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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.


Fifty-seventh in a series of articles


Howdy there darlin's,

I'm jes tickled to be enjoyin' this nice warm an' sunny summer weather an' I surely do hope yer feelin' like I do. Yes, yes, I knows there's some folks that jes don't cotton ta the summer heat, but it's jes nature's way ta help us grow some of our favrite fruits an' veggies.

Kale in Pot So, when it gits a bit muggy, why I jes keep a fan handy an' git that l'il ole fan a-wavin' like it was on a motor. Once I taste the first o' the fresh tomater crop, why I don't pay the summer heat no mind 'cause it's doin' jes what Mother Nature planned it ta do.

I'm mighty excited ta be growin' some o' my own kale and tomaters in my summer garden and they's ready fer pickin' right now! An' there's nothin' beats home grown tomaters--why they's so sweet an' full o' juice--an' I tell ya true, home-grown ain't nothin' like them tasteless tomaters at the grocery store--no siree, not at all. These got a special life o' they own--I tell ya true!

An' come on over an look here at my kale! Yes, it's lookin' like a tree 'bout now 'cause it's been growin' through the winter an' I done picked a heap o' kale--I jes snap off the leaves from the bottom an' that kale jes keeps a'growin' taller an' taller an' it's jes so nice an crisp. Ain't nothin' like fresh kale.

Now this salad bowl is jes chock full o' good fixin's I calls Rainbow Kaleslaw. It's a mighty fine salad that's purrfect fer a nice big summer hootnanny. If'n y'all prefer different veggies, ain't no sin ta make it the way ya likes. Now, y'all let me know how y'all likes my Kaleslaw!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

This is a delightful party salad that feeds a crowd and looks great on the buffet table. While a light, clear dressing will allow all the bright colors of this hearty salad to sparkle, a thick, well-seasoned, creamy dress will contribute richer flavor to compensate for the kale's sharp bite.

Rainbow Kaleslaw


Yield: 8 to 10 servings

    1 large bunch fresh kale, ribs discarded, leaves torn into small bite-size pieces
    3 cups finely shredded purple cabbage
    3 cups finely shredded green cabbage
    2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
    1 bunch fresh mint leaves, minced
    1 yellow bell pepper, diced
    1/4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
    2 cloves garlic, finely minced

    1/2 cup toasted, coarsely chopped peanuts
    1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

    1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite dressing

  1. In an extra-large bowl, combine the kale, purple and green cabbage, carrots, mint leaves, bell pepper, ginger, and garlic and mix well to distribute the vegetables evenly.
  2. Spoon the chopped peanuts into the center and arrange the cherry tomatoes around the edge of the bowl.
  3. Bring the salad to the table and toss it with your favorite salad dressing.

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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