Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup low cal low fat lunch by ng @ What's for Dinner?
 Happy Halloween!
I made this spooky butternut squash soup for lunch.  

Butternut Squash Soup
two for a light lunch

1/2 a roasted butternut squash (just bake in the oven until soft)
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1/2 cup turnip chopped
1 Tbs ginger garlic paste 
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cups chicken or veg broth
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp plain yogurt (for spooky web)

Heat a pot with the oil.  Cook the onion, carrot and turnip until the onion starts to soften.  Add the ginger garlic paste and cumin.  Cook for a min then add the squash and broth. Bring to a boil and lower the heat.  Cover and cook for about 15 min until the veg is soft.  Take off the heat and blend. Taste for salt and pepper.  Add yogurt for a spooky web.
 Butternut squash soup...because the pumpkin was too cute to cook! by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Butternut squash soup...because the pumpkin was too cute to cook!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shole Zard

Shole Zard by Ng @ What's for Dinner?
Shole Zard is a rice dessert made with water and saffron or a Persian vegan low-fat rice pudding.  Can also add nuts, cardamom and rose water.  A lot of time is spent standing at the stove so I was really happy that my mother-in-law did the cooking!  She made it for me a few times, but since she doesn't measure anything (and after I asked her to use my measuring cups she say everything is one cup)  I had to watch and remeasure everything she did.  The water to rice ratio is 6-1.
Vegan, Iranin, Rice Pudding by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Shole Zard
feeds four
3 cups of water
1/2 cup rice
1/3 sugar
8 cloves cardamom (seeds only)
1/4 tsp saffron powder (or a few threads)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Soak the rice for a few hours.  Drain and blend in a food processor until the rice is in lots of little bits but not a powder.  Place in a pot on med high heat and start adding the water 1/2 cup at a time.  Like making risotto but takes longer with more stirring. After the 1st cup of water add in the cardamon seeds. Use 1/2 cup of the water to dissolve the sugar.  Add the sugar water.  Keep stirring.  There will still be some little bits of rice but mostly it will turn into a thick paste.  Will take 30min or more in total.  Add the saffron powder and plate.  Use cinnamon and or nuts to decorate.  Eat warm or chilled.  I like it chilled with Mexican chocolate.
Low fat rice pudding Persian style by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Rice and sugar... what baby doesn't love that!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Aash-e Dandoni Tooth Soup (Bean and Rice Soup)

Aash-e Dandoni or Tooth Soup, Bean and Rice Soup, by Ng @ What's for Dinner?
This is my favorite food from when I was in Iran.  My mother-in-law made it for Joe's first tooth.  Its called Aash-e Dandoni or Tooth Soup. Everyone gave her a few beans to make it and then she handed out the soup.  I guess its a bit like Iranian Stone Soup only the empty bowls came back with gifts for the baby.   She is visiting me and I asked her to please make it for me again.   She said that all of Joe's teeth would fall out but since he just has baby teeth I said let them!

This soup in simple yet rich.  Just chickpeas, kidney beans, barley, lentil, rice and onion.  That right a vegan Iranian dish! I'm in heaven! The only spice is salt and pepper.   I couldn't ruin this lovely soup by adding again thing else.

Aash-e Dandoni
makes one pot
1 cup chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup kidney bean (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup lentils (could use mung bean soaked overnight)
1/2 cup rice
1 chopped and fried onion
salt and pepper

In a med large pot bring the chickpeas and kidney beans to a boil in about 3 cups of water, lower the heat and cover.  Cook for about an hour and then add the barley and lentils.   Cook for about half an hour and add the rice and fried onion.  Check and taste the soup as it cooks.  Adding water, salt and pepper when and as needed.  When everything is soft its ready.  This should be a very thick soup so keep and eye on it after add the rice so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.

I think this would be really lovely in a crock pot.  Add everything in at once with boiling water to cover and let cook. 

Low Cal, vegan, cold weather bean soup by ng @ What's for Dinner?
The perfect cold weather bean soup.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini or Dolmeh Felfel and Kadoo

Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini or Dolmeh Felfel and Kadoo by Ng @ What's for Dinner
 In the past I've posted a Stuffed Cabbage or Dolmeh Kalam recipe the major difference between that recipe and this is my mother-in-law is visisting....that and she adds split peas. My mom would add raisins so I put some in too.
Cooking stuffed Peppers with my Iranian mother in law by ng @ What's for Dinner
Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini
fills 4 peppers and 2 zucchinis

4 bell peppers
2 zucchinis
1 cup rice
250 gm ground meat
1 onion chopped
1/4 cup split peas
1/4 cup raisins
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 cups tomato sacue
salt, pepper, cumin and turmeric

1. Cut the tops off the peppers.  Clean out the seeds.  Slice the zucchinis in half and remove seeds.
2. Boil rice for 8 min.  Drain and set aside.
3. Brown the meat with the onion. Add salt, pepper, cumin and turmeric.
4. Mix the rice and meat.  Add the Tomato paste, split peas and raisins to the mix. Taste for salt and pepper.
5. Fill the peppers and zucchini and cover with tomato sauce.   Cover with foil and bake for an hour at 200c.

