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Veggie Stuffed Potato

Over the past year, my husband and I have been heavily focused on eating a more natural, less processed diet. We completely gave up drinking soft drinks, increased our consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables (which thrilled me!) and became much more intentional about our food choices. The result has been amazing. Once you begin filling your body with the goodness from nature, you find your skin to be clearer, your hair shinier, nails stronger, and even better digestive health.
One of my major changes has been a consistent effort to consume lunches based in vegetables. I have always been a vegetable lover. As a kid, I was the one that would fill up on the salad bar and leave the meat behind. A key to eating a plant-based meal is to make sure the flavor is punched up in order to feel satisfied and not deprived. This recipe is one such meal. The filling is flavorful and hearty. You can make this recipe completely Vegan by substituting Vegan Cheese for the cheddar, if you like. I can also see morphing this into a party dish or appetizer by making Veggie Stuffed Skins.

 FOR THE POTATO
1 Large Russet Potato
1/2 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 Pinch Salt
FOR THE FILLING
1 teaspoon Vegetable Spread
1 Carrot, Finely Diced
1 Tablespoon Yellow Onion, Diced
2 White Button Mushrooms, Diced
1/4 Cup Baby Spinach, Chopped
1 Pinch Salt
1 Pinch Black Pepper
1 Sliced Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1. Thoroughly wash and dry the potato. Pierce the skin of the potato with a fork. You will want to puncture the potato several times. This helps the interior cook.
2. Rub the exterior of the potato with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking sheet.
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour or until soft throughout.
Sautéing the Filling
4. Ten minutes before the potato is to come out of the oven, begin to prepare your filling. Melt the vegetable spread in a small skillet over Medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, and mushroom to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach and allow to wilt. Remove from the heat.
5. Once the potato is cooked throughout, remove from the oven. Carefully slice the potato down the middle and squeeze the ends to fluff the interior. Tear the cheddar cheese into small pieced and lay inside the potato. Place back in the oven for 3 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and place on the serving plate. Fill the interior with the vegetable mixture and enjoy!

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