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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 vegetarian 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, .

Dear Aunt Nettie,

My husband is a total sandwich nut and is used to grabbing fast food burgers on his lunch hour. I've started packing his lunch and I'm always trying to come up with healthy sandwich fillings, but it's a challenge and I'm running out of ideas. Can you help with any suggestions at all?


Howdy there, Nancy,

Well, darlin', bless yer heart fer tryin' to keep yer husband in the pink. Oh, my, I jes realized ya jes might not a'heard that expression--it jes means feelin' good.

I'm on yer side 100%. With all them unhealthy "ready to eat" foods out there in the grocery store, we women folk have to work a tad harder ta keep our sweethearts healthy. It's the real fixin's we make from scratch that does the trick.

Now I do have a l'il ole recipe up my sleeve that's right up yer alley. First, ya start by havin' some cooked brown rice on hand. I hope yer man likes peas--most of 'em do--'cause I made up some mighty fine tastin' patties that makes a fine tastin' fillin' fer a sandwich. All's ya do is spread some mayonnaise on yer whole wheat bread an' add some tomaters, lettuce, an' a slice o' onion if that's to yer likin'.

If y'all don't want mayonnaise, you might could use the recipe fer Creamy Ranch Dressin' instead.

Hope yer honey enjoys his deeelicious lunch this week.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Enriched with a blend of Far East spices, these patties send out waves of flavor that bring dining pleasure from the first bite to the last. Keep some cooked brown rice on hand and you'll be able to whip them up on short notice. Alternatively, you can prepare the patties, and freeze them when expecting guests for an informal lunch.


Yield: 9 two-inch patties


    1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
    1/2 cup cooked brown rice
    1/2 cup raw pecans
    1/2 cup diced carrots
    1/4 cup diced onions
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed in mortar and pestle
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and process until thoroughly mixed. You may have to stop the machine and scrape down the sides to be sure all the ingredients are broken down and evenly distributed.
  2. Form heaping tablespoons of the mixture into patties by hand and place them on the parchment. Bake for 15 minutes and turn the patties with a metal spatula. Bake 12 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and allow the patties 10 to 15 minutes to cool before removing.

Suggestion: Serve with a topping of Creamy Ranch Dressing.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes 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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