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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.


Sixty-fourth in a series of articles


Howdy there Darlin's,

Well, now, there's still plenty o' chill in the air an' that's a mighty good reason ta keep my oven busy a good part of the day bakin' an' roastin' with some o' my fav'rite fixin's. year!

Top o' my fav'rite list is 'taters. Y'all shoulda seen them 'taters I done brought home from the grocery last week. Why, they was big as mountains, they was! So I got right ta work scrubbin' 'em an' bakin' 'em up til they was nice an' soft.

An' while them 'taters was in the oven, I mixed up some deeelicious fixin's fer stuffin' inside them whoppers. An' after the fixin's was all stuffed back inter them 'taters I done tucked 'em back inter the oven ta warm 'em up 'an melt the cheese on top.

Purty soon, the kitchen started smellin' so good every one o' my kin came ta see what kind o' magic I was cookin' up in my oven. That night, they tole me that was my best 'tater recipe 'an when was I gonna make 'em again.

Well, 'nuff said. That tells ever'thing.

So here's my recipe. It's an easy one, so's you'll want ta make 'em often. I surely hopes yer family enjoys 'em as much as mine did. Why, there weren't a lick left on the plate!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

This well dressed spud is an unabashed, awesomely delicious comfort food so welcome especially during the winter season. The recipe is such a simple, unfussy concept, and so easy to prepare. Featured is a tangy mixture of lively flavors, while the low-fat, homemade sour cream contributes elements that make the filling pleasingly moist and light.

Stuffed Potatoes


Yield: 4 servings

    2 large Russet potatoes

    1/2 to 3/4 cup (120 to 180 ml) Tofu Sour Cream (recipe below)
    2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder

    3 heaping tablespoons shredded non-dairy cheddar cheese

    2 to 4 tablespoons Tofu Sour Cream
    2 tablespoons shredded non-dairy cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (Gas Mark 6) Scrub the potatoes, put them on a baking sheet, and bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out the potato flesh to within 1/4-inch (.6 cm) of the edge, leaving the potato shells intact.
  3. Put the flesh in a medium bowl and add the sour cream, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and onion powder. Mash thoroughly to distribute the flavors evenly.
  4. Add the shredded cheese and mix well. Spoon the seasoned mixture into the potato shells, filling them to the edges. Use the entire stuffing mixture. Top each potato with a thin layer of sour cream and sprinkle the cheddar over the top. Add a light dusting of paprika for color.
  5. If preparing ahead, you can refrigerate the potatoes until shortly before serving. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and warm the potatoes for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Tofu Sour Cream

    1 (12-ounce/340g) box extra firm silken tofu, well drained
    1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar or distilled vinegar
    1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl and process again to incorporate all the tiny bits that cling to the work bowl. Refrigerated, Tofu Sour Cream will keep for up to 1 week.

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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