New Year's Resolution Soup #2/Weight Loss Advice
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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,

Well, I did it again! I put on a few pounds I didn't want. I didn't spend much on Christmas, but between the office parties, the family Christmas, and my friends' holiday parties, I went crazy on some really high calorie stuff. It sure doesn't take long for it to show up on the body. My clothes are too tight and I feel really awful. Can you help in any way at all?


Well Howdy there Nancy,

Now darlin', don't you fret none. You done a tad too much hootnanny whoopin' at the end of the year. Now you kin start fresh for the new year and put all them high calorie sweets n' treats behind. An' fer goodness sake child, don't go out an' buy any more of 'em!

Keep yer kitchen nice an' healthy with only good fer ya veggies an' some fruit. Buy some beans n' grains an' try ta do yer cookin' without them fats. Even vegetable oils kin put on the pounds. If ya must use oil fer a stir-fry, use a tad--like 1 teaspoon--an' add water n' flavor it up with things like garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, fresh herbs 'n spices.

Mind y'all, every tablespoon of oil, don't matter what kind, got 120 calories an' 14 grams o' fat. Now that's a heap o' fat! An' it's easy ta ferget that 'cause fat makes things taste real good.

Well, child, down yonder is a mighty fine soup recipe that's good 'n healthy and mighty low in calories. An' you'll see there's no fat added so it oughter fill yer tummy an' make ya feel real nice without lots o' calories.

Now, ya got lots ta think about fer the new year, so I hope this sets ya off right n' fine.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Here's a basic low-fat, low-calorie hearty soup loaded with good flavor and brimming with nutritious ingredients. With a soup kettle this full, you'll quickly recognize it's meant to be shared. Whether you like it spicy or mild, packed with chunky bits to chew or a simple broth, lots of noodles or none of those slippery bean threads, don't hesitate to make adjustments. You be the engineer of the kitchen by choosing the spice level, the seasonings, the quantity of veggies, and the noodles you prefer. Most importantly, welcome in the new year with joy and a lusty bowl of tantalizing soup.

(Pan Asian Style)

Yield: about 8 servings

    1/4 pound mung bean noodles (bean threads)
    1/4 pound rice vermicelli

    4 to 5 quarts water
    14 leaves Napa cabbage, chopped
    1 5-inch long daikon radish, peeled and chopped
    1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, sliced
    1 large broccoli crown, chopped
    1 carrot, peeled and diced
    1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry powder
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    Pinch cayenne

    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

    1 pound firm tofu, cut into bite-size cubes

  1. Place the noodles into 2 large bowls and cover with at least 3 inches of hot water. Set aside to soak while preparing the soup.
  2. Place the water, cabbage, daikon radish, mushrooms, broccoli, carrot, ginger, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne into an 8 to 10-quart stockpot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are just softened.
  4. Add the soaked noodles and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the noodles are fully softened. Add the tofu and adjust the seasonings. Serve steaming hot.
Click here for New Year's Resolution Soup #1

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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