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So now that we’ve made homemade vegan refried beans, it’s time to eat.

The first two times I made this healthy condiment, I slathered it between tortillas with shredded cheese and made quesadillas. The first time I even topped it with a fried egg and fresh picked cilantro. These are excellent vegetarian entrees that leave you full but not, ya know, fuuuuuuull.

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The third and most recent time I made the refried black beans, it was for a vegan breakfast. Toast a whole wheat English muffin (or any kind of whole grain bread–there are more wholesome options available, but I was in the mood for the nooks ‘n’ crannies) and top with a healthy smear of refried beans. Garnish with a few slices of avocado and a sprinkle of salt (flaked sea salt is ideal, but I used kosher because it was all I had on hand).

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1 bunch thin asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tsp olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 batch quick tomato chive jam
4 hardboiled eggs, quartered
Feta cheese, optional, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss asparagus with 1 tsp olive oil, salt and black pepper and arrange on a baking sheet.
3. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
4. Remove asparagus from the oven; plate and top with the tomato chive jam.
5. Scatter eggs and feta, optional, over the asparagus and tomatoes.

Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4-6 as a side or appetizer. Can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature.

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Or, with feta:

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I know, I know. It’s only day two of the new year and I’m already talking up a big game. But, come on–wouldn’t you if you made something that looks like this?:

I spent the first day of the new year testing this recipe for a menu project for school, and what I came up with is something that is so tasty and healthy, it’ll make you want to strut around in your underwear. Kale and sweet potatoes with feta and pomegranate is a refreshing salad that plays on all of the senses.

I’m sparing you the details of the tested recipe because that’s not what this blog is about. Take the idea of this salad and make it your own. Use this as a guideline:

Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Toss with oil, S & P and roast in a 400-degree oven until tender, about 25 minutes. While that’s working, blanch or steam chopped kale.

Make the vinaigrette by marinating thinly sliced leeks in fresh lime juice, brown sugar, S & P. After about 20 minutes, whisk in oil (I used a combination of canola and extra-virgin olive oils).

Combine the potatoes, kale and vinaigrette. Top with crumbled feta cheese and pomegranate seeds.

This salad will work as a side dish, or you can enjoy on its own as a super-light entree. It’s a new year, and we’re all trying to be a bit healthier; this is a great way to do it.