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Chickpea salad



1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle
3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste



In a large pan over medium­high heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until deep golden and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chipotle and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic and lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas, cilantro, and lemon juice and continue to stir to develop the flavors, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste.

Cool the salad to room temperature, then transfer to a container and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Season to taste just before serving.

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Sage and white pepper-infused pear butter

You’ll want enough chopped pears to fill your slow cooker one-half to three-quarters of the way up; four or five pears are a perfect fit for my 2-quart slow cooker. If using a larger slow cooker, double (or triple!) the recipe.

4-5 pears, any variety
juice of 1 lemon wedge
3-4 fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon white or mixed peppercorns, or 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon muscovado or dark brown sugar

Peel, core and chop your pears. Add the chopped pears into the slow cooker, squeeze a wedge of lemon over the top, tuck your sage and peppercorns in the middle and sprinkle your sugar over it all. Set the slow cooker to low and cover. Check every thirty minutes or so, smashing the pears around with a wooden spoon as they soften. When your pears have the consistency of applesauce, vent the lid and continue cooking until thickened, stirring every so often to prevent sticking or scorching. When the pears are done cooking, allow them to cool for 15 minutes before you strain and transfer to glass jars.

Yield: 1 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 2-5 hours, depending on your slow cooker

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2016 Benefit for the Animals

Join us for a magical evening to benefit the animals of Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge.


Dear supporters,

It’s getting close to the time of year when we ask you to join us for an evening when we pause to celebrate the wonderful moments and accomplishments of the past year. We hope you’ll mark your calendar because this will be an event you don’t want to miss!

You can expect a very fun night full of lively music, delicious vegan hors d’oeuvres, open bar, great company of fellow supporters of the Refuge, and a chance to hear from some of those working behind the scenes to help our organization grow. We hope to see you there!

Be sure to purchase your ticket early! Ticket price is $40 and is available HERE.

Please visit our event page on Facebook to see all updates related to this event!

This event is reserved for guests 18 and over.


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Basil pesto

This pesto uses three parts basil to two parts other greens and herbs. This is partly to cut the pungency of the basil, and also to make it a more vibrant green. Feel free to mix and match to suit your tastes.

3 cups (packed) basil
2 cups (packed) baby arugula or spinach
1 cup raw walnut halves/pieces
3 large cloves garlic
1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon large grain sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine basil, arugula, walnuts, and garlic in food processor. Have the olive oil on hand. While slowly adding half of the oil, process until combined. Scrape down the sides, add all remaining ingredients and the rest of the oil and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if needed. Season to taste with salt and additional lemon juice, if needed. Freezes well.

Yield: 2 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes 

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Ten minute stir fry

If you have leftover rice, a few handfuls of bite-sized vegetables, and some protein, you’ve got the building blocks for a quick stir fry. The protein is optional, but really makes this a substantial meal. Add your favorite seasonings and oil, and you’re all set. You’ll want to make sure your pan is big enough to accommodate a lot of stirring.

Neutral-tasting, high heat oil (sunflower, grapeseed, peanut)

1 head of broccoli (including the stem), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shredded carrot
1 red onion, halved and cut into half-moon strips
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup ground crumbles (or another protein of choice, cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 cup cooked long-grain rice

Several dashes of ground ginger, turmeric, coriander, salt, and white pepper
Small drizzle of agave nectar
Large drizzle of dark sesame oil
Large drizzle of tamari (or soy sauce)

In a wok or large pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of neutral oil over medium heat. As soon as the oil is heated through, add the chopped vegetables and onion. Increase the heat slightly, and stir continuously so that everything cooks through without sticking to the pan, about 4-5 minutes. (If there is a lot of sticking, add a splash of water.) Next, add the garlic. Stir for another minute, taking care that the garlic does not burn. Add your protein and rice, and stir once to combine. Add your seasonings (I added ginger, turmeric, coriander, salt, and pepper). Stir again, making sure that the seasoning is evenly distributed. Continue to stir frequently, until everything is heated through, another 3-4 minutes.

Last, add your agave, dark sesame oil, and tamari. Stir quickly so that everything in the stir fry is coated, another 2-3 minutes.

If you are adding greens or herbs, this is the stage when you would fold them in. Stir just until wilted, which should take less than one minute.

Remove from heat, adjust seasonings to taste, and serve with your favorite accompaniments (chili flakes, sriracha, lime . . . ).