Peppers, Zucchinis and rice by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Feel free to just use peppers if you don't like zucchini.
I enjoyed cooking this meal with my in-laws.  I had some extra stuffing and I filled some cabbage. Which turned out to be my fav. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup with Parsnips and potato by Ng @ What's For Dinner?
 I made this simple soup for lunch today.  I wasn't going to write about it but it turned out so white, creamy and smooth that I had to.  Joe had a friend over and they both loved it.

Cauliflower Soup
Serves 4 (and 2 babies)

1 med head of Cauliflower
1 onion
2 parsnips
1 large potato (I used 1 small and 1 med)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 pint of milk (I used powered milk to make mine)
1 cup water
1 bay leave
1 veg stock cube
pinch of nutmeg 
salt and pepper

Cut and wash Cauliflower.  Peel and chop the onions, parsnips and potatoes. Saute the veg in the oil over med heat for about 5 min.  Add salt and pepper.  Add milk and water to cover the veg.  Add the bay leave and stock cube.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the veg is soft.  About 15 min.  Take off the heat, take out the bay leaf and add the nutmeg. Blend.  Taste for salt and pepper.

Everyone really enjoyed this soup...which is too bad because I would like to eat some more!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Have a Heart!

Have a Heart! by Ng at What's for Dinner?
 Lambs heart that is.  Heart is one of my fav cuts of meat and in Ireland is so easy to find yummy lamb hearts. I hate having to clean it but once its all cut up its a fast and easy meat to cook.
Cutting up a lambs heart by Ng @ What's for Dinner?
 To clean the heart cut off all the fat and anything that seems gross...(feed to your cat) Then slice up.  I know than in Ireland they like keep the heart whole and stuffing it, but if you cut up the heart no one knows they are eating heart.

Lamb Heart with Onions
serves 4
4 lamb hearts (cleaned and cut)
1 tsp oil
1 onion sliced
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 Tbs tomato paste
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp hot pepper
salt, pepper and feast herbs

Heat a pan with oil over med heat.  Brown the onion and garlic. Add the heart, tomato paste, spices, salt and pepper.  Mix and add a bit of water to the pan.  Cook heart for about 5 min add some feash herbs and enjoy with rice, bead or pasta.

Irish lamb heart a cheap and easy. by Ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Irish (Lamb) Heart' and easy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mint Dour or Mint Yogurt Drink

Mint Dour or Mint Yogurt Drink by ng @ What's for Dinner?
 In Iran Dour or yogurt drinks are really popular.  When I visited Iran  I had dour 2 or 3 times a day. I posted a plain dour  but here is a recipe my mother-in-law has been making  for Mint Dour in a 2 litre bottle.
dried mint and salt by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Mint Dour
makes almost 2 liters

500gm plain yogurt (it needs to be a bit sour)
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 litres water

Mix yogurt with mint and salt.  Add water and fill bottle. Shake the bottle. It will make just under 2 litres.  Enjoy right away or after its had a stay in the frig. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kaleh Gonjeshki or Iranian Potato and Meatballs

Kaleh Gonjeshki or Iranian Potato and Meatballs by Ng at Whats for Dinner?
My Mother-in-Law is visiting me and this is one of the new recipes she shared with me. She doesn't seem to measure anything so your guess is as good as mine.  

