HELENA – Helena’s Shea Conley recently created a website where people can find vegan and vegetarian recipe ideas to cook at home.
Conley said she never thought she would be a business owner, let alone a baker: “I never chose baking, it kind of just found me, and it required that I’m making a career out of it. And I really ran with it.”
She said it started when she lived in Seattle. A bakery lured her and asked her to work the morning shift; from there, she was hooked.
Shea Conley of dearpotato.org shares some quick cooking tips
When the pandemic stopped everything, she lost her job and found her way back to Helena, but she wouldn’t let go of the rolling pin.
Conley started a site called DearPotato.orga name that has a personal meaning.
“I’m a vegetarian, so I eat a lot of potatoes, and I joke that potatoes are my favorite food. And then it’s also a term of endearment, in a way, because my mom and me, or my husband and I, are like, ‘You little sweet potato!'”
Conley says readers shouldn’t assume her recipes are just about potatoes. Although her baked goods are about 90% vegan and include gluten-free options, she adds that the goal isn’t necessarily low-calorie.
“The goal is for it to be unhealthy. The goal is for everything to be vibrant, really tasty, colorful, weird, stuff like that,” she said.
Her goal is to open people’s eyes to what’s out there: “Nutritional yeast is like an inactive dry yeast, which a lot of vegans might be familiar with, but maybe a lot of new vegans or vegetarians don’t. , and it’s like a very good complement to cheese.”
Among the offerings on its site: Perfectly Crispy Tofu; Southwestern Vegan Shortcake; Vegetarian Scotch Egg; and Vegan Maple Rosemary Muffins.
You can find Conley at the Helena and Capital Square Farmers Markets.