Yield: 2 main or 4 side servings

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes

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Slow cooker tomato soup


This recipe may read as long and complicated, but most of the time is spent waiting for the soup’s base ingredients to melt together in your slow cooker. It can be made on a stove top, but the results just aren’t the same. You’ll need to purée the base by itself, and then again with the rest of the ingredients once they have roasted. Either a stand blender or food processor will work.

Soup base, to slow cook:
1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup steel cut oats
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 tablespoon chicken-style broth powder
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
10 basil leaves, torn
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and white pepper

Soup body, to roast:
4 medium tomatoes, quartered (or 20-25 cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 large shallot or red torpedo onion, quartered
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
large pinch kosher salt
large pinch turbinado sugar

Finishing garnish:
crostini or croutons, optional

In a 2- or 3-quart slow cooker, combine the first seven ingredients (red lentils through smoked paprika) with 2 1/2 cups of water and set to low. Allow everything to cook for six hours, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed. You want enough liquid to purée everything easily at the end, but not so much that it will be watery. When the six hours have passed, purée everything until smooth and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Keep the base warm in your slow cooker until the roasted vegetables are ready.

When your slow cooker has about an hour to go, preheat your oven to 375 F / 190 C. In a baking dish, arrange the quartered tomatoes and shallot, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, then sprinkle on the salt and sugar. Roast until the tomatoes have caramelized and their juices are concentrated.

Combine the puréed base and the caramelized tomatoes, shallots and their juices in a blender or food processor (in multiple batches, if necessary) and purée until completely smooth, adding water if needed.

Garnish with a drizzle of agave and fresh grated nutmeg, and serve with small crostini or croutons.

Yield: 2-4 servings, depending on course and appetite

Prep time: 10 minutes | Slow cooking time: 6 hours (mostly unattended) | Roasting time: 30-45 minutes

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Asparagus and caramelized red onion pesto

capellini-w-asparagus-pesto asparagus-redonion-pesto

Thin asparagus spears are preferable, as they are less fibrous. If you use thick stalks, you’ll need to peel them before steaming. If you have a steamer basket (or stainless steel colander) that fits over your pasta pot, use it instead of an asparagus steamer. This dish tastes equally well hot, at room temperature, and cold, especially as a midnight snack. We like ours tossed with capellini.

1 large handful (25-30) thin asparagus spears
2-3 red torpedo onions or 1/4 red globe onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, to taste
1-2 teaspoons lemon zest, to taste
large pinch of coarse salt
pasta water to thin, if needed

Snap off the woody ends from your asparagus stalks. Thinly slice your onions; there should be enough to loosely pile into a 1/3 measuring cup. If using a red globe onion, cut a few thin-as-possible half moon slices, then cut into small strips about 1/4 inch long. Set up your steamer, your pasta pot (if not using to steam the asparagus), and a small cast iron or nonstick skillet for the onions.

Steam asparagus until fork tender. While the asparagus is steaming, put a teaspoon or two of olive oil into a small skillet over med heat. Sauté the onion until it begins to caramelize, then remove from heat and transfer to your food processor. When the onion and asparagus have both finished cooking, begin heating your liberally salted pasta water.

Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture is almost puréed. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. If you need additional liquid, add some of the pasta water, a tablespoon at a time. Season to taste with salt and additional lemon zest, if needed.

Drain your pasta, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the pesto and gently toss to coat, using some of the reserved water if it’s too thick. Season with cracked pepper and coarse salt at the table.

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Fettuccine Alfredo with Marsala Mushrooms


This silky alfredo sauce comes together very quickly, perfect for a weeknight meal. If you already have a cooked potato on hand, you can prepare the sauce in the time it takes to cook the fettuccine noodles.  


16 ounces fettuccine, cooked and drained

1/2 cup cashews
2 cups water
1 small potato, cooked and peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter
1/2 – 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white wine
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

8 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
1/3 cup Marsala wine

chives and vegan grated Parmesan (such as Go Veggie), to garnish


Add water, cashews, and potato to blender, and puree until smooth. Add butter and flour to pan. Stir constantly for three minutes over medium heat. Add cashew mixture, seasonings, lemon juice, and white wine. Stir frequently for three to five minutes, until sauce is thickened.

In another pan, cook mushrooms in Marsala over high heat, until most of the wine is gone. Combine sauce and pasta, and top with mushrooms and chives. 

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