Kaleh Gonjeshki or Iranian Potato and Meatballs
Serves 4

For Meatballs
250 gm ground meat
1 grated onion
2  grated potatoes
salt, pepper, turmeric and cumin 

For Sauce
1 sliced onion
1/2 cup sliced potatos
1 Tbs tomato paste
water to cover
salt and pepper

Mix the meat, onion, potatoes and spices.  Form into small balls.  About the size of a ping pong ball. Fry in a little oil. Set aside in a pot. Fry the sliced onion and potatoes. Add the tomato paste.  Mix and cover with water.  Add to the meat balls and simmer for 15-20 min.  Enjoy with flat bread.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Indian Warm Cabbage Salad

Indian Warm Cabbage Salad
 I love this warm cabbage salad.  Its Anjum Anand's recipe from Indian Food Made Easy. I was so happy when my mom got me her cookbook a few years ago.  The funny thing is that I mostly just make this salad.  In Kansas I don't use curry leaves so I use frozen basil leaves (crazy??? but it works) I've been using other nuts than peanuts because of the baby.  I like cashews. 
Mustard seeds by ng @ What's For Dinner
Simple and yummy well worth buying mustard seeds, nigella seeds, urad dal and curry leaves even if thats the only thing I use them for!  Mustard seeds double as a childrens toy....maybe not but Joe like it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blackberry Muffins

Blackberry Muffins by ng @ What's for Dinner?

Its a great year for blackberries in Ireland!  The past two days I've been out picking.  This year they are big fat and juicy but also sour.  I've been playing around with a low sugar/low fat muffin/cake recipe for a few weeks. Using my all time fav zucchini muffin recipe I replaced almost all of the oil with that old standby of apple sauce.  Also cut down the sugar (hey apples are Sweet!!!).

Low sugar and low fat these whole wheat Muffins are Yummy!!! by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Blackberry Muffins
For 12 Muffins
2 apples
2 eggs
1/4 cup of sugar (If you want a sweeter use 1/2 cup instead)
1/8 cup of rapeseed oil
1 orange (the zest and juice)
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups self rising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

pinch of salt

2 cups blackberries

 Oven 170c.  Peel and chop the apples.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and cook till soft about 5 min.  Blend or mash.  Cool a bit.  Mix with wet: eggs, sugar, oil, orange and vanilla.  Add the dry: flours, spice, salt.  Mix and add blackberries.  Fill the muffin tin and into the oven for about 30 min. 
Breakfast blackberry Muffin by ng @ whats for dinner?
These are a great breakfast muffin.  Most and not very sweet.  If you are used to  white flour, oil and sugar you may need to add 1/4  cup more sugar the first time you try this recipe.  The blackberries are soar this year so I'm going to add it next time!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Teddy Bear Pancakes

Whole Wheat Blueberry Teddy Bear Pancakes by ng @ Whats for dinner?

My Dad alway used to make me pancakes shaped like Micky Mouse.  Joe doesn't know about Micky yet but  he did like these teddy bear pancakes.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Teddy Bear Pancakes
for 4

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tbs honey
 oil for frying.

Mix the dry, add the wet. Heat a pan with a little oil.  Make baby sized bears by using 1/4 cup of batter for the head and 1 tsp for each of the ears.  Add blueberry eyes and nose.  Cook until the little bubbles pop flip and cook for about a min more.  Joe loved them with cream cheese.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Low Fat Baba Ganoush

 Low Fat Baba Ganoush by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Baba Ganoush or eggplant dip is one of my childhood favs.  I posted a recipe two years ago for was I thought was my mom's recipe.  But now I found out she also adds onions.  I've changed up my old recipe and now I'm using less olive oil.

Baba Ganoush
make jut over a cup

1 eggplant (or 2 smaller ones)
1 onion
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic
1 tsp rapeseed or olive oil
1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt

Roast the eggplant in the oven. (I just pop it in when I'm cooking something else so the time and temp depend on whatever else I'm cooking.  The eggplants with puff up.  Cool and peel.

Fry the onion in the oil and cumin.

Mash the garlic in the salt to make a paste.

Blend the onion, eggplant and garlic. Add the lemon juice to taste. No need to add extra oil!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Zucchini Pancake or Kadoo Kookoo

Zucchini Pancake or Kadoo Kookoo by ng @ what's for Dinner?
I first had Kadoo Kookoo when an Iranian woman made it for me. She used zucchini, walnuts, mint and eggs to make her pancake.  Over the past two years I've played with her recipe and have added one small potato, flour, cumin and feta or goats cheese.  What I'm left is the perfect light lunch or even tart filling (if more eggs are added).

Zucchini Pancake or Kadoo Kookoo
makes 6 slices

2 cups grated zucchini
1 small grated potato
1 egg
1 Tbs flour
1 Tbs walnuts
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs feta or goats cheese
salt and pepper
1 tsp oil for frying

Heat the oil in a pan on med heat.  Mix the the zucchini, potato, egg, flour, walnuts, mint, cumin, cheese, salt and pepper.  Pour into the pan to form one large pancake. Cook for about 5-7 min or until the bottom of the pancake is browned. Flip the pancake and cook the other side for 5-7 min or if you are like me and have trouble flipping large hot food than just finish cooking the pancake under the boiler.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cucumber and Radish Yogurt

Cucumber and Radish Yogurt by Ng @ What's for Dinner?
 Simple and refreshing.  A fast salad great for any rice dish.

