Smoky Cauliflower and Vegetarians in Paradise/Aunt Nettie/Paradise Scalloped Potatoes & Cashews
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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.


Forty-ninth in a series of articles


Howdy there darlin's,

Well, come jes a day or two ago, I been noticin' a tad o' autumn chill in the air. Them days is still plenty nice 'n' warm an' mighty purty fer enjoyin' settin' awhile in the sun an' havin' a few minutes o' talkin' ta my nice neighbors. But them nights is tellin' me autumn is a-comin' on, jes like it was watchin' the clock ta stay on time--now that's Mother Nature fer ya--an' ain't she jes grand!

Well now, over my many years I couldn't help noticin' that when Mother Nature changes the clock, why, we foller right along with her, don't we. An' them same light an' juicy fruits an' veggies we enjoy in the hot summertime--why they jes don't seem quite right when the clock changes.

But, that's no problem at all. Me an' my kitchen is ready fer some changin' too. I'm shure y'all knows by now that I'm jes happy as a lark come that autumn chill. That's 'cause I git ta thinkin' 'bout lots o' them nice, cold weather fixin's we likes comin' back to year after year. 'Taters is one o' them deeelicious cold weather foods hardly nobody don't like, 'specially me.

This month I'm a-gonna share one o' my favorite 'tater recipes that my niece, Zel, enjoyed so much, why, she put the recipe inter her nice cookbook. Y'all might know 'bout The Nut Gourmet? Well, if'n ya didn't --why, now ya do.

A-way back in 2000 I gave this recipe ta one o' the nice Vegetarians in Paradise readers that asked fer a good 'tater recipe. So, now the recipe's been spruced up a tad, but it's still one o' my favrite 'tater fixin's an' still mighty deeelicious!

An' ta stretch them dollers an' not spend yer family fortune on good eats, why ya cain't beat 'taters. But sometimes-- jes sometimes ya jes want to fix a l'il somethin' speshul fer yer family. Maybe there's a birthday comin' or maybe a anniversary yer celebratin'. Why that's when ya spend a l'il extra if'n ya can.

Because I make this recipe with cashews ta make the sauce nice n' thick an' give it melt-in-the-mouth goodness, it's gonna cost a tad more. So, keep this nice recipe in yer recipe box-- an' save it fer them really speshul times. An' ever' bite will be so much better 'cause it's only fer them speshul times.

Folks is mighty busy these days an' don't have time fer fussy cookin'. That's why ever'body loves this recipe. It's easy fixin's an' easy eatin'. An'when yer needin' some good money-savin' recipes fer the chilly weather ahead, why mosey on over ta and set a spell til ya find jes what yer lookin' fer.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Scalloped potatoes are an old-time creation that was probably popular in Grandma's kitchen. I've adapted this simple classic for the vegan table and enhanced it with cashews, miso, and nutritional yeast to create a dish that truly earns its name.

This is one of the delicious recipes from Zel's cookbook, The Nut Gourmet.

Scalloped Potatoes


Yield: 4 to 5 servings

    2/3 cup (160 ml) cashews

    Paradise Sauce
    1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
    3 tablespoons (360 ml) unsweetened soymilk
    2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
    1 teaspoon salt
    Dash cayenne
    Freshly ground pepper

    1 pound (453g) red rose or white rose potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
    3 green onions, chopped
    1 ripe tomato, diced

    2 tablespoons coarsely ground walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (Gas Mark 5) and have ready an 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20 cm) glass baking dish. Grind the cashews into a fine meal in the blender, food processor, or mini-chopper. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. To prepare the sauce, combine the lemon juice and miso in a small bowl. Blend it with a spoon or a small whisk until smooth, and add to the ground cashews. Stir in the soymilk, nutritional yeast, salt, cayenne, and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Spoon a small amount of the sauce into the baking dish, using just enough to cover the bottom.
  4. Layer half of the potatoes, green onions, and tomatoes in the baking dish and cover with half of the sauce. Make another layer with the remaining potatoes, green onions, and tomatoes, and finish with the remaining sauce.
  5. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, and sprinkle the top with paprika and the ground walnuts 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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