy Carrot Wednesday- 20 Carrot Recipes to Try!

27 Feb

A rainbow of carrotsIn my quest of having the family get in the habit of trying new foods, I bought some purple, orange and golden yellow carrots.  If anything, it was worth seeing the expression on their faces that made it all worth it!

I happen to need to eat with my eyes first so the more color on our plates, the happier I am that we are serving a nutritional plate of goodness for each of us.  If you can’t find purple and yellow carrots at the store, keep an eye out for one day that they may have them in the future.  In the meantime, if you haven’t eaten many carrots lately, I’m sure you will be successful in finding a recipe or three that you and whoever you are cooking for, will love!

Fun carrot facts:

  • Carrots were not originally orange.  Back in the day they were purple or red with thin roots
  • What’s up, Doc?  Maybe Bugs Bunny was on to something since the first carrots were grown for medicine
  • Research shows that colorful carrots may help prevent heart disease and cancer & reduce cholesterol
  • Eat/drink too many orange carrots and you WILL take on an orange/yellow pigment in your skin (called Carotenemia) because of beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A in the carrots

Question:  Are carrots better for you eaten raw or cooked?

No one loves a glass of fresh carrot juice better than I (although, I will admit, I will stick with drinking orange carrots since the purple carrots have a slight peppery taste and the yellow are a bit sweet and mild).  I happen to eat half of my meals raw each day because there are many nutrients that are lost when cooked one way or another.  However, there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to eating and being able to process certain foods.  (So the answer is both!)

colorcarrotstryitveganPicture bubble wrap for a moment:  when it comes to nutrition and eating certain foods, there are a ton of nutrients that are inside the item but you have to pop all the nutrients out.  This is one reason why it is SO important to chew your food well which most of us are very guilty of NOT doing.  50-100 chews per bite is what is recommended to ensure that you break down the food and make it accessible for your body to absorb the nutrients.  This is why juicing is a great thing from a nutritional perspective because it pops all the “bubbles” releasing the nutritional benefits (especially kale!)

  • Research has shown that when you eat a raw carrot, only 3% of the entire beta-carotene (Vitamin A) is released.
  • Falcarinol is a substance found in carrots that has been found to reduce the risk of cancer (cancer cells grow more slowly when exposed to it)
  • When boiling or steaming whole carrots, you lose 30% of falcarinol
  • When boiling or steaming pre-cut, small carrots the loss is higher at 60%.
  • Boiled/steamed carrots are easier to digest and preserved antioxidants (carotenoids) rather than frying.

Ok, now that you know more than you thought that you would ever want to know about this common (or not so common) root veggie, go on out and try some of these awesome ways to enjoy this nutritious wonder!

(Common sense input:  if honey is called for, substitute with agave or other sweetener.  Butter, use earth balance.  Etc)

  1. Fresh squeezed carrot juice  (can be as addicting as cigarettes?)
  2. Roasted Carrot Soup
  3. Carrot salad
  4. Roasted carrots
  5. Carrot muffins (using earth balance as opposed to butter/margarine)
  6. Hummus and veggie wrap
  7. Vegetable sushi
  8. Potted carrots (great idea for the kids!!!  with a vegan ranch dip)
  9. Simple carrot fries
  10. Moroccan Carrot Dip
  11. Marsala glazed carrots with hazelnuts
  12. Carrot cake cupcakes
  13. Marmalade Candied Carrots 
  14. Roasted Vegetables with Pecan Gremolata
  15. Carrot cake oatmeal
  16. Carrot pancakes
  17. Lunch Box carrot slaw with apples and vegan yoghurt
  18. Carrot, Avocado and orange salad
  19. Marinated dill carrots
  20. Brown sugar sweet overload carrots

Enjoy 😉  TiV

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