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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,

I'm a sandwich lover from the get-go, and I'm one guy who doesn't mind getting my hands dirty in the kitchen. Got any healthy sandwich ideas that won't give me the waistline spread?


Howdy there Don,

Well hot dang if I ain't singin' up a chorus o' Oh Susannah, I'm so happy ta know a man that ain't afraid o' the kitchen. That's mighty nice fer a change an' I certainly do have a real snappy idea fer yer sandwich fixin's.

Yer gonna be mighty happy with this recipe 'cause it's guaranteed not to send yer waistline out yonder in all directions. I know ya don't want that, so I come up with a garbanzo bean burger that's fine an' dandy and mighty tasty, too. It's easy fixin's so all's ya do is put them ingredients inta the processor and let it do the work. Now ain't that the cat's meow?

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

You can count on this burger to deliver a meal that's highly nutritious and yet low in fat. There is no added oil to give you unwanted calories--just wholesome veggies, beans, and seasonings. Tuck the patties into pita bread or serve them on the side with your favorite topping like tomato sauce, tahini sauce, or try the tangy Lemon Dill Silken Sauce. To round out the meal, include a tossed salad with a variety of crunchy veggies.


Yield: 12 to 15 patties

    2 15-ounce (425g) cans garbanzo beans, drained
    1 cup (240 ml) oat bran
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    1 medium carrot, shredded
    3/4 cup (180 ml) chopped sweet onion
    1 tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    3/4 teaspoon curry powder
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (Gas Mark 6) and have ready 2 large, lightly oiled or parchment-lined jellyroll pans. Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and process until everything is well incorporated. You may have to stop machine a few times to redistribute the mixture. If the mixture seems too dry to hold together, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time and process.
  2. Form the burger mixture into 3-inch patties by spooning about 3 tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared pans. Bake 12 minutes, then carefully turn the patties with a metal spatula and bake another 10 to 12 minutes.

Easy Raw Low-Calorie-Low-Fat Tomato Sauce

    6 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 or 2 sprigs fresh basil leaves
    1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and process to a smooth or chunky sauce as desired.

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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