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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .

Sally C. has this question for Aunt Nettie:

Dear Aunt Nettie,

I just moved to Santa Monica and have discovered some wonderful health food markets with grains sold in bulk bins. I'm just getting into the "healthy eating scene" and would like to know how to cook grains like quinoa and millet.

Dear Sally,

Welcome to Santa Monica and the healthiest eatin' in the world, vegan eatin' that is. Well, fer cookin' the quinoa, think of it same as cookin' rice, with 2 cups (480 ml) o' water ta 1 cup (237 ml) o' quinoa. The cookin' time is jes the same as rice, about 15 minutes. The only big difference is that afore cookin', ya have ta rinse the livin' daylights outa the quinoa or it'll be bitter as dandelion. Those little grains are covered with a natural coatin' called saponins that protect the grains while they're growin'.

Fer cookin' millet, I put 1 cup (237 ml) o' millet and 3 1/2 cups (835 ml) o' water inta my saucepan, cover it, and turn the heat up to high. Now watch yer millet carefully. As soon as it starts ta boil, turn it down ta low instantly er you'll have a good hour's work cleanin' up yer stove. Now, turn on yer timer fer 15 minutes, then shut off the heat, and let the pot rest fer another 10 minutes. When it's ready, you'll have a nice light grain ta serve up.

Oh, dearie me, I almost fergot about the salt! If ya don't add about 1 teaspoon ta each cup of grain, either the quinoa or the millet, it's gonna taste kinda bland. Well, that should do the trick!

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with megabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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