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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 an/or get her cooking advice, .

Editor's Note: Instead of Aunt Nettie answering individual questions, she has decided to address a number of requests from people who want to save money on the food budget and still enjoy healthy dining. This is one of a series of money-saving tips and recipes designed to stretch those slim dollars.

As an example of Aunt Nettie's impressive, penny-pinching ability to save, she still has some depression glass dishes and bowls in the cupboard--they're the real thing and she still treasures them.

In future issues of Vegetarians in Paradise, Aunt Nettie and her niece Zel will offer more money-saving recipes for the most extreme skinflints along with suggestions to help bargain-hunter foodies seek out cheap fare that still brings good cheer to the table.


Thirty-sixth in a series of articles


Howdy there darlin's,

I been thinkin' a-plenty 'bout what it takes ta feed yer lovin' family natural good tastin' food that's heallthy for 'em but still plenty cheap. Why yes, we still got to watch them dollars with a mighty careful eye, 'cause prices keep a-risin' but our dollars sure don't keep a-growin'.

So I done come up with a mighty deeelicious idear fer ya. This speshul dish is so good fer yer health, why it's actually famous fer fightin' off cancer. I learnt it's got more vitamin C than an orange--imagine that, child!

'Nother thing--this speshul somethin' kin help ta lower cholesterol, an prevent ulcers in the stomach, an' it's got so much fiber it prevents constipation--an' nobody's happy about constipation.

This wonderful food idear is not anythin' fancy but it has very speshul antioxidants. Why they's so speshul they make yer immune system stronger so's you kin fight off colds an' coughs an' some kinds o' cancer.

Even the iodine in this food is speshul 'cause it kin improve yer nervous system so's you help ta prevent Alzheimer's disease.

If'n y'all didn't guess it by now, this spechul food is plain, ole cabbage--ta my mind, red an' green cabbage is practically a miracle food. So I decided that cabbage is gonna be my special recipe fer this month, an guess what? It's dern cheap, too. Y'all don't have ta spend a pile o' money on special doctor treatments--jes take hold o' yer nice sharp kitchen knife an' start a-cuttin' up couple a giant heads o' good' ole red an' green cabbage. Before ya know, why you got a giant bowl o' mighty fine salad.

I hopes y'all enjoy this fine tastin' summertime treat fer takin' along ta potlucks or picnics, or even invitin' friends over fer supper. Now here's a little secret-- I had a tad o' this salad left over t'other day, an' I tell ya true, it was even better next day.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Country Cabbage Salad


Yield: 4 servings

    4 cups (1 liter) finely chopped green cabbage
    2 to 2 1/2 cups (480 to 600 ml) finely chopped red cabbage
    1/2 pound (225g) extra firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
    1/4 to 1/2 pound (55 to 115g) button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
    1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
    1 rib celery, finely chopped
    1 cup (240 ml) chopped fresh cilantro
    1/2 bunch chopped fresh mint leaves
    1/3 cup (80 ml) seasoned rice vinegar
    2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

    2 small bell peppers cut into thin rings or 1/4 red bell pepper, diced

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the garnish, in a large bowl and toss well to distribute the vegetables, vinegar, and soy sauce evenly.
  2. Garnish the top of the salad with a mound of the red peppers heaped into the center. Present at the table and toss well before serving.

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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