Cucumber and Radish Yogurt
3 inches English cucumber
2 radishes
1 spring onion
fresh mint
1 cup of plain yogurt
salt and pepper

Cut up the veg.  Mix with yogurt.  Season.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Zucchini Ribbon Strawberry Salad

Zucchini Ribbon Strawberry Salad by ng @ What's For Dinner?
Just a simple salad from my garden.
Zucchini Ribbon Strawberry Salad

1 small zucchini 
4 strawberries
balsamic vinegar and olive oil
salt and pepper

Using a veg peeler ribbon the zucchini.  Cut up the strawberries and mint.  Top the zucchini with the strawberries and dress with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Finish with salt and pepper.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese by ng @ What's for Dinner
 As an Italian American I never ever had Spaghetti Bolognese.  My family isn't from Bologna or we would have had Ragu alla Bolognese.  But Spaghetti Bolognese isn't from Bologna's English.  In Bologna they eat it with tagliatelle not spaghetti.
Ragu alla Bolognese has no garlic, basil or oregano. Just a bay leaf! by ng @ What's for Dinner width=
Ragu alla Bolognese has no garlic, basil or oregano.  Just a bay leaf!

Spaghetti Bolognese
serves 4
1 lb of minced beef
1 onion chopped
3 carrots grated
3 sticks celery chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup passata (sieved tomatoes or just use a can of tomatoes)
1/4 tsp of vinegar
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper
500 gm spaghetti

 Brown the minced beef with the onions on a med heat. Add the carrots and celery and cook till soften. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes and vinegar. Cook for 30min on a med low heat until the sauce is thickened. Add the milk. Boil the pasta.  Check the seasoning.
Easy pasta sauce full of veggies by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Top the pasta with the sauce and Eat!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Egg Fried Rice

 Egg Fried Rice with veggies by ng @ What's for Dinner?
 I've been making this simple high in veggies Egg Fried Rice as a speedy lunch for my little boy.  It is one part cold leftover rice and one part veg with an egg for protein. Feel free to use any kind of veg you like fresh or frozen. Could also add any cooked meats if you wished.

Egg Fried Rice
serves 1 1/2

1 tsp sunflower oil
1 cup veg (I used shredded carrot, celery and spring onion)
1 cup leftover rice
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp chinkiang vinegar
1 egg
1/4 tsp sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
pepper (and hot pepper if you like)

Heat a pan or wok with oil to med high.  Add veg.  Stir-fry for about 1 min.  Add rice.  Mix. When the rice is warmed  add  the soy sauce and chinkiang vinegar.  Mix. Make a well in the middle of the pan.  Add the egg  and pepper to the well.  Mix.  When the egg is cooked take the pan off the heat and add the sesame oil and sesame seeds.  Mix and Eat

A fast way to get extra veggies into a baby by ng @ What's for dinner
A fast lunch and a great way to get extra veggies into a baby.  He picked out all the carrots from his and my bowl...and ate them all!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Irish Soda Bread: Outside of Ireland

Irish Soda Bread: Outside of Ireland by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
 I never liked Irish Soda Bread until I tried Darina Allen's recipe from Forgotten Skills of Cooking and then I made 6 loafs for our going away party.  Now that we are back in Ireland I'm still making it.
  My kitchen scales are in KS (with Darina's very heavy book) so I've changed the recipe to use cups and added oats.  Also for those making soda bread outside of Ireland it is hard to find the right kind of whole wheat flour.  The flour need to be very coarse. Add wheat germ, ground flax and oats to make the whole wheat flour more like the Irish kind.  Also is American baking soda salter than Irish???  Having made this bread in both places I would say yes.  I cut down the salt.
 Irish Soda Bread: Outside of Ireland
 Makes 1 loaf

2 cups whole wheat flour (with extra coarse fiber)
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp salt (add 1/2 tsp more if you like salt)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs  sunflower oil
1 tsp honey
1 egg
2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup seeds +1 tbs for the top

Oven on 350f 180c. Mix the dry.  Mix the wet.  Add the wet to dry. Add seeds.  Mix.  Will be a big sticky mess.  Into a greased loaf pan (or pot in my case).  Top with more seeds. Bake for about 50 min.  Do not even think about cutting until cooled!!!!

