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Many of us love to cook and entertain for our friends, but tend to default to preparing comfort foods, which aren’t the healthiest. Special Guest Sarah Baker of has a few tried and true vegan recipes for when she entertains.

Living Healthy Chicago’s Jane Mozures immediately had to ask: do people really like these healthy, vegan versions of dinner party favorites like spinach dip? Sarah insists you don’t have to sacrifice taste to get some big health benefits. So we stopped by Sarah’s kitchen to find out for ourselves.

Check out Sarah’s healthy vegan dishes, below. The ingredients just might surprise you!

Cucumber Canapés:

  • 4 Cucumbers
  • 1 cup of hummus
  • 1 jar of sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

1. Slice the cucumbers into thin pieces
2. Top each piece of cucumber with a tbsp of hummus
3. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle about 3-4 pieces over each slice
4. Sprinkle 3-4 pine nuts over each slice

Spinach Dip:

  • 1 package of frozen spinach
  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1 package of silken tofu
  • 3/4 cups of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water chestnuts
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

1. Soak the cashews in a bowl for 2-3 hours (this softens them up for blending)
2. In a blender blend together cashews, nutritional yeast, tofu, and apple cider vinegar
3. Chop the onion and garlic
4. In a skillet heat the coconut oil and saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes
5. Heat the frozen spinach for about 5 minutes and then fold in the cashew + tofu mixture. Transfer the mixture to a dish and garnish with a bit more nutritional yeast and serve.

Pumpkin Balls

  • 1 cup of rolled oats (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1 can of organic pumpkin puree
  • 6- dates
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup coconut flakes
  1. In a food processor, grind the 1 cup of almonds until they are a well ground
  2. Add the oats, almond butter, chopped dates, and pumpkin puree into the food processor and blend for 3-4 minutes
  3. Add all of the seasonings and blend for another couple of minutes
  4. If needed, add more ground almonds to make it a stickier mixture
  5. Once well blended, take one palm full and roll into a ball on a cutting board
  6. Sprinkle coconut flakes around the board and roll the pumpkin ball around the flakes