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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-ninth in a series of articles


Howdy there darlin's,

Well, by now y'all probably figgered out I don't go shoppin' fer my food in them fancy markets with fancy prices ta match. No sirrreeee! Why, I head right ta the dollar stores where I most usually find big surprises--mighty fine surprises. Them dollar stores is all over the country--y'all jes has to go a-huntin' an' I'm shure you'll find one near by.

Fer instance, last month I done found 15-ounce cans o' Aunt Penney's organic beans an' they's as vegan as they could be with nothin' but beans, water, an' salt in that ingredients list!

I done bought 2 dozen of 'em. There was black beans, an' kidney beans, an' garbanzo beans, an' great northern beans an' they was a dollar each. That, child, is my idea of a bargin. Now, mind, y'all has ta look mighty carefully at all them labels, 'cause plenty o' them canned foods in them stores is a fur piece from vegan.

That shoppin' trip I came home with 6 o' them big 28-ounce cans o' whole tomaters, too. I tell ya true--there's bargins out there an' if'n ya look, why, you'll find 'em.

An' fer my fruits an' veggies, I kin find bargins a-plenty. I'm mighty lucky ta be livin' in a big city like Los Angeles where I kin find grocery stores from all over the world. An' oh! them low, low prices near to make my heart sing an my dollars stretch. Last week, the Korean market close-by had peaches, plums, an' nectarines fer .50 cents a pound. Well, you kin imagine how happy I was ta bring a heapin' sack o' them home.

Now, here's what I'm excited ta tell y'all. I put some o' them beans an' tomaters together an' come up with 'nother way ta feed yer darlin' little family a mighty fine tastin' bowl o' chili--why, jes turn it inter a soup! That's what! No one gonna complain, 'cause it tastes mighty fine and shure fills the belly.

Now y'all go a-huntin' fer them bargins an' set yerself down with a nice bowl o' my Chili Pot Purry. Be shure ta save me a tad--it's one o' my favorite soups!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

This super-easy and very homey chili is one that's especially good for people who don't have the time to spend fussing over a lengthy or difficult recipe. You can even serve this over pasta or splash it over a baked potato or cooked grains.

Aunt Nettie's Chili Pot Purry


Yield: 6 servings

    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons water
    1 (12-ounce, 340g) package of Yves Meatless Ground Round Original or 1 (14-ounce, 395g) chub Lightlife GimeLean Beef or Sausage flavor

    2 (1-pound, 450g) cans kidney beans, with liquid
    2 (1-pound 12 ounce, 800g) cans diced or crushed tomatoes
    1 (1-pound 14-ounce, 850g) can chili beans, with liquid

    Seasoning Mix
    6 tablespoons instant minced onion
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1 cup (240 ml) chopped onions
    1 cup (240 ml) shredded vegan cheddar cheese

  1. Combine the oil, water, and Yves Meatless Ground in an 8 to 10-quart (8 to 10 liter) stockpot and cook over high heat for 1 minute.
  2. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, and chili beans to the stockpot, along with the Seasoning Mix. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently 15 to 20 minutes to develop full flavor.
  4. Spoon the chili into individual bowls and garnish each with chopped onions and shredded cheddar, if 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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