 A simple yeast free whole wheat bread great for babies by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Enjoy with butter, smoked salmon, Irish stew or with cheese, tomato, avocado and cucumber.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

7 Layer Olivia Salad

7 Layer Olivia Salad by ng @ Whats for Dinner
 Olivia a salad popular in Iran but it is from Russia where its called Olivier.  To me its like baby food mixed with mayonnaise...gross and far too rich.  A few weeks ago my mom told me about a deconstructed olivia that she was making.  It got me thinking what if Olivia was constructed as a American 7 Layer Salad?  But without the mayo because 7 Layer Salad is gross and far too rich too!
7 layer Olivia Salad
Makes on large Salad

1 kg of new potatoes boiled and sliced
2 large carrots shredded
1 cup of peas
1 cup of cooked chicken shredded
3 eggs hard boiled and sliced
2 pickels sliced
15 olives sliced
Salt and Pepper

For Dressing
1 cup Plain Yougurt
jucie from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

Mix up the yougurt dressing and season to your teast or use mayo.  Assemble the salad by layering each ingredent with 1/4 cup of the dressing between each layer of potatoes, carrots, peas and chicken.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Everyday Coleslaw and Summer Rolls

Everyday Coleslaw and Summer Rolls by NG @ What's for Dinner
 I have been eating this coleslaw just about everyday for the last month.  I posted my mothers Ramen Coleslaw way back in 2010 this is a new version of that salad.  I've taken out the Ramen as it turns out the Baby also likes to eat uncooked Ramen and I would rather he did not. But not to worry the taste is even better than before.  I've been eating it as a side with dinners and with/on a sandwich for lunch.  It even makes a great low-cal snack in a Summer Roll.
Low Cal snack Summer Rolls by NG @ What's for Dinner
Everyday Coleslaw
makes about 3 cups

2 cups of shredded cabbage
2 med carrots shredded
2 spring onions sliced thin
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp chinkiang vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp roasted sesames
salt and pepper (and hot pepper if you like)

Mix and Eat

Coleslaw Summer Rolls
1 Filling Snack or Light Lunch

3 pieces of rice paper (for summer rolls)
1 cup coleslaw
fresh herbs: mint, coriander, basil, parsley

Dipping sauce
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 chinkiang vinegar

Fill a plate or pan with warm water.  Soak one piece of rice paper until its limp.  Remove the limp rice paper and fill with 1/3 of the coleslaw.  Add fresh herbs and roll.  Repeat and eat!

Coleslaw of cabbage carrots and spring onions simple and local by NG @ What's for Dinner
 Simple and Local. Yummy right after its mixed or after a day in the fridge.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shawn's Oven Chips (Fries)

Shawn's Oven Chips (Fries) by Ng @ What's for Dinner?
 Shawn knows about potatoes. Back in May he brought 10kgs of potatoes over to our house.  Lucky for those Irish Red Roasters he told me about a very simple oven chip recipe.  Bring the potatoes to boil first! I have made one change to his simple recipe...add turmeric.  It gives the potatoes that golden 'fried' look.
Step by step low fat oven chips fries by ng @ What's for Dinner?
Shawn's Oven Chips (Fries)
serves 2 1/2
3 large potatoes
1 tsp sunflower seed oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper

Cut potatoes into the size chips that you want.  Put in a pot of cold salt water and bring to a boil.  Drain and let the potatoes dry.   Mix the cooled potatoes with the oil, turmeric, salt and pepper on a cookie sheet.  Bake in a very hot oven (220c) for around 20-30 min or until golden brown.

note: This is also how to make the perfect roast potatoes that you can find with any roast dinner in any Irish pub.  Its just how you cut the potatoes and shake in the pot after draining.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Honeycomb Candy

Honeycomb candy is an old fashioned Irish/English treat.  I don't think I've ever seen it in the States.  I've been wanted to try my hand at making some for a while but I didn't want to buy a whole tin of golden syrup so I put it off.  But last night at 8pm when I 'needed' candy I started to think could I make honeycomb with honey???? I searched and found a very easy recipe.
All you need is sugar, honey, water and baking soda.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pasta and Ceci on Buckwheat Noddles

I really like all kinds of beans and chickpeas are one of my favorites. Pasta and Ceci or Pasta and Chickpeas is a fast and easy vegetarian dinner that is perfect for busy days. Add a can of chickpeas to a jar a sauce and top on some whole grain pasta.  I used dry chickpeas which I soaked and cooked.  I also made my own pasta sauce (with Gochujan).  We topped our pasta with ground almonds for a vegan dinner...but feel free to run with this dinner idea.

 Buckwheat or Soba noodles are fun for babies!!! 
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